Grad School Confidential: A First-Year Student's Evolution

First-year GSCFM student Eddie Olewnik of CertainTeed Corporation discusses how he got into credit, and eventually the graduate school program.

What moved you to enroll in the GSCFM program?

One of the things, personally and also for my company, is continuing development to make us more well-rounded and value-added employees to our company. My immediate boss who had been through it and highly recommended it, suggested this as a great way to improve my skills and to develop and be more valuable to our company

How long have you been in commercial credit?

I've been in credit 10 years.

How did you get into it?

I've been with CertainTeed 22 years and I went a roundabout way of getting into credit. I was actually hired as a graphic artist in the art department and then my computer skills allowed me to evolve and be migrated into our IT function and all the while I was going to school at night for finance and business management. Once I got that degree, there was an opening as a cash applications supervisor which I applied for and got into credit that way. It's kind of evolved from there.

I've heard similar stories before, but you're the first person I've met that jumped from graphic design to credit.

Yeah [laughs], but that just goes to show the continuing, evolving, developing process. It's really a prime example of that.

Was there anything in particular that you hoped to get out of the program? Either from an educational or a networking perspective?

I was going to say networking is definitely high on the list, especially those in the same industry that I'm in and there are plenty in this year's class, so I'm really happy about that.

How has the program been going so far?

One of the things is that being away from everything and away from distractions, even though you're not totally away from distractions because of technology, but it's the best way to focus, and it makes a better learning experience. I think the benefits outweigh the quote-unquote sacrifices of the personal, creature comforts.

We've still got a long way to go but it's been great. I've learned a lot since I've been here and I'm looking forward to continuing that and then over the course of the next year keeping in close contact with everyone in this class and being ready for next year.

NACM's Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management (GSCFM) is ongoing on the campus of Dartmouth College. Stay tuned to NACM's blog for more dispatches and student insights.

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