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From MBA to CFO
Scott Odom, Eller MBA ’15

By Trish Winter-Hunt


As an undergraduate alum of the Eller College of Management with a triple-major in Finance, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship, the Wildcat spirit was already well-engrained in Scott Odom when he decided to look for a business school. Like most B-school applicants, Scott had built a robust résumé full of experience: after working for KPMG for three years, he obtained his CPA certification, moved back to Tucson and accepted a job with DM Federal Credit Union, now known as Vantage West. Scott was soon promoted to Vice President of Finance and decided he was ready to return to school.

“Having obtained a business undergraduate degree years ago, I wanted to refresh my academic foundation to further develop my strategic and managerial skills. I also wanted a program that was local and that offered in-person instruction rather than online.”

For Scott, staying in Tucson where his family had established a home, was key. Not only was the locale ideal for its weather and laidback lifestyle, Scott planned to continue his career with Vantage West. With Eller’s strong reputation as a business school, the Evening MBA program presented the perfect opportunity to balance a graduate education, a career, and a family. Scott began the two-year program in January 2014.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the [Class of 2015] cohort. It’s great that we come from a wide variety of backgrounds, stick together for two years, and get to learn from each other.”

Aside from learning from his fellow classmates, Scott is able to provide relevant insight from his fourteen years of experience. Although he considers Alex Wilson’s Financial Management classes the most applicable to his career, Scott’s favorite class has been Communications for Managers.

“For a crisis communications simulation, we had to defend a position against an unhappy crowd and take questions on the spot. Whether it’s networking or in-class activities, the communications skills that one develops in the MBA program are a major benefit.”

With the Evening MBA more than halfway complete, Scott has already seen the efforts of his hard work pay off.   As of this past January, he was promoted to Chief Financial Officer of Vantage West. “I’ve really been able to apply what I’ve learned in the MBA to my career, and vice-versa. It’s been invaluable.”

Photo of Scott Odom courtesy Eller MBA Program.