Ann Bailey began the Reinhardt Advantage MBA, Master of Business Administration, in the McCamish School of Business in August of 2008. Her goal was to complete the program and move up the corporate ladder. During the first semester of the program, her plans changed for the better. Ann remembers it this way.
"During our communication class, as we were discussing our fictitious organizations, the professor mentioned three options: a real company where the name had been changed, a fake company that the student designed, or a start-up. He said, 'If you've ever wanted to start your own company, this program is a great way to lay the groundwork.' That struck a chord with me as I have always wanted to open my own art gallery. From that point forward my MBA focused on building an art gallery."
As the 19 months passed, Ann worked with her professors as consultants to design the business plan for her gallery. Everything she needed from the marketing plan to contract designs were reviewed in MBA program courses. "I had the ability to ask real life questions for real business concerns to people who were experts in their fields. My professors and cohort shared their wisdom and experience and pointed me to the right resources to get things done."
On May 2, 2010, Ann Art Gallery opened (www.annartgallery.com) with a preview event for the MBA graduating class of 2010. Since then the gallery has exceeded sales projections, and the artists represented have been included in national art shows and won awards in galleries throughout the Southeast.
"I would not have thought it possible to open in such a short timeline, but we did. If anyone is interested in opening their own business, the MBA program at Reinhardt University is a great way to get the ball rolling. It was a real catalyst for making my dreams come true!" On top of running the gallery, Ann is currently a project manager and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership and Entrepreneurship at Regent University.