Photo of Megan and Joe Mark

Joe Mark '12 & Megan Mark '11/'13

Move over, Marx brothers: There’s a new Marks family making history now with siblings Joe Mark (’12) and Megan Mark (‘11/’13) blazing the trail at McKendree University and Nestle Purina.

They’ve seem to come full circle, with Megan holding Joe’s previous position as Order Revenue Management Associate while he serves as the Finance Manager for the Customer Development Group at Nestle Purina, and Joe completing his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 at McKendree, the same school Megan chose for her undergraduate degree in Business Marketing in 2011 and her MBA in 2013. Megan says, “My brother and I are about eight years apart, so being at the same school is a new experience for us! Having a class together last semester was a little strange at first, but it was great to be able to work on a project together. We often discuss classes and teachers, swap books, etc. Sometimes walking into work is just surreal. I remember my first time visiting Purina when I was in high school and Joe was showing me around. I told him, ‘This is where I want to work when I grow up!’ He simply said, ‘Keeping working hard and you can.’ I’ve always looked up to my brother and I am proud to follow in his footsteps.

Working at Nestle Purina, Joe’s footsteps are often accompanied by a set of pawprints: “I love pets. There’s an emotional side too to the pets that you don’t get [with other product lines]. As an employee, you can bring your dog to work. Right outside my office there’s a little dog park that they have on campus. You see dogs everyday. It’s really cool.”

In addition to the opportunity to work alongside her four-legged companion “Finn”, Purina offers a respect for lifelong learning that is similar to McKendree’s, Megan explains. “At McKendree, the idea of lifelong learning is instilled in students. I came into the company with an eagerness to learn and a ‘sponge’ mentality of absorbing every bit of information possible. McKendree always taught me that learning didn’t end at graduation and Purina completely embraces the same philosophy. I chose McKendree because I had already experienced the quality of education and I trusted that the MBA program would be no exception. The reactions I see when I tell people I am in the MBA program at McKendree is all the confirmation I need! They're always impressed and hold McKendree in high regard so I never second guess my decision.”

Joe considers the small class sizes that encourage student participation as the reason for the success and positive reputation of McKendree’s MBA program: “I think one of the keys in the MBA program is the participation from the students. Everybody’s at a different point in their career, and there’s different experiences and there’s so much that you can learn from each other if people are willing to just speak up and ... listen to each other. In a classroom of 30 to 40 to 50 people, you’re not as likely to jump in and speak up, and your professor’s not as likely to ask you to, but most of the McKendree classes have been more like 15 so it’s really small and intimate.”

McKendree’s dedication to student engagement is something Megan noticed as well: “The faculty and staff want students to succeed and push them to reach their full potential. There is never going to be a ‘perfect’ time to begin an MBA program; people these days are busy and it’s not easy to go to work all day then go straight to class. The great thing about the McKendree MBA program is that the faculty understands your life can be a juggling act, and they will do whatever they can to help you reach your goal.”

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