“Our class was very multicultural, very diverse. We had a lot of international students. We had women, we had men, we had gay, we had straight—we had everything. I’m very appreciative of Broad for the diversity I was exposed to and able to work with because it better prepared me to be successful at Whirlpool.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Noel Dolan is now an intrapreneur, using her creative mind and go-getter attitude to promote innovation within Whirlpool as Senior Manager of Strategic Partner Alliance and Open Innovation. When she joined the company in 2008 after earning her Broad MBA, Dolan anticipated practicing traditional marketing, but feedback during her rotational program indicated she should test out their integrated business unit. She moved into sales for new businesses before being promoted to her current position six months later.
Dolan works in a new, action-oriented space, fostering and developing internal ideas as well as leveraging outside companies’ competencies to complement Whirlpool’s and create better products, ideas, and solutions for their customers. Along with her peers, Dolan maintains collaborative partnerships between Whirlpool and CPGs, facilitating a proactive understanding of their influence on one another.
Currently, Dolan is creating an open innovation strategy she will deliver to Whirlpool North America. She shares her enthusiasm for working in a strategic environment not bound by many limitations, “That space is mine. It’s mine to develop, own, and build, so I’m excited about it.”
Coming into the MBA program, Dolan had entrepreneurial experience; she had run her own basketball camps, clinics, and tournaments for 2 years. Despite this, she worried companies would frown upon her lack of corporate experience. She explains, however, “I didn’t receive any pushback. Companies were content with my skillset, my education at Broad, and my deliverables while there.”
Dolan had a rewarding graduate assistantship in the Broad MBA admissions office that introduced her to numerous cultural nuances, growing her appreciation for the global community. Similarly, studying abroad in Belgium and Paris whet her appetite for becoming a better world traveler.
Familiarity with diverse ideas and individuals prepared Dolan for cross-functional collaboration in large corporations. She elaborates, “Our class was very multicultural, very diverse. We had a lot of international students. We had women, we had men, we had gay, we had straight—we had everything. I’m very appreciative of Broad for the diversity I was exposed to and able to work with because it better prepared me to be successful at Whirlpool.”
Also integral to Dolan’s success is her confidence in public speaking. Whether it’s in front of 2 people or 200, she frequently finds herself before a group. In such situations, she says, “You need to know what you’re talking about, stand up, and deliver it confidently, articulately, and concisely. I was definitely put on the spot multiple times and the Broad program helped me develop those skills.”