Second-year MBA student Sabrina Lipp is going to work for Johnson & Johnson.
"You never know where the future might take you," says second-year MBA student Sabrina Lipp, sharing her personal motto. "You should plan ahead, but you have to be very flexible."
Lipp, for example, would have never guessed she'd want to attend school in Atlanta. A native of Brazil, she wasn't wild about the idea of even visiting the city when she first traveled here in 2003 to see some friends. "I was like, 'Why don't you guys live in Chicago, L.A., or New York? I'm on vacation,'" she remembers.
"But I just fell in love with Atlanta," says Lipp, who appreciated the big Brazilian community here. "It's a big city, but you don't feel like you're in a big city. I started looking for schools in the area and decided I wanted to come to Georgia Tech because of the warm and friendly environment."
Now she's a little sad about the idea of leaving. But she does know where she's heading - for the foreseeable future at least - and she's very excited about the journey. Her first destination after graduation in May is Skillman, New Jersey, where she'll complete a highly selective management-training program for her employer, Johnson & Johnson. Then a year later she'll head to San Jose dos Campos, Brazil, to work in a management position for the company's Latin American consumer-products division, focusing on supply-chain issues.
From there, who knows? "It's a job with great opportunities to move to other parts of the world," says Lipp, who'd eventually like to work in Europe, where she backpacked for five months during a break from her undergraduate business studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. "Johnson & Johnson is known as one of the great companies to work for in Brazil. I've gotten my dream job."
Lipp believes she wouldn't have been a strong contender for the job without an MBA. "The degree definitely helped a lot," she says. "It's a management position, and I've never managed people before. The company now sees me as someone flexible and ready to deal with issues."
Prior to enrolling at Tech, Lipp held several jobs in Brazil, working in logistics and industrial planning for Thyssen Krupp, manufacturing planning and logistics for Delphi Automotive Systems, consulting for a small firm, and assisting her father with his civil-engineering business while he was ill.
Her father's lifelong love of learning inspired her to pursue her MBA after he earned his master's in engineering about four years ago. "I felt I should get my master's also, but not wait until I'm fifty," says the twenty-eight-year-old, who focused her MBA studies on operations and information technology.
Lipp, whose heritage is mostly German, hails from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, a city founded by some of her German ancestors in the southern part of the country, where the climate isn't much different than Atlanta's and many people still speak German in addition to Portuguese.
The only Brazilian in her MBA class, Lipp appreciates the tremendous amount of diversity in Tech's program. "The interaction with people from other countries helps you be flexible and understand why people do what they do based on their cultural background," she says.
Outside of the classroom, Lipp enjoys hanging out with her fellow students at social nights every Thursday at Midtown restaurants and bars. "I know everyone in my class, thanks to the program's small size," she says.