IN June 2017, W. Thomas Stanley hosted NetApp’s 25th-anniversary celebration at one of its worksites. A 30-year technology industry veteran himself, Stanley has served as senior vice president (SVP) and general manager of the Americas for NetApp since 2015. Other positions he has held at NetApp include SVP, Global Partner Sales and Alliances, vice president, Global System Integrators and Alliances, and various management roles at IBM, where he worked for more than eight years. Stanley also serves on the Board of Visitors at North Carolina A&T State University, Boys Hope Girls Hope International and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council.
After graduating from North Carolina A&T with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1988, Stanley earned an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management in 1996.
“The M.B.A. balanced the technical with outcome-based work,” Stanley said. “Understanding technology was important, but the outcome-based discussion was also important. Having an M.B.A. rounded me out.”
Stanley added his wife has often said that although she went on to earn a Ph.D. in engineering, worked in business, and taught at college, there are days she wishes she had an M.B.A.
“An M.B.A. gives you social confidence in terms of understanding business, how they operate, and how to add value to the enterprise,” Stanley said. “I think she’s right. Part of me getting the M.B.A. and why I prescribe it is that the exposure and opportunity round you out in terms of experience.”
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