7 Questions with Vanessa Lim Egle, Corporate Brands Senior Director of Innovation and Branding, The Kroger Company
Vanessa Lim Egle was recently honored as one of the “Top Women in Grocery 2015” by Progressive Grocer. This award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding contributions of female leaders in the retail food industry. Lim Egle lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and children. She took time out of her busy schedule to catch up with the Eller MBA team and reflect upon her time in the program.
Why did you pursue your MBA?
To round out my toolkit for growth opportunities in different industries. Business process was a high interest for me and Eller had a great operations program.
What has been your career trajectory since graduating?
Pretty unusual. CPG type position people usually sit in roles for quite a while, but that has not been the case for me. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the right companies and opportunities that gave me time to flourish and grow my leadership.
What does this award mean to you?
Personally, it’s a nice acknowledgement of what really goes into the grocery business. We work hard for every penny in the grocery industry. People don’t usually talk about it. Nobody talks about how hard we work to revolutionize what we do. Having an award that talks about the various impacts on the industry and also highlights women is really nice—it shows how evolved we are as an industry.
Did you have a favorite class?
There were a few, including economics with Price Fishback, cost accounting with Jeff Schatzberg, and product innovation with Narayan Janakiraman.
Are you still in touch with any of your peers?
In 2006, there were only about 26-30 of us. Dave Thomas, Annie Davis, Trish Loper and I are all still pretty close; I met my husband, Todd, also an Eller MBA alum (’04).
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
Focus on making your MBA experience what you need it to be for yourself. Don’t take a backseat to how the MBA experience will prepare you for what’s next in your life. Having a cookie cutter expectation is not the right approach to have.
Anything you would like to add?
Don’t be afraid to explore other industries. Almost every MBA program has a regional appeal. Be open to understanding what is out there.