Walsh

From Fashion to Automotive: The Power of a Walsh Degree

In the automotive dealer business, it’s all about getting people on the road. When Katie Bowman Coleman (MSF ’96) graduated from high school, her road led her far away from the Chevrolet dealership owned by her father.

“I wanted to work in the fashion and retail industry,” said Coleman. “I went off to New York and Australia to work for Ralph Lauren and it was a great experience for me.”

But as time went by, Coleman realized that she wanted to come back to Michigan. “The metro Detroit area was where I wanted to be.” The road took Coleman back to her father’s Chevrolet dealership in Clarkston where she enjoyed being able to use her retail and communication experience. Eventually, Coleman realized that she needed experience in accounting and finance.

“It’s really the language of business,’ said Coleman. “To communicate with banks, vendors and other business people, you had to learn how to speak business.”

Coleman enrolled at Walsh initially to take a few courses but soon realized that what she was getting was beneficial to her success as a professional. She graduated in 1996 with a Master of Science in Finance degree.

“Having a degree from Walsh became important to me. It was relatively fast and I was able to fit work and study into my personal schedule,” said Coleman. “The case studies in finance made reading and interpreting statements easier and my confidence grew.”

She was impressed that her professors were not only instructors, but finance professionals in the field. Coleman became Owner and President of Bowman Chevrolet in 2011. Her advice for women thinking about going into the financial profession is to go for it.

“Having a degree from Walsh became important to me. It was relatively fast and I was able to fit work and study into my personal schedule,” said Coleman. “The case studies in finance made reading and interpreting statements easier and my confidence grew.”

“You have the ability,“ said Coleman, “and if you are managing your personal finances, you’ve already got some experience."

“A finance degree is extremely versatile. It can lead to a successful career in the financial services industry, or can help any entrepreneur run a successful business.”





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