Business Degree Not Just Button Down, UALR MBA Proves

Bundled up in a severe weather parka at the bottom of the Earth, Ciara Spillane is scoffing at the notion that a College of Business education is all executive office suites and Brooks Brothers suits.

This market researcher who studied business marketing and graduated from UALR’s MBA program is now managing inventory at a National Science Foundation polar research station in Antarctica. Ciara Spillane

Spillane is working for five months as an inventory manager for Raytheon Polar Services under contract to support research being done by the National Science Foundation in Antarctica.

“I first heard about the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) from a friend and further inquired into the program before completing my graduate degree in August of 2010,” Spillane said.Ciara 1

Raytheon Polar Services Co. is contracted directly to the Antarctic Program, which exists specifically to meet the needs of the NSF, include sustaining the Antarctic environment as well as funding the scientists conducting research on the ice.

“Ultimately, I was entranced by the environmental poignancy of the vast white expanses at the bottom of the world, which led me to begin a job in inventory management,” Spillane said.

Why Antarctica? “Overall, I wanted the job experience, I wanted the life experience, and I wanted the program on my resume,” she said.Ciara

A 2004 graduate of Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, Spillane studied both chemistry and ballet in high school.

An intrepid traveler, Spillane grew up in Little Rock, but counts as a second hometown the Irish city of Nenagh, County Tipperary, where her extended family lives. Her interest include dancing and reading, but most importantly, traveling. Ciara Spillane

“By April 2011, I hoped to have set foot on my seventh continent,” Spillane said.

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