“Employment of top executives is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022. Generally, employment growth will be driven by the formation of new organizations and expansion of existing ones, which will require more managers and executives to direct these operations,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,

(Photo Courtesy of Ana Dutra)

(Photo Courtesy of Ana Dutra)

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Ana Dutra, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Executives’ Club of Chicago, offers some insight on what it takes to be successful in the field of business as a top executive.

How does your experience in formal education relate to your current role?

“By attending schools in different countries, I was able to learn from best-in-class curricula and professors who provided a wide range of knowledge and expertise. As well as benefit from the experiences and cultures from classmates with really diverse backgrounds. After living and working in the United States, I recognized that in order to be successful at my career, I needed to earn an M.B.A.. I became an expert in understanding different businesses cultures, learned how to excel in an increasingly global economy and gained the skills necessary to build diverse leadership teams. My M.B.A. program was of the highest quality and it was invaluable for my professional career.”

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How has your education helped to further your career?

“Each course has helped me to develop different areas that I leverage as a leader. I learned how to think logically and understand global environments. My M.B.A. prepared me to be an effective leader, but also to be a fearless creative thinker.”

What advice can you offer others going into the business field?

“Do the best job you can possibly do, document what you’ve done, don’t hesitate to ask for fair compensation and if you aren’t appreciated for your work, then don’t be afraid to leave. I think the biggest challenge women face while trying to succeed in the business field, is the statistics. Unfortunately, there is still a disproportionately low number of female senior executives. Female leaders need to be confident of their value, own their success and support and encourage other female professionals.”

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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.