Gary Dixon | Master of Business Administration, 2000 | Director, account management, marketing and sales, aerospace division, Honeywell International
Nervous Experience | “I remember sitting in [associate MBA dean] Jim Brodzinski’s office during the interview for the X.M.B.A. program and thinking ‘How will I ever get through this program?’ ” Dixon says. “And now it’s been more than four years, three jobs and two promotions since then.”
Experiencing the East | As an XMBA student, Dixon participated in a trip to Asia, an experience he counts as one of his most valuable. “It’s surprising how this helps me today. It allows me to engage in discussions with executives from that region as well as those who have worked and lived there.”
Early Experiences | Dixon received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and operation research from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. He then worked as a marketing representative for IBM, a sales representative for General Electric and an account team leader for Honeywell—his position at the time he attended the University.
An Enron Experience | After leaving the University and earning a position in Honeywell’s widely known president’s club for sales leadership, Dixon became the focus of an aggressive recruiting campaign by the Houston-based energy firm Enron. He ultimately joined the company and was placed in charge of selling energy outsourcing programs to industrial customers. “The people I worked with were first-rate and impressive,” he says. “Unfortunately, a few people caused the downfall of what was an example of a great company.”
The Value of Experience | Dixon was at Enron for only a few months before it collapsed. “The wisdom that I gained was to trust your gut,” he says. “If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Even after accepting the job offer, the economics and mechanics of how ‘this all worked’ didn’t make sense to me and many others. I’m reminded of the saying, ‘All that glitters is not gold.’ ”
Better Experiences | Dixon joined the Gas Technology Institute, which develops solutions for the gas and energy industry. There he handled business development for the Houston market. But the allure of Honeywell remained strong, ultimately calling Dixon to his current position in Phoenix. “I have multimillion dollar revenue responsibility,” he says, “and I work with an outstanding team of professionals.”