Learn How Interior Designer Kristin Corley Revamped Her Career With an Executive MBA.

Kristin Corley, Auburn Executive MBA, Class of 2008. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

For working professionals wanting to boost their careers, an executive MBA allows you to learn valuable business skills without interrupting your career or personal life. Just ask Kristin Corley, a local professional who transformed her interior design career with the skills and knowledge earned through the Auburn Executive MBA program.

What is an Executive MBA?

Photo via Auburn Harbert School of Business on Facebook

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is designed to help graduates better understand the ways a business functions. An MBA is an incredibly versatile degree that gives you the knowledge and confidence to make information based, budget-related decisions regardless of job title or business model. 

But for many working professionals, an MBA—with its two-year, full-time class schedule—simply isn’t feasible. That’s where an Executive MBA shines.

Tailored to professionals with eight or more years of progressive experience, the Auburn Executive MBA program utilizes the significant knowledge and experience of students to ground business principles and theory with examples of real-world application. The program blends intensive residencies with distance courses for the best of both worlds—classroom instruction that provides interaction with faculty and peers and online learning that offers the flexibility to balance career, family and rigorous education. This delivery model binds students into a tight-knit cohort that later becomes a professional network offering benefits long after graduation. 

Kristin Corley, 2008 Auburn EMBA graduate

Kristin outside her office at BL Harbert International. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

To learn more about Auburn’s EMBA program, we spoke with alumnus Kristin Corley, Class of 2008. Prior to pursuing an EMBA, Kristin graduated from Auburn with a degree in interior design. After working several years in a local firm, Kristin realized that expanding her understanding of business strategy and finance would be helpful in her career. So she began looking for a program that could help fill that gap in her skill set.

For Kristin, the Auburn EMBA program checked all the boxes. At the time, she was balancing her work schedule and taking care of her four-year-old, so a traditional program was out of the question.

How did the Auburn EMBA fit in with your work schedule?

Kristin: “Auburn’s EMBA program is perfectly tailored for people in my situation—working professionals that don’t have the time capacity for standard classes. That flexibility allowed me to work on class projects on Saturday mornings, rather than trying to find time to be in a classroom each day. And since the program is online, it didn’t require students to be in the area. In fact, I believe only three people in my class actually lived in Alabama.”

Kristin Corley in her office at BL Harbert International. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

For Kristin, one of her most valuable takeaways was the improvement of her communication skills. The Auburn EMBA taught Kristin how to

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Kristin Cavallari’s New Kitchen Pantry Is Every Type-A Organizer’s Dream Come True

From Delish

Kristin Cavallari gave us a tour of her brand new home kitchen and her pantry, and the items she keeps around are perfect for cooking, baking, and snacking. The Very Cavallari star has plans to change some things around in her new space since she just moved in about three months ago, but so far everything looks like an absolute dream.

The main alteration Kristin hopes to make for her kitchen is turning the stovetop into a full stove range so she can have another oven in her space. She cooks every day, so the extra space would be helpful when she prepares meals. Kristin also makes it a point to leave some things out and about her space.

“I love when kitchens look lived in because that’s real life so I always kind of have stuff out,” she said as she showed off the countertop next to the stove. This is where she keeps olive oil, coconut oil, pink Himalayan salt, truffle salt, a copper tea kettle, and a her Dutch oven.

Her pantry is one of her favorite spots, though, and there’s even a ladder so she can reach the top of her shelves for whatever she needs. There’s a sweetener section where she keeps everything from maple syrup to real honeycomb (the latter of which she likes to add to charcuterie boards). Right beside that, Kristin keeps her vitamins and minerals, chickpea and buckwheat pasta, and black rice.

Things you’ll never find in her pantry include white salt, white sugar, and white flour Instead, she’ll cook with substitutes like oat or coconut flour and natural sweeteners. One of her favorite alternatives is the Birch Benders paleo banana pancakes. Kristin likes to cook with these sorts of ingredients and keeps a lot of her meals gluten-free, and thankfully she’s sharing some of her gluten-free comfort food recipes in her recently released cookbook True Comfort.

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We Got An Exclusive Tour of Kristin Cavallari’s Gorgeous Kitchen

Cookbook author, designer, and TV personality Kristin Cavallari welcomed us into her home for an exclusive tour of her stunning kitchen—and we’re obsessed.

Prominently displayed on her counter is Cavallari’s new collection of natural, wholesome, healthy comfort food recipes, True Comfort.

The brand new cookbook couldn’t have come at a better time. As the weather cools off and the leaves begin to fall, we’re inspired to try all of the cozy creations (Oat Crust Chicken Pot Pie, anyone?).

Buy it! $17, amazon.com

“There’s been this stigma that comfort food is really fattening and heavy, like a cheat meal,” she says. “But I actually disagree. I think if you mix in really healthy ingredient swaps you can eat that stuff every single day.”

Here are some other highlights:

  • A classic copper tea kettle (Cavallari says she gravitates toward copper kitchen accessories) and a simple Le Creuset dutch oven ($290, williams-sonoma.com) sit atop her spacious stovetop. We’re pretty sure the kettle comes from Cavallari’s very own home, jewelry, and apparel brand, Uncommon James, but you can find some slightly cheaper options online ($50, amazon.com).
  • Cavallari subscribes to Dry Farm Wines, which sells natural, organic, or Biodynamic wines. We hadn’t heard of this company until recently, but we’re super intrigued (and we think you will be too). Read more about Dry Farm Wines here.
  • Cavallari’s three kids have no problem helping her in the kitchen, thanks in part to this handy dandy kitchen helper stool ($169, amazon.com). The adjustable Guidecraft product, which helps small children reach the countertop, creates a safe and fun environment for tiny chefs.

Thanks so much for the tour and the kitchen inspiration, Kristin! Keep up with Kristin on Instagram and explore Uncommon James here. Plus, don’t forget to check out her new cookbook!

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