Mary Barra

6 Min Read

Mary Barra, the renowned business executive and the current CEO of General Motors, has achieved remarkable success throughout her career. Many people are curious to know about her educational background and where she pursued her college education. In this article, we will delve into the educational journey of Mary Barra and discover where she went to college.

Early Life and Education

Mary Barra was born on December 24, 1961, in Waterford, Michigan. Growing up in a working-class family, she developed a strong work ethic and determination from a young age. Her parents recognized her potential and encouraged her to pursue her dreams.

Barra attended Waterford Mott High School, where she excelled academically and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. Her passion for engineering and problem-solving became evident during her high school years. This paved the way for her future career in the automotive industry.

Where Did Mary Barra Go to College

After completing high school, Mary Barra decided to pursue her higher education at the General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University). General Motors Institute was renowned for its cooperative education program, which allowed students to alternate between classroom studies and work experience at General Motors.

Barra joined the General Motors Institute in 1979 and enrolled in the electrical engineering program. This decision marked the beginning of her journey towards becoming a prominent figure in the automotive industry. The cooperative education program provided her with valuable real-world experience and a deep understanding of the industry.

Career Progression

Mary Barra’s dedication and exceptional capabilities did not go unnoticed at General Motors. She quickly climbed the corporate ladder and took on various roles within the company. Her determination, combined with her technical expertise, earned her significant promotions and recognition.

Throughout her career, Barra held several key positions at General Motors, including manufacturing engineering, senior staff engineer, plant manager, and executive director of vehicle manufacturing. Each role allowed her to gain valuable insights and knowledge about the intricacies of the automotive industry.

Advanced Education and Development

While working at General Motors, Mary Barra recognized the importance of continuous learning and professional development. She understood that staying ahead in a rapidly evolving industry required advanced knowledge and skills. To further enhance her qualifications, Barra pursued higher education alongside her professional career.

In 1990, she earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. This prestigious degree provided her with a broader understanding of business principles and strategies. Combined with her technical expertise, Barra’s MBA helped her excel in leadership positions within General Motors.

Leadership at General Motors

Mary Barra’s remarkable leadership abilities and extensive industry knowledge led to her appointment as CEO of General Motors in January 2014. This historic appointment made her the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Since then, she has been instrumental in driving General Motors’ growth and success.

As CEO, Barra has implemented various strategic initiatives to transform General Motors into a more innovative and customer-centric company. She has focused on electric and autonomous vehicles, mobility services, and advanced technologies. Her vision and leadership have propelled General Motors towards a future of sustainable mobility.

Mary Barra Net Worth

Mary Barra’s estimated net worth, which stood at $39 million as of August 30, 2023, is primarily attributed to her substantial ownership of General Motors Co (GM) stock. With approximately 1,122,883 shares in the company, her wealth is closely tied to the performance of GM, reflecting her extensive experience and leadership role within the automotive industry.

In Summary

Mary Barra’s educational journey and career progression exemplify the power of determination, hard work, and continuous learning. Starting with her college education at the General Motors Institute, Barra leveraged her technical expertise and passion for the automotive industry to achieve remarkable success.

By pursuing advanced education and embracing professional development opportunities, Barra equipped herself with the skills necessary to excel in leadership positions. Today, she serves as a role model for aspiring business professionals, especially women, who aspire to make a significant impact in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Mary Barra’s journey is a testament to the fact that with the right education, determination, and passion, one can overcome any obstacle and achieve extraordinary success in their chosen field.


Q: Where did Mary Barra go to college?
A: Mary Barra attended the General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University) for her college education.

Q: What program did Mary Barra enroll in at the General Motors Institute?
A: Mary Barra enrolled in the electrical engineering program at the General Motors Institute.

Q: What role did Mary Barra hold at General Motors before becoming CEO?
A: Before becoming CEO, Mary Barra held various roles at General Motors, including manufacturing engineering, senior staff engineer, plant manager, and executive director of vehicle manufacturing.

Q: Did Mary Barra pursue further education and professional development?
A: Yes, Mary Barra recognized the importance of continuous learning and professional development and actively pursued advanced education and development while working at General Motors.