2015 Best MBAs: Taylor Mallard

Taylor Mallard - UNC (Great Wall)-PoetsAndQuants (1)

Taylor Mallard


University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

Entrepreneurs are those who don’t rely on precedents and shy away from obstacles. Instead, they can envision a better world and have the courage to bring it to life. In that sense, Taylor Mallard is a true entrepreneur. At Kenan-Flagler, Mallard left her legacy by launching its Social Impact Summer Grants (SISG) program, which provides stipends to free students up to perform more socially conscious work. She also developed a Shark Tank competition for grade school students to expose them to business concepts at a younger age. In student government, Mallard was an executive board member and vice president of community work. She also earned several fellowships, as well as the school’s Leadership Core Value Award, which honors teamwork, integrity, and community work.

Age: 30

Hometown: Erdenheim, PA

Undergraduate School: UNC-Chapel Hill

Undergraduate Degree: Environmental Studies with a Coaching minor

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Oboz Footwear, Marketing Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? The Clorox Company, Oakland, California

Where will you be working after graduation? Burt’s Bees, Associate Marketing Manager

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that business is a powerful vehicle for solving some of our world’s biggest challenges.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…skiing, climbing, and hiking Montana’s mountains.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I have the long term goal of using my business skills to help alleviate some of the most challenging and ingrained problems – such as poverty and gender inequality – in an international context.

Favorite Courses: Sustainability Leadership Capstone, Marketing Analytics, and Sales, Improvisation

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I’m most proud of my work in developing and launching the Social Impact Summer Grants (SISG) program. SISG will allow MBA students who are interested in using their MBA skillset to make a difference to pursue their career aspirations during their summer internship for many years to come. In addition to the positive aspects of the program itself, I’m also proud of my ability to overcome challenges and obstacles to gain support from all stakeholders as well as our small student team’s ability to work together tirelessly to improve UNC Kenan-Flagler’s ability to support sustainability-minded students more effectively.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? My parents instilled a handful of core values into me from a young age: commitment, positivity, selflessness, and service. These values have allowed me to be successful and also to be happy through whatever crazy adventures I find.

Why did you choose this business school? The main reason I choose to go to UNC Kenan-Flagler was the culture of the Tar Heel community. The day I visited the school, both a professor and current student went out of their way to give me their entire day so I could understand what UNC Kenan-Flagler is all about. This generosity of time and openness with answers to my questions showed me that the people that make up UNC Kenan-Flagler are the ones that I want to call my professional family.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I most enjoyed the global experiences I gathered through business school. I was able to learn about corporate social responsibility in Denmark, entrepreneurship in East Asia, and off-grid solar in India. Through these experiences, I have grown from an academic standpoint, but also personally and feel confident that I received a truly global education.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? Meeting local people while wandering through a small village in southern India and recognizing the mutual appreciation and fascination of the other’s culture.

Fun fact about yourself: On a whim, I decided to change my name in college to one that I thought of within five seconds.

Favorite book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Favorite movie: The Great Gatsby

Favorite musical performer: Ray Charles

Favorite television show: Parks and Recreation

Favorite vacation spot: the mountains of Nepal

What are your hobbies? Playing soccer, rock climbing, cheering on the Tar Heels and Philadelphia Eagles, traveling, and making jewelry

Twitter Handle: @TaylorKMallard

What makes Taylor Mallard an invaluable addition to the Class of 2015?

“Taylor Mallard is a true servant-leader and an invaluable member of the Class of 2015.  In her many activities, she focuses on what is best for her classmates and the school.  She does not seem to even consider how all of her hard work will help her career – and this approach to leadership earned her the Leadership Core Value Award last year.

In many ways, Taylor exemplifies the sense of community we pride ourselves on at UNC Kenan-Flagler. From her first days here she fostered community both inside and outside the classroom, within the UNC Kenan-Flagler community and in the greater Chapel Hill community. She sought to befriend and know everyone in the class.

Additionally, she gives of her many talents and time to contribute to our school, university and town. She accomplished the many tasks associated with the roles of VP of Community Service and Kenan Institute Leadership Fellow in an exemplary manner.

Taylor is an entrepreneur. She started two programs while here that will continue into the future:

  • She led the way for the MBA Program to create the Social Impact Summer Grants Program that will fund students on summer internships with sustainability- and social impact-focused organizations.  
  • She co-founded the Global Scholars Academy Start-up Challenge, which involves five weeks of teaching culminating in a Shark Tank like competition for students in local elementary schools.

Taylor is a champion of sustainability at UNC Kenan-Flagler. She played a leading role in working with the MBA Program and faculty to further infuse environmental and social sustainability perspectives into the core courses. She also worked with the associate dean in charge of finance and facilities to make UNC Kenan-Flagler an even more environmentally-conscious organization.

Taylor is dedicated, motivated, tenacious, hardworking, thoughtful, diplomatic and caring. Each year, there are a few students who seem to have a positive impact on everything they touch – and Taylor is one of those exemplary students!”

– Sridhar Balaubramanian, Associate Dean of the MBA Program and Professor of Marketing

Best of 2015

The Story: Class of 2015: The World’s Best & Brightest MBAs

The Complete List: The 50 Most Exceptional MBAs of 2015


Katie Benintende: Making A Difference At UC-Berkeley’s Haas School

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.