2015 MBA To Watch: Anna Rawson

Anna Rawson

(Courtesy Golf Digest)

Anna Rawson


Columbia Business School

Business school draws all types…teachers, activists, artists…and even pro athletes. And that’s one calling card for Aussie Anna Rawson, a member of the LPGA tour who won an NCAA championship as an amateur at USC. But don’t expect her golf (and modeling) career to ultimately define her. An entrepreneur, Rawson worked during her time at Columbia to build her own startup, participating in the Greenhouse startup accelerator program. At the same time, she has generously given back to her classmates. “I am glad and proud that she is on the CBS team,” writes Amanda Carlson, the assistant dean of admissions at Columbia Business School. “She makes those around her even better with her care and mentorship.”

Age: 33

Hometown: Adelaide, South Australia

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California

Undergraduate Degree: BA Communications

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? LPGA Tour – professional golfer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? My own startup – MARA Essentials

Where will you be working after graduation? My own startup – MARA Essentials

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…Augusta national golf club announced the first women members. I was so inspired by their achievements and I knew right there and then I wanted to do similar things in business while still maintaining a connection to golf.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…struggling to start my own company.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I hope to sell my company and then use the valuable experience of founding and operating to transition into VC – that’s if I don’t want to start another company!

Favorite Courses: Entrepreneurial Finance, Entrepreneurial Greenhouse, Internet Wars, Healthcare Investment and Entrepreneurship, VC Angel deals, Marketing of Luxury Products.

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I am most proud of working on a startup during school yet still being able to enjoy the academics and social components of business school. I guess you could say I had a well-rounded experience although not a lot of sleep! I am also proud that I am taking a risk trying to launch my own company and not going with the status quo when I graduate.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? So many people have helped me in so many ways – hard to choose just one – but I think my grandfather Ken Rawson was a huge influence on my drive and desire to make an impact on the world. He would always ask me what have I achieved this week? And since then I have never stopped trying to achieve!

Why did you choose this business school? I choose Columbia because of its amazing world-wide reputation and strong academics and because I wanted to build an east coast network and have access to many of the leaders in NYC.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? Giving my CBS matters to my cluster. I received so many thank you notes from people who said they were really inspired from hearing my personal story.

Fun fact about yourself: I won a modeling competition when I was 15!

Favorite book: Taking People with You – David Novak

Favorite movie: Gladiator

Favorite musical performer: Taylor Swift

Favorite television show: Breaking Bad

Favorite vacation spot: Hualālai, Hawaii

What are your hobbies? Yoga, tennis, wine, watching live sports

Twitter Handle: @theannarawson

What made Anna such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Magnetic. Motivated. Bright. Street smart. Kind.  These are all words that immediately spring to mind when thinking about Anna.

Anna joined CBS in Fall 2013 with the passion, ambition and drive of a seasoned entrepreneur. Anna identifies and creates opportunities like no one I have ever met.

Upon meeting Anna, I knew immediately that she would be a beloved classmate for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is her ability to collaborate, share, and inspire.  Anna is driven, and acutely aware that she is part of a larger community. She is a caretaker and a nurturer. I am glad and proud that she is on the CBS team; she makes those around her even better with her care and mentorship.

When Anna Rawson’s application crossed my desk, I immediately knew one of the very few spots we had remaining in the class was for Anna. Anna has the ideas, the talent, the ability to cultivate relationships and the ambition to achieve whatever she sets her sights on. She has and will continue to make Columbia proud. She is a ‘must have’ and I strongly suspect we have only seen a sliver of Anna’s talents.  The sky is the limit for Anna and I cannot wait to watch her thrive at Columbia and beyond. – Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions


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