2016 MBAs To Watch: Maya Inoue, Brigham Young (Marriott)

Maya Inoue-BYU-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Maya Inoue


Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management  

Age: 27

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Undergraduate School and Degree: Brigham Young University, BS Psychology

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? BrainStorm Inc., Operations Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? PwC, NY

Where will you be working after graduation? PwC, NY, People and Organization Sector – Senior Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School Student Association President; Director of the Social Innovation Solution Competition; Hawes Scholar; Volunteer at Scenic View Academy working with adults with autism; Member of the BYU President Leadership Council

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Recently I was named a Hawes Scholar, the highest distinction given to a MBA student while at school (along with nine other amazing classmates). I was honored that students and faculty members nominated me for this award, which is based on academic performance, leadership maturity, and a commitment to high ethical standards. I was humbled that my leadership efforts had made a positive impact to the program, to my peers, and to others in the MBA community.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During school, I was employed at the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, a center for social innovation housed in the Marriott School. I had the opportunity to co-lead and direct a campus-wide social innovation case competition, taking lead on writing the case and organizing the event. For the competition, we partnered with Fairtrasa, a company that provides development and international market opportunities for small-scale farmers in South America. Not only did I write the main case after flying down to Peru to observe operations, but my co-lead and I expanded the breadth of influence by partnering with another campus-wide organization called the Hunger Banquet. Through these efforts, we were able to increase the exposure of social innovation to over one thousand students and raise awareness of social innovation. It was extremely fulfilling to not only champion such a great organization, but also to create opportunities for others to learn how they could make a difference in the world.

Who is your favorite professor? Kristen DeTienne is a very accomplished and well-published professor who teaches a very popular class called Negotiations. She teaches based on current research, speaks directly to students, and earnestly desires for our success. Despite her busy schedule, she is passionate about helping students and has opened her door to students to speak about practically anything. I’ve gone to her on multiple occasions and received her advice in regards to balancing a career and a family, starting a start-up, and life in general. She has a great perspective on what is important and how we can all fulfill our individual purpose. She is a great example to me of a successful leader, and has given me confidence to accomplish great things in my life.

Favorite MBA Courses? Advanced Corporate Finance, Negotiations, Operations, B2B Marketing, Compensation, and Creative Strategic Thinking

Why did you choose this business school? I attended a women’s dinner hosted by the BYU MBA program during my undergrad. They had a student panel where amazing accomplished women were standing in the front, describing their experience with the program. They were women who were former engineers, school teachers, and business analysts. Through the program, they became leaders who were becoming decision makers at various organizations. The thought came to me: “I want that.” At the end, there was a keynote speaker named Carine Clark, who was the CMO of Symantec at the time. She shared her experience about the BYU MBA program and the opportunities it provided her. She even related it to how getting a MBA has helped her in every aspect of her life, from her work, to her family, to her battle with cancer. The desire to get a BYU MBA grew even more because I knew that it would be a holistic degree that would help me to accomplish more in my life. I wanted to become a female leader like those I met that night. That’s why I set my eyes on the BYU MBA Program. It helped that there’s an amazing organizational behavior curriculum as well as a fantastic ROI!

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed working beside peers who are now lifelong friends that I respect and admire. These peers include those in my class, the class below me, and MBAs from other universities. There are so many amazing people who want to make a difference in the world. I know that they will be influencers and leaders who will impact the world in a very positive way. I’ve learned so much from their leadership and their multiple talents, and I’m grateful that our friendship doesn’t end when we graduate.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Never underestimate what you or anyone can do and don’t be afraid to try something new. There will be those who will help you along the way if you ask for it.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I thought my peers would be intense individuals who wanted to get rich. That’s what is portrayed by the media about those who go into business. However, I was very wrong. Through my interactions with my classmates and also other MBAs from various schools, I realized that my peers are individuals who want to effect change in whatever organization they are part of and have a passion to do so. They come from various backgrounds, from the military, to theater, to corporate finance, who’ve come to school to become better influencers in the world that we live in.

What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school for me was juggling all of my commitments while pursuing things I wanted to do. There were case competitions that I wanted to do, events I wanted to attend, and classes I wanted to take. I had learn how to prioritize what was most important to me, which at times was difficult. However, I learned that it was necessary to do so, and that is an important skill I’ll be taking into the workplace.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? GMAT and your work experience are important, but the BYU MBA program looks at the total package. They look to produce future leaders, so go out and make a difference in the communities you are a part of. Be someone who people rely on and reach out to help others, and I am sure that you will gain experiences that will help you in school.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I realized that I could make a difference in the world better and faster if I had a MBA.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… getting a graduate degree in organizational behavior or applied social psychology.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire my mother, who immigrated to Hawaii married with three kids. While raising us, she started a company, Ribbon Productions, which helped Japanese tourists. She worked long hours to make her company successful while being an amazing mother. She constantly innovated her service offerings, grew her business in Hawaii and Japan, and became very successful. Now, she’s starting a nonprofit to help in the education sector. She just doesn’t stop. She taught me dedication, hard work, and valuable skills for the workplace. I would like to be a strong woman like her one day whom her employees admire and look up to as a leader, and whom I look up to as a mother.

What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to one day start a school for those in low-income households and provide opportunities to them through their hard work and diligence. It may look similar to a charter school model, but I would like to explore other models and make a school that has a replicable model so that it can be created in other areas as well. I want to be someone who provides opportunities because I do believe that anyone can be successful as long as he or she has the right tools and support.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? There are so many who have inspired me to be better and make my mark in the world. My success is the result of people believing in me and encouraging me to be an influencer, a change maker, and a leader. That is why I attribute much of my success to those I’ve met the past two years. My peers have rallied around me and supported me as a leader. The administration has been more than willing to work with me to change policies and make the program even better. The alumni have given me opportunities to exercise the skills and talents I’ve gained in the workplace. I am grateful for the program, and grateful that I was able to receive my MBA from the BYU Marriott School. The people I’ve met have made an astoundingly positive impact in my life and have made me a better individual and leader.

Fun fact about yourself: I was a competitive gymnast until I was 16 and can still do some flips

Favorite book: The Rainmaker by John Grisham

Favorite movie: Remember the Titans

Favorite musical performer: Michael Jackson

Favorite television show: “Sherlock”

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in the mountains

Hobbies? Photography (mainly love capturing people’s smiles), eating new ethnic foods (right now I love Middle Eastern food!), and golf

What made Maya such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Maya was an invaluable addition to the MBA Class of 2016 through her strong leadership as president of the MBA Student Association. Maya was a strong voice on behalf of the students and she was instrumental in building a culture of professionalism and mentoring. As a student, Maya was an invaluable addition to the classes she took and her participation made the classes better through the insights and experience she brought into the classroom. Maya’s peers look up to her because of her strong values and powerful presence while her professors respect her because of her keen intellect and impressive leadership skills.”

Kristen Bell DeTienne

Alice B. Jones Professor of Organizational Leadership and Strategy

Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management



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