The Stereotype-Defying MBAs In The Class of 2018

Alicia Flanagan

Alicia Jane Flanagan

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m an ambitious explorer with an unwavering resolve who values experiences as much as results.

Hometown: Missoula, MT

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have logged more than 100 open-water dives across three continents

Undergraduate School and Major: Arizona State University. Biology, BS


Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

• Asset Creation – General Manager

• U.S. Coast Guard

o Coast Guard Cutter ESCANABA, Deck Watch Officer

o Maritime Safety & Security Team Boston, Deployable Team Leader

o Maritime Safety & Security Team Boston, Executive Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led the Coast Guard’s Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) response to the Boston Marathon Bombings and helped restore order to Boston’s port. Following the DSF’s establishment post-9/11, the program highlighted the team’s specialized capabilities, the ability to integrate within the Incident Command System structure, and coordination between governmental agencies.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? You are not defined solely by your GMAT and GPA. Before you start your applications, put pen to paper and reflect upon your own values, experiences and accomplishments. Everyone in b-school is a rock star, so refrain from trying to be like someone else. Identify and separate those unique factors that make you who you are.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose Johnson due to the flexibility of the program, its robust leadership programs both inside and outside the classroom, and the faculty. Johnson provides MBA candidates with the opportunity to take courses within Cornell’s other programs providing an invaluable opportunity to diversify the MBA curriculum. Furthermore, I immediately felt part of the Johnson family even before I received my admissions decision. Throughout the process, I truly felt that the staff got to know me, which is a real testament to the inclusivity of both the program and the university.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job is to be assigned to the Office of Congressional Affairs within the U.S. Coast Guard. Following completion of the MBA program and assignment as a government Financial Manager, I plan to serve in a position where I will have an opportunity to emphasize Coast Guard matters in a tight budget environment and bring the Service’s perspective to the process of drafting and passing legislation.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want my peers to remember that I was involved, excelled, and achieved an appreciable change in my leadership capabilities.

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