Columbia Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Confident and charismatic former competitive gymnast from Texas with a desire to bring people together
Hometown: Houston, TX
Fun Fact About Yourself: Just before sitting down to answer these questions, I swam with a shark while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard, High Honors in Sociology, Secondary in Economics
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Bain & Company – Associate Consultant; Direct Energy – Senior Analyst, Transformation Management Office
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During my second year at Bain, I had the opportunity to provide analytical and literary support for our gender parity study, “Everyday Moments of Truth: Frontline Managers Are Key to Women’s Career Aspirations,” which was presented at the 2015 Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum. I wrote my senior thesis in college about the intersectionality of race and gender in the workplace, so it was exciting to be able to use my newfound Bain analytical toolkit to tackle a social issue I’m passionate about from a different angle. As a management consultant, each case is a new opportunity to leave a lasting and tangible impact on some of our world’s most important businesses and I am fortunate to have supported efforts that resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings and innovative solutions to complicated business problems. However, at this stage in my career, I view this internal gender parity project as my biggest and proudest professional accomplishment to date. It solidified my passion to continue working to reduce workplace inequality throughout my career and motivated me to pursue a post-MBA role focused on people operations.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Give yourself time to write and re-write your essays…and write and re-write them again. Though the topics I chose to write about for my essays largely remained the same throughout the application process, the essays I ended up submitting were completely different than the first drafts I started with. I actually found the writing and revision process to be a very cathartic experience that forced me to dig into not only why I wanted to go to business school, but also why now was the right time for me to apply. Give yourself the time to reflect and revise. Of course, it will result in a stronger application, but it’s also one of the few opportunities many of us get for structured introspection and self-assessment. Viewing the essays as much as an opportunity for you to learn about yourself as they are for the schools to learn about you will make the process infinitely more enjoyable and less stressful.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? In fear of sounding entirely too cliché, it just felt right. I knew I wanted to be in New York – Columbia’s location puts it at the very center of business, a catchy tagline that is actually true. As someone who is switching careers, the ease of access to thousands of companies, industries, and alumni just a quick subway ride away made Columbia my top choice.
Secondly, and arguably most importantly, I had an extremely positive and personalized experience throughout Columbia’s application process. I was fortunate enough to attend information sessions in multiple cities, visit campus for Columbia’s Diversity Matters event (my favorite admissions event of any school I attended) and make personal relationships with alumni and admissions officers throughout the process. Columbia really stood out to me as the place where I wasn’t just another applicant in a sea of talented individuals. I truly felt like I found the place where I could excel and be a valued contributor to the MBA class.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I am incredibly passionate about pursuing a career in people operations or human resources, a path often not initially considered by most MBA candidates. However, trends across the industry show and experts agree as to the increasingly critical nature of the HR function. I intend to be on the forefront of the transformative changes happening in this space. Human resources is predicated on understanding the value of bridging business needs with organizational culture and it is widely accepted that businesses are more successful when they are more diverse. Personally, what excites me about human resources is the opportunity to provide avenues for women and minorities to feel motivated and supported to excel to management positions in business. My dream job would allow me to focus on attracting and retaining top talent in an effort to increase and refine the emphasis that businesses place on the experiences and potential of their most valuable resource, their employees.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I took advantage of every aspect of Columbia’s MBA program – academically, professionally and personally. I want to be seen as someone who brought their full self into the program and successfully completed a truly transformative, once in a lifetime experience.