Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2018

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Madeline “Maddy” Bourgeois

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Tenacious, passionate entrepreneur and part-time kombucha connoisseur. Aggressively seeking new experiences with an open mind.

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: My best friend is a six-year-old white fluffy rescue pup named Molly. (aka, the new Ross Mascot).

Undergraduate School and Major: Cornell University, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Microsoft, Technical Account Manager

Peach (www.peachd.com), Business Development Manager

Self, Startup Consultant

Ascend Growth Partners (ascendgp.com), Partner

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Leaving Microsoft to help grow a no-name food delivery company called Peach, into an $11,000,000 VC-backed business. As cliche as it sounds, I joined Peach when it was just a few guys working in the tiny back room of a hipster co-working space in downtown Seattle. The ex-Amazon founders appreciated my out-of-the-box ideas and my determination to make Peach a success. We hustled for results around the clock, and our hard work paid off big time. From leading bold walk-in sales efforts to initiatives like stunt marketing campaigns (shooting a confetti gun at an event and giving out branded products), I grew my customer territory from 100 to over 10,000 users and drove growth metrics that helped Peach raise a Series A round of $8 million dollars.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start early, really early. Even if you’re a good test-taker, the GMAT takes a lot of practice to master. During the test, you might feel like you’re going to fail—but if you are able to overcome the mental hurdles, you will succeed. Give yourself the time to visit as many schools as possible before starting your applications to ensure you’re applying to the places you really want to be. Don’t be afraid to follow your heart when evaluating schools; apply to the programs that are authentically the right fit for you, not to the programs you (or others) assume you should be applying to!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Since day one, I’ve felt an unparalleled magnetic attraction towards the Ross community. Ross is unique in its outstanding intention to bring students together, so even before being accepted to Ross I felt like part of the community. It’s incredible that each and every Ross alumni (and Michigan alumni) that I have met shares an intense passion for the school.

I was blown away that Ross provided social channel amongst the interview candidates leading up to the interview day, as well as encouraged us to participate in their well-known group interview exercise. The MAP project, an opportunity to go onsite and work in the field for an international business for 6-8 weeks, was also a clear differentiator at Ross. After studying anthropology and travelling to over 30 countries, I’ve learned the importance of practicing business in a global context. Lastly, the Ross “Happy in Ann Arbor” video stole my heart because it showed me that the Ross community truly valued student life, something that many top schools neglect to focus on.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? That’s a tough question. At 25-years-old, I still have so much left to learn, but I know that it needs to be in a fast-paced, innovative environment. I thrive when tackling new and unique problems and working closely with a team to get there. Dream job one: leading strategy for an entrepreneurial team within a big tech company. Dream job two: being the general manager for a cutting-edge start-up and helping the company scale. Dream job three: working at a top-tier management consulting firm and solving high-impact business problems within the technology vertical. All of these scenarios excite me and would optimize my skills and career growth at this point in my life.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want to be remembered as the girl with the bright energy and bold ideas, who brought people together to accomplish extraordinary things. That I was someone who inspired others to follow their passion and connected people together to create the biggest impact possible.

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