The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business
Hometown: Portland, Oregon / London, England
Pre-MBA Location: Washington, DC
Fun Fact About Yourself: You wouldn’t know this upon meeting me because, unfortunately, I never adopted the mysteriously-cool British accent, but I’ve lived the longest stint of my life in London (10 years) and I’m a dual-citizen.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Richmond, Business Administration Major
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Deloitte Consulting (Washington, D.C.) / Analyst through Senior Consultant
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A couple of years ago, while working in consulting, my team helped a client identify a service offering that was causing them lose money. To fix this issue, I co-led a team to develop and implement a transformation plan to divest out of that service offering. It was challenging to help our client face this tough and bold decision (letting go of a service offering and the customers who go with it is not easy), but it created the opportunity to save $20 million in expenses and is allowing staff to focus on more strategic responsibilities that are core to the company’s mission. This project was particularly significant for me because it demonstrated a company is never too mature or big to make a large-scale change if it’s in the spirit of driving long-term growth —a perspective I’ll hold with me throughout my career.
What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?
Essays: Visit your target schools and meet current students before sitting down to write your essay. It will come so much more naturally (and read in a much more genuine capacity) if you are not pulling facts from the school’s website.
Interviews: Have fun with it! If you’re truly interested in the program, the interview will be a fun process for both you and your interviewer. I spent a good amount of time meeting with current students before my interview, which helped to serve as practice interviews. Lastly, prepare a few questions, but make them real questions. They should be personal questions about experiences (not fact based).
Recommenders: Pick someone who actually knows you and wants to see you succeed. I got coffee with my recommenders multiple times throughout the process and kept them in the loop about why I picked the programs I did – I think it helped them understand why I would be a good fit for the programs I applied to.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? McCombs provided me with the opportunity to pursue my MBA goals within a tight-knit community, while also providing the unlimited learning opportunities that come with being a part of the UT network. Further, I was attracted to Austin’s booming technology and innovative environment. I knew I could develop my network both within the UT community and also within Austin, all the while not taking away from the unique McCombs experience. Throughout the application process, I also grew to simply love the people I met at McCombs, from the admissions staff to the current students. They really made me feel welcomed and excited to potentially join the community. I know that might sound generic, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be inspired and motivated by the people around you, which is what I found with McCombs. Also, breakfast tacos everywhere you look – it’s a wonderland.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? At this point in my life, my dream job would focus on some element of improving operational growth — whether it be to solve operational issues or to launch new revenue-generating innovations. This type of job appeals to me because it requires me to tackle new challenges, work with different people and departments, and focus on a company’s priorities. Further, it would help position me to be a more effective leader of the company long-term, learning both the internal and market facing sides of the business.
What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Gain the fundamentals to launch, run, and sustain a profitable business; obtaining a strong business foundation will help me to be an effective leader no matter the industry or function. Additionally, build a diverse network! I believe this will be one of the most auspicious takeaways from the MBA experience. The opportunity to grow your network in this environment is probably the reason people say business school is the best two years of their lives. It provides a unique chance to meet a group of people, all different, but all eager to learn from each other and grow.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I’d like my peers to say that they see me as a life-long friend and good teammate. Corny? Absolutely. But I truly hope that through school I learn from my peers, and in turn they learn from me, ultimately forming relationships that will lead to making a difference and having fun along the way.