10 Women From the Class of 2018 To Watch

Victoria Yunger / University of Chicago (Booth): It starts with mission. For Yunger, it was empowering teens by offering affordable style advice. Missions can be fulfilled in many forms. For hers, Yunger drew from digital media, creating a fashion blog called The Secrets that quickly turned into a runaway success. “My blog became a sensation in Israel, igniting a conversation about fashion and consumerism. The community impact was so significant that my blog was crowned “Best Fashion Blog” by top Israeli magazine and was featured in local and global media, such as Vogue.”

Attending Booth with her husband Oren, Yunger remains enamored with digital marketing, with an eye towards branching into brand management. Like a good marketer, she encourages future MBA applicants to sell their story as much as their skill sets. “I suggest focusing on a holistic approach of storytelling in your applications, and especially on how the different pieces of your life complement each other. In my eyes, your story components don’t have to be picture-perfect in order for you to be a great storyteller. Thus, if you tackle an essay that allows self-expression through elements other than text, dive into the creative waters and go big.”

Daphne Hemily / University of Toronto (Rotman): How is this for negotiating a complicated deal? As a Project Coordinator, Hemily oversaw the handover of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in war-torn South Sudan. It was process that included sensitive talks with, in Hemily’s words, four United Nations Organizations, nine NGOs, national, state and municipal government officials, community leaders and militia.”

Impossible you say? Not with Hemily at the helm. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, hospital supervisors were trained and the nearly 50,000 annual patients “received continued quality care throughout the handover and beyond.” The icing on the cake? The project was completed within the $1.5 million dollar budget.”

What’s next for this Toronto native and McGill grad? Forget the diplomatic corps. Hemily hopes to find her way into consulting, where she can help solve even more complex challenges. In the meantime, Hemily will content herself with crossing more items off her bucket list, which is to visit as many countries as her age. “So far, I’m on track,” she gushes. “Highlights have included: A) Bike touring on two continents, including across four West African countries; B) Studying on four continents; C) Celebrating weddings in five countries; and D) Working or volunteering in ten countries.”

Elizabeth Blotky / USC (Marshall): Elizabeth Blotky was living the dream. A Harvard grad who led her volleyball team to its first-ever Ivy League title, Blotky squeezed her way into the rarified world of high fashion. Starting at Polo Ralph Lauren, she climbed the ranks, eventually re-locating to the United Kingdom to become the Commercial and Marketing Director at Clemency London, a luxury women’s brand. She was in demand, with access to top models, stylists, photographers, and personalities. Oh, and she was in the thick of the action at Paris Fashion Week too.

What’s could possibly be wrong with that picture? Blotky simply wasn’t happy. Rather than slap on a brave face and ignore her gut, she took the road less (if ever) traveled. “I made the difficult decision to uproot my life after tremendous soul-searching, in the pursuit of a totally different path,” she explains. “Driven by a profound yearning to have a career where I felt I had personally changed someone’s life for the better, I felt a calling toward the field of medicine. My intuition about a need for change was quickly confirmed when I began volunteering at a hospital in London.”

Indeed, Blotky’s decision required more than courage. It also came with great sacrifice. She completed Columbia University’s premed program before re-locating to Los Angeles to complete medical school at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, “in each instance enduring a long-distance marriage,” she adds. In the end, the decision made her whole. “The transformational experience has left me stronger,” she emphasizes. “Having the courage to question my status quo was not easy especially as I knew it would impact not just my own life. Turning my back on the easy life I knew in favor of the financial, emotional, and locational uncertainty that came with pursuing my dream of a career in medicine was truly daunting. However, this experience taught me the importance of trusting my instincts as it proved to be the right decision and one that I welcome every day.”

Now earning a dual MD-MBA in her third year of medical school, Blotky hopes her MBA prepares her to be a leader in the field of pediatric medicine. “The values of collaboration, leadership, communication, and strategy are directly applicable to both medicine and business,” she points out. Not to mention, the MBA program makes for great networking. “I also would love eventually take care of some Trojan kiddos as their family’s physician,” she cracks.

Impressed? Here is a sample of other women from the Class of 2018 who are poised to make a big difference after earning their MBAs (if not before):

Kristina Köpke / Cornell University (Johnson) 

Hannah Rose Ford / Duke University (Fuqua)

Sofia Rodriguez / Duke University (Fuqua)

Jiyoung (Jeannie) Goo / Georgetown: University (McDonough)

Dana Weinstein / Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Natasha Korgaonkar / Columbia Business School

Aastha Pitalia/ London Business School

Ximena Galvez / London Business School

Emily Burchinow / Yale School of Management

Shayna Kuper / Indiana University (Kelley)

Amanda Parker / U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)

Anna Goldberg / UCLA (Anderson)

Joyce Truong / UCLA (Anderson)

Jodine Gordon / Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Jessica Jennings / University of Michigan (Ross)

Thais Hernandez / University of Michigan (Ross)

Madeline “Maddy” Bourgeois / University of Michigan (Ross)

Will Sripakdeevong / MIT (Sloan)

Claudia Kampel / INSEAD

Ioana Calcev / Wharton School

Adwoa Konadu Perbi / Wharton School

Wynne Evans / Wharton School

Gabriella Terranova / Ohio State University (Fisher)

Carys Petrie / Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Ashley Hemphill / University of Texas (McCombs)

Daniela Bertolla Rocha Aboud / USC (Marshall)

Ana María Ñungo / Oxford (Said)

Dr. Toyosi Aiyelabola / University of Toronto (Rotman)

Tess Cecil-Cockwell / University of Toronto (Rotman)

Courtney Wenneborg / University of Washington (Foster)

Reghenae Simmons / Arizona State University (W. P. Carey)

Shammi Quddus / Stanford GSB



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.