2017 MBAs To Watch: Sabrina Hamilton, Indiana University (Kelley)

Sabrina Hamilton

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

“Energetic, passionate, and motivated leader who aspires to improve the health of people across the world.”

Age: 30

Hometown: McAllen, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: I like to mix adventure with my international travel. I have been bungee jumping in Thailand, trapezing in Australia, paragliding in Turkey, and trekking in Peru.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Boston University, Bachelor of Science in Journalism

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Marketing Coordinator at Eating Recovery Center

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Marketing MBA Intern at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN

Where will you be working after graduation? Marketing Consultant at Eli Lilly

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • MBA Association Student Government Vice President of Professional Development
  • Healthcare Club Co-Founder
  • Consortium Fellowship Recipient
  • Me, Inc. Program Co-Facilitator
  • Hoosier Host
  • 1st Place, Life Sciences Academy Team Case Competition Spring 2016
  • 1st Place, Life Sciences Academy Team Case Competition Fall 2017
  • Leadership Academy Peer & Team Coach
  • February Student Recognition Award, “Excellence” (Nominated by Peers)
  • Kelley Women’s Day Chair

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the positive impact that I had through my leadership role as Vice President of Professional Development for our student government association. I coordinated student professional development office hours, mock interview super days, and a variety of informational sessions to help classmates best prepare to achieve their professional aspirations. I enjoyed building connections between first and second year students, and strengthening the strong culture of students paying it forward here at Kelley.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of leading the launch of a new retail channel with an e-commerce site, product development and marketing strategy for Wes-Tex Printing, a wholesale printing company based in Texas. I was a young leader in the company, and this retail channel initiative was a new direction for the company. There were plenty of challenges and setbacks with this launch, but I learned a lot about myself as a leader, and ultimately helped direct a new long-term direction for the organization.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Rockney Walters is awesome! He teaches Market Based Analysis and Pricing, and brings a wealth of knowledge and fun into the classroom. He created a learning environment that was dynamic and engaging, and inspired me to be a thoughtful, analytical businessperson.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA Course was my Marketing Strategy Practicum, where I worked with a team to develop market entry strategy recommendations for GE Water in new international markets. Our team interviewed GE executives from the U.S., Africa, Middle East and Europe, analyzed data and research, and then presented to senior GE executives. The biggest insight I gained about business was the importance of cross-collaboration among different divisions and countries to identify best practices and opportunities to develop a recommendation to senior leaders.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Kelley because – after visiting and talking to current students – I felt I would be the best version of myself here. The Kelley program is full of motivated, intelligent, humble and helpful students. I was excited about many of the programs (such as: Me, Inc., GLOBASE, and Leadership, Business Marketing and Life Sciences Academies), and how they would help me to achieve my personal and professional goals. 

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I most enjoyed setting a new vision for both my career and life. Through a myriad of experiences during business school, I gained a greater sense of myself and the kind of leader I hope to continue to be. I came to business school to have more purpose and impact in my career, and I am excited to continue pursuing my passions with my MBA.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? I was most surprised by how quickly I gained a new family! The MBA program is incredibly busy and fast-paced, and experiencing it alongside 185 new people led me to create very close bonds with so many classmates faster than I would have expected. I cherish these relationships, and I am thankful for the Kelley family that I gained.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Talk to current students, and ask a lot of questions! It is an easy way to get advice and insights from people who have been in your place before, and everyone is very willing to connect with prospective students. Ask about the program, alumni, academics, recruiting, or anything else – but spend time gaining an understanding of Kelley and relay how you are a great fit based on your research.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is probably that Bloomington is a small town with not much to do – and it’s definitely false! I have had a blast living here and always find new adventures with my MBA classmates – IU events, exploring Bloomington and surrounding areas, and all the social events going on at Kelley that bring students together.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I would attend more club or program events that were outside of my core interests in order to continue to be more well-rounded. There are so many great opportunities to learn about various industries and functions through experiential learning or guest speakers. I have been very involved, but I would spend a little more time exploring a variety of other areas.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate, Shalini. She took a leadership role on our student government board, and implemented many globalization and inclusion initiatives. She implemented a Diversity Council, launched Diversity Week in collaboration with many clubs, and created a video of students sharing their personal stories that highlighted the diversity and uniqueness of our class. And she is an incredibly positive, uplifting person!

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I felt compelled to connect my personal life history (as a Type 1 Diabetic) with the impact I could have in my professional career, and I knew an MBA would help me bridge that connection.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…continuing to search for other ways to find personal meaning in my professional career.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would develop strategies for increasing the number of women and minorities in the program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Long term, I would like to utilize my MBA and professional marketing experience to transition into professional coaching or organizational development.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom, who as a single mother worked multiple jobs to provide me with the best opportunities. She raised me to be both kind and hardworking, and has always cheered me on throughout my life. I am thankful for all that she has done to help me get to where I am today.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A ray of sunshine — who is passionate about helping others and is going to make a positive impact on our world.

Favorite book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Favorite movie or television show: Sabrina (the newer version, but the original is fantastic as well)

Favorite musical performer: Beyonce

Favorite vacation spot: Bariloche, Argentina

Hobbies? Mentoring, International Travel, Journaling, Outdoor Adventures

What made Sabrina such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Helen Keller once said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

Optimism. Hope. Confidence. Leader.

These are the four words which come to mind when I think about Sabrina Hamilton, who Keller could have been describing first-hand. It has been a pleasure to work with Sabrina, and to watch her grow, during her time at Kelley.

As the Vice President for Professional Development, Sabrina took seriously her role in the success of her classmates – tirelessly putting together workshops, office hours, super days, and other programs designed to help bring out the best in our students. While those were always successful, her greatest impact was often in her personal conversations – she was always available for her friends and peers who needed somebody to talk to, to cry with, to celebrate with, or just to be with. Sabrina saw the best in everybody, and in every situation, and could be counted on to provide hope and happiness to those who needed it.

As a member of the Kelley Leadership Academy, Sabrina became a model coach – for her mentees and for herself. Her impact on others was best summed up by one of her mentees who told me, “She sees the best in me, even when I haven’t found it yet.” She inspired me with her tireless commitment to her own personal improvement, too, as she was always asking for coaching and feedback in an effort to become a better version of herself. She was successful with this, and I am proud of the leader she has become and the impact she has had on Kelley, and those of us who know her.”

Eric Johnson

Executive Director

Kelley Graduate Career Services



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