2017 MBAs To Watch: MacKenzie Green, Columbia Business School

MacKenzie Green

Columbia Business School

“Poised, confident, and focused with an undeniable hustle.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Washington, DC

Fun fact about yourself: Former D1 athlete turned Miss DC USA, and Top 20 at Miss USA 2010

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Miami, (Double Major) Broadcast Journalism and Sports Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Matrix Advisors, Social Media and Marketing Strategist

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Paramount Pictures, Worldwide and Domestic Market Research, Los Angeles, California

Where will you be working after graduation? Unbound Box

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Lord Laidlaw Scholar, First Year Fellow, Hermes Society, Black Business Students Association AVP of Conference (1st year) and Conference Committee (2nd year), Media Management Association AVP of West Coast Trek (1st year) and VP of Conference (2nd year), Retail Luxury Goods Conference Committee (1st year), and Teaching Assistant

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My focus has largely been toward west coast film recruiting; serving as AVP of the West Coast Trek was a really great experience. The west coast trek team worked hard to bring together a strong trip for the Columbia community. But, nothing compares to sitting outside of In and Out with your classmates in business attire, sharing burgers and stories.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Coming into Columbia, I knew I was career switching, and I wanted to do my best to build a strong resume of experience in the time I had. I’m extremely proud of the internships I’ve held since coming to CBS. I’ve worked at Harper’s Bazaar as an assistant to the editor-in-chief of the magazine. I spent my summer at Paramount in worldwide and domestic market research. This last year, I’ve rotated departments at NBC Universal, in ad sales strategy and content distribution partnership marketing.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Bruce Craven has been my favorite professor at CBS. His class leadership through fiction was an insightful time of self reflection. I think it’s easy as an MBA to get disconnected from the intention that drives you in the whirlwind of recruiting, classes, and everything else. His class felt like a recharge, an opportunity to reflect on what motivates and drives you as a leader, with deliverables you can look back on as you progress in your career.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Media Marketing and Entrepreneurship. That course was my first media elective after the core, and it really solidified to me that I wanted to pursue media and film. Learning from the creative content makers and business professionals in the industry just showed the beauty in the story telling process. I learned that in order to be a “suit” who can move in that space, you have to immerse yourself in as much creative content as possible, but you also have to stay on top of the business trends — not just trends in film, but in tech, government, every arena that impacts entertainment.

Why did you choose this business school? The location and name felt special to me. I get to have an amazing cosmopolitan experience outside of the classroom, meet amazing professionals, and spend my days at a school with such a storied legacy.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The incredible speakers and professionals who come to speak in class. Talking to Jeff Zucker from CNN after the election was a dream to the journalism major in me, and a dream to the media professional in me as well.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? That it’s fun…I imagined a far more buttoned up experience. Everyday has been a new and exciting adventure and learning experience.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic…don’t try to sell the admissions team on what you think they want to hear.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That CBS students don’t work together and have “sharp elbows.” Surprisingly, we are a team around here; there’s always someone who is willing to offer their expertise when you may be lacking, and who’s willing to learn from you when they’re in the weeds.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not traveling more with my classmates and cluster.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Annie Kurdziel…her story and drive inspire me. She also has the ability to lead through such honest compassion and empathy, that you feel better for knowing her.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I started to look at the profiles of leaders in film and entertainment that I admired, and they all MBAs.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…either an SNL or Late Night Production Assistant.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Nap pods…I can’t count the number of times I’ve just needed a quick midday nap.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to be the first black woman to serve as the chairperson/president of a major motion picture studio.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. They have poured so much love, time, and effort into me. I would not be the woman I am without them beside me. At moments when I’ve doubted my ability or my decisions, they are the reminder that it’s not for nothing. I do what I do, and pursue my dreams, so that I can prove the investment they made in my future will come back tenfold.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? My drive and determination were a testament to my belief in luck, which is just preparation and opportunity meeting up.

Favorite book: Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Favorite movie or television show: 30 Rock

Favorite musical performer: Michael Buble

Favorite vacation spot: New Orleans

Hobbies? Gastro-tourism, cooking, reading, writing, boxing, running, and bassoon

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

“MacKenzie Green exemplifies the qualities that make the Columbia Business School environment an energizing, supportive and demanding educational community. In my Management elective, Leadership through Fiction, MacKenzie brought one-hundred percent commitment to the course. This included engaging in challenges in leadership development with a sense of humor tempered with self-deprecation. She drew on examples from her life to help her apply the lessons, as well as help other students understand her leadership values. She acknowledged the areas where she wanted to develop as a leader. She brought curiosity to each session and recognized that her commitment would contribute to the overall class learning. She is enthusiastic, focused on the debate of ideas and socially intelligent.”

Bruce Craven

Associate Professor of Business



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