The Pioneering MBAs In The Class Of 2019

Alyssa Forman 

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Avid sports fan who loves to learn new things and explore new places

Hometown: Believeland (Cleveland, Ohio)

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am currently in my fourth year of a “50 Book per Year Reading Challenge”

Undergraduate School and Major: Duke University, BA in Public Policy Studies and Global Health

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Kaiser Associates: Manager, Consultant, Analyst

Teach for America: Director of Special Education Department at UNO Rogers Park Charter School

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of the things I am most proud of is setting up and leading the special education department at a brand new charter school in Chicago. When I joined Teach for America, I was placed at a first year charter school, where I was responsible for setting up the special education department from scratch. As no one at my school had a background in special education and I was new to the field, I immediately sought out advice from special education teachers at other schools, graduate school professors, state representatives – anyone with experience to help launch the department. By working collaboratively with and learning from all of the stakeholders in the special education sphere, I set up the department and processes to ensure it met student needs. When the charter school network opened a high school a year later, they modeled the special education department off the one we had built.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Applying to business school can be a long and stressful process, so find people who can go through it with you. I received the best advice and most support from peers going through the application process. If you don’t know anyone applying specifically to business school, see if you can find people going through any application process. They are likely facing similar pressures and will understand what you’re going through, so you can help each other get through it. Plus your friends and family will thank you for finding someone else with whom you can discuss applications (there is only so much they want to hear).

For your essays, find someone who knows you, but is not as familiar with the day-to-day of your job. They can read your essays for your voice and check to make sure you are not getting too technical when describing your professional experiences. Siblings can be a good option for this – my sister read my essays and was not afraid to call me out when something sounded forced or inauthentic.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Kellogg’s culture was the deciding factor for me. When I was doing research on schools, I read and heard a lot about the collaborative culture at Kellogg, but wanted to see for myself how real it was. When I visited campus for Day at Kellogg (Kellogg’s admitted students weekend), I was impressed by the sense of genuine camaraderie among my section leaders. They came from diverse backgrounds and had different interests at Kellogg, but had all taken the time to get to know each other in a meaningful way. And beyond that, they seemed to enjoy spending time together! I knew I wanted to join a business school culture where people took the time to get to know each other, valued teamwork, and had fun while doing it.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  I hope that after a year at Kellogg, I will be busy leading the social impact community, planning one of next year’s KWEST trips, and exploring Evanston and Chicago with Kellogg classmates. I would love to have an internship where I can combine my newly expanded private sector and business skills to tackle social impact challenges.

  • dilma

    Hello John,

    What is your explanation for this year delay in releasing the employment reports of most top schools? I see only Booth results this year…

  • BigBangTrigger

    aand she is dating the oscar guy at CBS !

  • D.B. Cooper

    When is this GMAT arms race going to end? Average scores keep inflating like crazy…

  • Joe

    I heard a girl at Stern has an Emmy award…

  • Claptone

    The school with the 7th highest gmat is really struggling. Stanford eats their lunch. They hate it.

  • Claptone

    But the number then should be closer to the 91%, because in the 941 you also have to include the 2+2 from previous years who are enrolling this year.

    If they are already included it means that:
    Accepted in 2017: 1,138
    Enrolled in 2017: 941 – previous 2+2
    2+2 from 2017: 1,138-(941-previous 2+2)

    Assuming there are ~100 2+2 from previous year matriculating this year (there were 106 commits last year), it means that out of the 1,138, 300 of them are 2+2 – very high.

  • The HBS acceptances include 2+2 admits who don’t immediately enroll. That is why you think the yield rate is lower than Harvard’s published number. As for where we got the numbers? It’s called reporting. We don’t wait for schools to report the numbers. We call them up and ask for them.

  • Calptone, where we got the numbers? It’s called reporting. We got them from the schools, many of which don’t publicly release some of these numbers.

  • Claptone

    Your numbers on page 2 are wrong. If HBS accepted 1,138 but only enrolled 941 it means their yield is 83%. On their website they say it’s 91%.

    Frankly, I don’t know where you got all those accepted numbers since they haven’t been publicly released.

  • Jacob

    Ya, not sure how you claim to be the best school if you have the 7th-9th highest GMAT class average. Most use the GMAT as the most common metric of determining student-body quality.

  • Joe

    So it looks like the GMAT Ranking is 1. Stanford, 2. Kellogg, 3. Booth & Wharton, 5. Harvard. Harvard won’t even publish a mean because they know its sub-730 and might even be below Yale, and UC Berkeley. Maybe as low as 7th or 8th place.