Meet Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA Class of 2019

Nile Marshall 

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am positive person who works well with others and inspires those around me.

Hometown: Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA

Fun Fact About Yourself:  My friends and I founded Georgetown University’s first urban a capella group specializing in jazz, gospel, R&B, and soul music.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Georgetown University, Marketing

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  

DC Prep – 4th Grade Math Teacher

KIPP DC – 5th, 7th, and 8th Grade Math Teacher

KIPP DC – Capital Teaching Resident

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a teacher in both Ward 7 and Ward 8 in Washington, D.C., areas with a majority African-American population and the lowest income per capita in the city, I have directly experienced how funding and policy decisions impact student outcomes. During my second year of teaching, I created alternatives for students lagging behind. I developed a math club where students received tutoring during their lunch breaks. I utilized blended learning strategies, peer mentors, and small group tutoring during weekly after-school tutoring sessions. In the spring, I held Saturday morning remediation sessions for students below the 30th percentile.  By utilizing blended learning strategies, peer mentors, and small group tutoring, students’ standardized test scores increased an average of 15% after my second year of teaching.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Create a project plan, and start as soon as possible! Make a list of deliverables for each school and work backwards from the deadlines. Be sure to allow time for essay revisions. Allow ample time to study for the GMAT each day and create a progress monitoring tool. Be mindful of how you will balance work, studying for the GMAT, and completing your applications.

Craft your story.  The goal of your application is to paint a holistic picture of who you are as a candidate and demonstrate the value you will add to a school’s community. Identify your long-term and short-term goals and what is driving you to pursue them. Identify personal and professional achievements and capture how those achievements will diversify your prospective school’s student body.

Attend preview days and weekends. This is the best time to get a feel for a school’s culture because you can attend classes, engage with faculty and students, and learn more about what makes a particular program unique. Preview days also allow school faculty and admissions officers to get to know you as a candidate. If you cannot attend preview days, be sure to attend information sessions when prospective schools are in your city.

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? Owen’s strong sense of community was evident throughout the application process. When I asked admissions officers and students what makes Owen unique, the first response was almost always, “the people.” Now that I am a member of the Owen community, I have had the opportunity to experience the warm and caring community first-hand. Owen students, faculty, and staff are invested in the success of everyone in the Owen family. The small class size allows me to find my personal fit and develop relationships with members of the Owen community.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  After my first year of business school, I hope to secure an internship in the finance industry to further develop my quantitative and strategic thinking skills. I also want my peers and professors to be able to say I approached personal and professional obstacles with a growth mindset, which allowed me to positively contribute to the Owen community.

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