University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Entrepreneurial, training and development professional with a knack for dancing, traveling and empowering others.
Hometown: Sharon, Massachusetts
Fun Fact About Yourself: I once confidently walked up to a man who looked like the hip hop artist Ludacris, in a jazz bar in London, to prove to my friends that he was just his doppelgänger. Much to my surprise, it only took a couple of minutes for me to quickly realize that I was mistaken and all of a sudden I found myself shaking hands with Ludacris. One of the few times I’ve been left speechless.
Undergraduate School and Major:
- Boston College- BA in Sociology & French
- King’s College London- MA in International Relations
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: (Ordered from least recent to most recent)
- Edelman – Corporate Social Responsibility
- French Ministry of Education- Teaching Assistant
- Haiti’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs- Fulbright Public Policy Fellow
- Women with Purpose- Founder
- Accion- Center for Financial Inclusion Lead Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment thus far has been founding my startup – Women with Purpose (WWP). WWP organizes and hosts professional development seminars for minority women in Boston.
The desire to create this forum stemmed from my experience living abroad. Working within the international development community was not only transformative, but also enlightening. The more involved I became in managing and implementing aid projects, the more I noticed there weren’t a lot of natives involved at the strategic and leadership level. I came to realize that the reasoning behind the dismal number of natives, and women, in leadership positions was due to limited exposure to acquiring professional skills.
Upon returning to Boston, I dedicated myself to helping minority women advance professionally by founding WWP to empower women and minorities through professional development seminars. The seminars provide access to quality speakers who teach tangible and actionable professional skills at an affordable price. With the support of a friend, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the costs for the first year. By the second year, we secured a partnership with Suffolk University’s Moakley Center. The program has now been operating for three years and to date we have reached over 250 participants and recruited the help of over 25 speakers. While I’m at Ross, the startup will be managed by a steering committee with the hopes to continue to bring valuable skills to 120 more women this upcoming year.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The most valuable experience for me was joining MBA prep programs, which provided me with the structure, the guidance and the discipline to beast the application process. I was admitted into two programs – Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) MBA Prep and Forté MBA Launch Fellows Program. Beyond providing guidance for business school applications, both programs offer resources on how to tackle the GMAT, host webinars on application challenges, include virtual or in person coaching, grant access to admission directors and provide feedback on essays. Another key resource was applying through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management – an organization dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in business schools and corporate America. The Consortium helps streamline the application process, offers merit based, full-tuition fellowships and hosts a professional development seminar focused on recruiting.
As a first generation Haitian-American, a woman of color, and a nontraditional applicant – these organizations were crucial to my application journey. Not only did I gain the confidence to take on the application process, but I also gained an impressive network of future MBA students from top business schools across the U.S. I would highly recommend prospective students look into these organizations and invest in themselves by applying.
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? Hands down, it was the practical application and experiential learning opportunities offered at Ross. I already have a master’s degree, so coming back to school for me goes beyond just learning in the classroom. In fact, I learn best by doing – and Ross was the only MBA program that proved and demonstrated its commitment to action based learning through offering a multitude of opportunities. A few that immediately caught my attention were:
- The Impact Challenge – a weeklong activity that takes place before classes even begin. Students get to work with community partners to develop and launch a venture to meet the needs of the city of Detroit.
- Social Venture Fund – the first student run social venture fund in the U.S., which offers students the opportunity to invest in socially-minded businesses.
- The Leadership Crisis Challenge – a 24-hour business crisis simulation where students role-play a company’s’ executive team and are tested on their ability to strategize and react under pressure.
- The Multidisciplinary Action Project – also known as MAP- takes place at the end of the first year and places students in a seven week consulting project for companies, forcing them to apply what was learned in the core.
My goal is to be a leader within the human capital industry. In order for me to pick up strong strategic skills, I need to be immersed in any and all experiences that would allow for me to be challenged. Choosing Ross and its action-oriented curriculum was the best choice for me, given the numerous opportunities where I could gain these skills first-hand.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success for my first year post-Ross would be working full-time as a Human Capital Consultant. At the same time, I would have successfully transitioned Women with Purpose into a B Corporation and launched a new startup focused on investing in minority owned businesses.