Meet the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2019

Allison Inge Bernstein 

University of Michigan, Stephen M. School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Capacity builder that develops the skillset of organizations to create sustainable jobs and economic opportunities.

Hometown: Long Beach, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I got a chance to interview Ice Cube and the cast of Straight Outta Compton.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Southern California – B.S. in Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Google: Account Strategist

Google: Account Manager

Google: Business Inclusion Program Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I started in Google’s sales organization in 2010, where I served as a digital consultant to B2B based companies and helped my clients achieve 30% year over year growth by leveraging the web to gain new customers and create jobs. I then transitioned to the Diversity Markets team where I empowered 1400 minority-owned businesses to survive and thrive online and generate over $30M in economic impact through managing a pilot program called the Accelerate with Google Academy.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? My cousin (and close family member) passed away suddenly last summer just before his 28th birthday. At the time, I was struggling with the GMAT and earning a competitive score. When he passed, I was ready to completely walk away from this process. After taking a break, I decided to honor his life and legacy by loving myself and others as hard as I could, and by allowing his spirit and life to refuel my tank to finish the process. I took the GMAT more than a few times, never conquered it, and took the GRE twice right before apps were due to submit scores. I wrote essays and optional essays fueled with my most confident voice about why my scores shouldn’t scare these programs and I fought for myself harder than I ever have before in my life. My advice for anyone going through this process is to be completely honest with yourself, use your most confident voice in your applications and interviews, and view this application process as an opportunity to clearly articulate exactly how you will add value to the programs and classes that you are looking to join.

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? As I researched schools and got to know programs, Ross was right for me. I wanted to go to a program where the community felt like family. My classmates, the second-year students, the administrative staff, and the incredible alumni that I engaged with made me truly feel what that family was about throughout my process. I wanted a safe space to take risks, to fail quickly, and I wanted to be surrounded by a class that I knew would hold me accountable to achieving my dreams. I didn’t find any other program that fit me the way that Ross did. I knew that Ross would help me truly learn how to lead with and through people, the way that my mentor, former boss, and Ross alum did.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Success to me looks like my ability to apply my knowledge of financial decision making to a firm and organization that facilitates the creation of infrastructure and sustainable jobs in urban communities in the US and around the world.

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