The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Bay Area native, avid podcast consumer, marketing/branding enthusiast, game night host
Hometown: San Jose, California
Fun Fact About Yourself: When ClassPass first launched in San Francisco, I took over 200 group fitness classes in one year. This probably put me in the segment of super-users that caused ClassPass to realize the unlimited monthly plan wasn’t profitable…
Undergraduate School and Major: University of California Berkeley, Business Administration and Psychology
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Accenture – Management Consultant
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Toward the end of my second year at Accenture, I was staffed on a marketing operations project for an international e-commerce client. At the end of my project, the SVP chose me to represent North America Marketing at a leadership summit in Prague. I was the only consultant/non-employee invited, and ended up being the youngest person there. I was extremely humbled to have been trusted with the responsibility to collaborate with regional leaders on key decisions that would shape the operating model of these global teams. It was an extremely memorable trip – as someone who wants to pursue a career in product marketing, being able to see how an established technology company works through growing pains and operationalizes processes/tech stacks left a huge impression on me. Side note: it was actually my first time in Europe!
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? On recommendations – get started early and prepare your recommenders as much as possible. Make the job easy for them, since they are doing you a huge favor and are in a position to really differentiate you among other candidates. Select recommenders that were supportive of you throughout your career and that have given you both praise and constructive feedback. Think about how each recommenders’ stories can complement and not duplicate each other.
For example, I chose strong women who’d mentored me and who I’d admired throughout my time at Accenture. One was a former direct manager who could speak to my day-to-day performance and impact on a key project. The other was quite a few levels above me, and someone that I saw as a career coach. She could speak to my broader performance compared to peers on the West Coast, and had visibility into all the extracurricular activities I’d led. I also found it helpful to give each recommender a packet of information – the key due dates for the schools, traits each school was looking for in a candidate, and key stories about me that they could consider highlighting. Creating this packet was my chance to double-check that I was able to provide mutually exclusive suggestions to my recommenders, and allowed me to remind them of some career milestones that were most memorable to me. You only have a few areas in your application to show who you are, so it would be a shame if your recommenders only had the same few things to talk about!
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? While it’s difficult to choose just one factor (usually I am gushing about Wharton and the many reasons it’s amazing!), I would say the incomparable academic program stood out to me. Because I have an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, it was important to me that I found a school that allowed me personalize my learning agenda and dive deep into electives of my choosing, rather than keep me constrained to a set generic curriculum. Wharton not only has more marketing electives than I’d have time to take, but it also allows students to take courses through other fantastic graduate programs at Penn. I am particularly excited to marry marketing, analytics, and design coursework together! There are also a ton of opportunities for experiential learning – putting knowledge into action. Lastly, the common thread of quantitative rigor in all courses was very important to me, as marketing and business executives need to survive in a world with ever increasing amounts of data at our fingertips – an asset that is only as great as our abilities to manage and interpret it.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I have a “Wharton Bucket List” that just keeps growing over time! It’d be awesome if I could check some things off that list and get involved in key experiences and extracurriculars that challenge me. I would also hope that my peers see me as a supportive and reliable teammate and leader – someone who genuinely cares about integrating people and talent together.