Meet Kellogg’s MBA Class Of 2019

Alyssa Pasternack  

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

Hometown: North Tustin, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: My family dog holds the world record for being the fastest dog on two front paws.

Undergrad: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Bloomingdale’s, Assistant Buyer

Bloomingdale’s, Senior Assistant Buyer

Zola, Associate Buyer

Zola, Buyer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being a part of Zola’s incredible growth from an early stage was an amazing experience. While at Zola, I spearheaded our first ever partner store integration, which was the first-of-its-kind in the industry. This integration created a new revenue stream for the company with the potential to add millions to the bottom line. It was a highly complex due to the strategic model and project management required but was ultimately a very rewarding experience.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  I think it is important to remain as authentic as possible when writing your application. You’ll end up where you’re meant to be (and be more successful in general) if you infuse your application with your true self, rather than what you think the admissions team wants to hear (which is impossible to know anyway).

Similarly, use the interview process as an opportunity to show off your personality and convey enthusiasm. Schools want to build a class of vivacious, unique individuals so interviews are a great way to show how you fit into that equation. To prepare for the interview process, I would suggest recording yourself answering a few practice questions to ensure you’re accurately conveying your message in the best light possible. I did this and it really helped me put my best self forward and feel confident going into my interviews.

Key factor that led you to choose this program + why important to you: I chose Kellogg because of the people. From the students to the administration to alumni – I felt like I clicked with virtually everyone I met. Kellogg does an amazing job at, and rightfully takes pride in, finding the right students who fit the collaborative, down to earth culture. When deciding between schools I felt that I would get an amazing education and access to great opportunities at any of the top programs so that is why culture was a key differentiator to me.

Moreover, the curriculum’s emphasis on teamwork, in addition to experiential learning opportunities were also important factors. Opportunities such as the Analytical Consulting Lab and the Kellogg Board Fellows Program particularly piqued my interest because of the valuable real world experience to gain from them combined with the ability to make a real impact while still at school.

Lastly, the brand new Global Hub was the icing on the cake in my decision to attend Kellogg. It is not only a gorgeous building, but is designed to reinforce Kellogg’s collaborative learning style. I’m excited to be able to fully take advantage of it over the next two years.

What would success look like after your first year of business school? Success after my first year would mean that I put myself out there and tried things outside of my normal comfort zone, built the foundation for lasting friendships, and developed a clear vision for what I want to accomplish in my 2nd year.

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