Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class Of 2019

Katherine (Katie) Donovan 

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth  

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Equal parts Ohio redneck, New England prepster, Vermont hippie and Silicon Valley techie.

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Fun Fact About Yourself: I once accidentally exiled the rapper, Pitbull, to Kodiak, Alaska. Never underestimate the power of the Internet!

Undergraduate School and Major: Middlebury College (VT), History of Art and Architecture

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Brand Networks (2010-2017)- Lead Director, Retail Industry Lead; Account Director; Account Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Working for a fast-growth startup in the social media/ad tech space provided unique opportunities and challenges on a daily basis. I had the privilege of working with Wal-Mart for five years, helping to guide their social media strategy and localize their advertising efforts.

During this time, my proudest accomplishment was empowering over 20,000 local store managers to market directly to their customers via Facebook. This ongoing project was by far the most collaborative and cross-functional effort I’ve experienced in my career. We had designers, engineers, analysts, copywriters, media buyers, and a training team all working together to design, build and implement a mobile application that would ultimately roll out to Wal-Mart’s nearly 5,000 U.S. stores. Leading such a large team of diverse personalities and skillsets was, in one word, inspiring. The greatest satisfaction, however, came from the hundreds of store managers thanking us for helping them drive sales and connect with their customers.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Seek advice early and often. Do not be afraid to reach out to trusted advisers to get their thoughts on the application process. Before I even decided to apply to business school, I met with over 25 friends, colleagues, mentors, managers, clients and family members to ask their opinion of MBAs, and whether or not it would be a good fit for me. These confidants turned out to be my recommenders, my study buddies, my peer-reviewers and my greatest cheerleaders. I couldn’t have gotten through the process without them!

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? Community.  Having attended a small liberal arts school in Vermont, I was looking for a similar close-knit community to the one I had come to love during undergrad. I first visited Tuck for their annual Women in Business conference, where over 100 prospective students descend upon the campus for a long weekend in October. Our days were full of structured activities and info sessions. At night they organized small group dinners for us to meet other students. I couldn’t believe that so many Tuck students would give up their Saturday nights to host a group of prospective students and cook us dinners in their own homes. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, it was impossible not to fall in love with the school!

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Three areas of focus for me in my first year include:

  1. Make friends with students, professors and alums who will broaden my perspective
  2. Develop and refine certain business knowledge I previously lacked (ex: Finance!)
  3. Secure an internship that is out of my comfort zone and will test my new skills

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