10 Amazing MBA Women To Watch

Steffi Rebello / University of Toronto (Rotman): Picture this. You’re 22 years-old and you’ve just earned your bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. Better yet, you land a job with a dream company like General Electric. There’s just one hitch. GE isn’t going to bring you along slowly. Instead, they’re giving you the proverbial baptism of fire. You’re going to manage a team of 50 people…in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. One more thing: You’re a woman and most of your reports are men who are older than you are.

No problem, right?

That’s Steffi Rebello’s story. In her first job, she was shipped off to Germany to manage a newly-acquired, highly unionized site. The transition may seem daunting on the surface, but Rebello had always welcomed the opportunity to become a leader. Turns out, this fish-out-of-water tale has a happy ending too. “I focused on my targets and did not give up. Within six months, I was able to deliver and change the perspective my team and manager had of me,” she recalls. “Additionally, I set up the Women’s Network to help women (and men) to network and take on leadership positions.”

Indeed, this Abu Dhabi native plans to continue stepping out of her comfort zone at Rotman, a cosmopolitan program renowned for using design thinking to craft innovative solutions. Not surprisingly, this doer hopes to put what she learns there to work…immediately. “After my first year of business school, I would like to look back on the new topics I learned through class, the wide variety of clubs, and my cohort and be able to say I used those topics to tackle real world problems,” she says.

Adi Rajapuram / UCLA (Anderson): Most first-years come to business school hoping to build a network. Adi Rajapuram had something more profound in mind. I was looking for a class of individuals with whom I could form my own company.”

Rajapuram is a natural entrepreneur, someone who describes herself as a “philosophical daydreamer navigating a pragmatic world, working to turn her passions into reality.” A master of seven languages, she takes her greatest pride in the act of creation – which is often coupled with an act of service. Her volunteer work with the Rape Crisis Center of San Antonio, where she designed a “Start by Believing” campaign to encourage victims to come forward, is an example of that.

“From designing the social media campaign to representing the organization at local health fairs, I saw the direct impact my words and actions had,” she says. ”I am able to educate others, inspiring hundreds of people to pledge their support in believing sexual assault survivors.”

What is Rajapuram’s secret to getting into a selective MBA program like Anderson? Do your homework. “Get to know the programs front-to-back,” she advises. “By the time my interviews rolled around, I could tell my interviewer so much about the school’s unique programs, its resources through special on-campus academic centers, and what I would change about an on-campus club that it felt I could have been representing the school myself!”

DON’T MISS: 10 Women From the Class of 2018 To Watch or The Pioneering MBAs in the Class of 2019

Here is a sample of other women from the Class of 2019 who are poised to make a big difference after earning their MBAs (if not before):

Name MBA Program Hometown Employer
 Dolapo Adeyemi  London Business School  Irawo,  Nigeria  Grolightly Ltd.
 Tanja Alsheimer  Warwick Business School  Helsinki, Finland  Kings Valley Project
 Winny Arindrani  Duke University (Fuqua)  Jakarta, Indonesia  Tatoen
 Tiana Birawer  University of Minnesota (Carlson)  Cape Coral, FL  Ryan Companies US
 Aditi Bhatia  Columbia Business School  Mumbai, India  Temasek Holdings
 Clarysse Blanchard  USC (Marshall)  Paris, France  EDF
 Julia Brown  Vanderbilt University (Owen)  DeRidder, LA  Aon
 Shannon Boyle  Cornell University (Johnson)  Vernon, VT  U.S. Army
 Kaavya Gupta  MIT (Sloan)  New Delhi, India  Alterbeat.com
 Kettianne Cadet  University of Michigan (Ross)  Sharon, MA  Edelman
 Faith Davis  Wharton School  Mitchellville, MD  DAF Technologies
 Kristen Diaz  University of Texas (McCombs)  Miami Springs, FL  General Mills Latin America
 Clare Bridget Dussman  Cambridge University (Judge)  Arlington Heights, IL  The Marketing Arm
 Rachel Cohen  Wharton School  Abington, PA  Prudential Financial
 Tam Emerson  U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)  Boston, MA  Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program
 Nourhan Farhat  INSEAD  Beirut, Lebanon  Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
 Ryanne Fenimore  Emory University (Goizueta)  Brownsburg, IN  Cummins, Inc.
 Alyssa Forman  Northwestern University (Kellogg)  Cleveland, OH  Kaiser Associates
 Lauren Gage  Duke University (Fuqua)  Dallas, TX  Goldman Sachs
 Andi Garavaglia  University of Oxford (Saïd)  St. Louis, MO  National Hockey League
 Rosa Glenn  MIT (Sloan)  Dublin, Irenland  Anthropologie
 America Gonzalez  U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)  Monterrey, Mexico  Bain & Company
 Lauren Hasek  IMD Business School  Cleveland, OH  Clinton Health Access Initiative
 Dayne Hine  University of Michigan (Ross)  Southbury, CT  Girls Who Code
 Christine Hu  University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)  Union City, CA  Teach for America
 Suyun Huang  IMD Business School  Beijing, China  Yunding
 Vishruti Jakhar  Rice University (Jones)  Jaipur, India  Pacific Drilling
 Stephanie Jordan  Indiana University (Kelley)  Clarendon Hills, IL  Revenade
 Kirsta Kellin  University of Chicago (Booth)  Carefree, AZ  Goldman Sachs
 Nivedita Kohli  Columbia Business School  New Delhi, India  Ralph Lauren
 Swellen T. Macieira  Dartmouth College (Tuck)  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  Mason Square Capital
 Barati Mahloele  University of Oxford (Saïd)  Polokwane, South Africa  CDC Group PLC
 Vanessa Matos Tudela  University of Toronto (Rotman)  Caracas, Venezuela  The Inter-American Investment Corporation
 Jennifer McAlpine  Arizona State (W. P. Carey)  Woodbury, MN  U.S. Department of State
 Megan McGee  Duke University (Fuqua)  Olympia, WA  U.S. Army
 Faith Miller  Notre Dame (Mendoza)  Northville, MI  WILX-TV
 Griffin Mueller  Duke University (Fuqua)  Durham, NC  Cisco Systems
 Jennifer Ojeh  UCLA (Anderson)  Richmond, CA  WePay
 Cecily Sackey  University of Virginia (Darden)  Hamilton, NJ  Google
 Jennifer Rose Schwartz  Georgetown (McDonough)  New York City, NY  Finn Partners
 Taylor Sheppard  University of Virginia (Darden)  Wailea, HI  U.S. Navy
 Katie Sierks  Yale SOM  Minneapolis, MN  Cargill, Inc.
 Jen Stutsman  University of North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)  Boulder, CO  Maisha Meds
 Katie Sweeney  Emory University (Goizueta)  Cincinnati, OH  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 Celine Tarrant  Columbia Business School  Toronto, Canada  Walmart Canada
 Katie Tinker-Langenfeld  University of Washington (Fisher)  Fayetteville, AR  Walmart Stores, Inc.
 Kimberly Turner  Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)  Grand Blanc, MI  Child Trends
 Marta Valcarcel Fernandez  IESE Business School  Lugo, Spain  KPMG
 Dr. Claire Vassie  London Business School  Fleet, UK  Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Trust
 Linsha Yao  Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)  Beijing, China  SmartConn
 Josie Yin  New York University (Stern)  Jilin, China  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation