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):

NameMBA ProgramHometownEmployer
 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