Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2019

Jasmine Mitchell

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am an incredibly independent spirit who laughs often and never settles.

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am obsessed with blue suede shoes. I own six pairs!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Pittsburgh, B.S. in Business Administration (Major: Marketing and Economics)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: As a fashion enthusiast, I began my career at Macy’s Inc. in the Executive Development Program (EDP) for store leaders. Over the course of five years, I held various positions at multiple locations. Most notably, I was a cosmetics and fragrance department sales manager where I managed a total sales volume of $6.2 million and 37 beauty advisors. Per my performance, I was elected to the Store Leadership Development Program (SLDP), a program designated for those recognized as a Top 40 high-performing store leader in the company. Most recently, I served as a merchandise team manager in one of Macy’s top 50 volume-driving stores. My experience at Macy’s was invaluable. I had a “front row seat” to better understand our customers and how technology is quickly shaping the way they shop.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Working in the retail industry is an experience that is truly unique. The industry changes so rapidly that not one of my years with the company resembled the one before. I loved the fact that I did not have a desk job and could frequently interact with customers on my sales floor.

As a cosmetics and fragrance department sales manager, I proudly managed the most dynamic and high performing team in the store. Over the course of a year, I partnered with my MAC business manager to increase incremental sales through event planning, heightened customer interaction, and product knowledge education. We proudly increased sales 35% over LY, resulting in a milestone achievement of surpassing $1 million in annual volume.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far: This year, I was awarded the Inaugural Women’s Alliance Scholarship for Simon Business School. I am incredibly thankful and proud to receive this honor. Women are still significantly underrepresented within senior leadership roles — women of ethnic backgrounds in particular. I consider this award to be more than an accomplishment. It is catalyst for me to serve as a change agent for women’s rights throughout my time at Simon and future career.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  You are more than the GMAT! I spent so much time stressing about the GMAT prior to business school. I was convinced that my score was so much more than just three numbers. I believed it was a measure of my worth and potential as a business student. In truth, the GMAT is just one “language” used to communicate your skills and abilities. I would encourage prospective students to consider the GRE in addition to the GMAT.

I would also encourage prospective candidates to take a deeper look at schools you may not have previously considered. Business school is a sizeable commitment, challenge yourself to attend a program that is worth such commitment.

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? The Simon EDGE Program! I wanted to stand out against other b-school graduates upon re-entering the workforce. In truth, I overlooked Simon during my initial search. I naturally gravitated towards programs with a discernable retail/luxury marketing focus within its curriculum. However, I realized with my experience, that type of program may be redundant. I shifted focus and rediscovered Simon. Branded as the “go-to” school for analytics, I knew I found my competitive advantage. The common thread of quantitative rigor within the courses was instrumental in my decision to come to Simon. In a business marketplace with ever increasing amounts of data, today’s business executives must know how to manage, analyze, and interpret it.

I wouldn’t do Simon justice if I didn’t highlight our unyielding commitment to each other. We serve as each other’s coaches and cheerleaders. It is a contagious part of our culture and makes me undeniably proud.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? At the conclusion of this year, I want to have developed strong, meaningful, and highly engaged relationships with my peers. The level of engagement I have with my classmates is a key component of how I define a successful first year.

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