Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2019

Krystalyn Jones

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Avid learner honing my data analytics and leadership skills. Inquisitive, introverted, advocate, ally, efficiency aficionado.

Hometown: I grew up in Mount Laurel, NJ, a suburb of Philadelphia

Fun Fact About Yourself:  You can often find me at Small’s Jazz Club on a cold Saturday night because they have the best jazz and hot toddies in NYC.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia, BA French Language and Literature

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  After graduation, I joined the diversity & inclusion office of Polo Ralph Lauren as human resources coordinator. Later, I joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as diversity & inclusion coordinator, where I was responsible for coordinating the organization’s recruitment, retention, and promotion strategies. Additionally, I managed charitable contributions and planned networking, professional development, training, and educational programs. I gained extensive experience in project management and marketing, organizing more than seventy-five community service, continuing legal education, recruiting and pipeline, affinity group-specific, and organization-wide programs and events. The programs contributed toward the law firm’s top 25 ranking on Vault’s Best Law Firms for Diversity and Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality for three consecutive years.

Immediately prior to business school, I was the associate education director in the Anti-Defamation League’s New York region, implementing anti-bias and bullying prevention trainings, including A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, No Place for Hate® Initiative, and workplace education initiatives.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I was at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), I worked with a parent whose child was being bullied for a racial identity. I worked with the school’s administration to provide best practices and resources so they could implement stronger policies to alleviate bullying behaviors more expediently in the future. In addition, all six schools in the district enrolled in anti-bias and bullying prevention trainings and programs to empower students from kindergarten through 12th grade to confront issues of bias and bullying in their schools and communities through education and discussion. Most importantly, the target of the bullying was able to feel safe in the school environment and focus on learning rather than being anxious and distracted. After reflecting on the positive impact these efforts had on this student’s life, I realized that this experience will forever be one of my greatest professional accomplishments because I was able to educate students on the impact of their language and behavior.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far: In December 2017, I had the opportunity to expand and heighten my global awareness by participating in a professional development trek to Shanghai and Hong Kong, organized by Simon’s career management center. According to a recent McKinsey & Company article, healthcare expenditures in China are projected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020. China remains one of the world’s most attractive healthcare markets and offers (by far) the largest growth opportunity of all the large emerging economies. Because I plan to pursue a career in healthcare marketing after business school, the trek helped me to better understand the global opportunities available in the healthcare industry. I was able to see first-hand how healthcare is managed in China and identify relevant transferable skills from my human capital management experience that I can apply to future roles.

In connection with my background in diversity and inclusion, I am eager to learn and understand different cultures because of the value-add different backgrounds and perspectives bring toward successfully achieving a common goal. Moreover, these interactions create significant contributions to organizations that directly influence both performance and culture, providing a sustainable, competitive advantage.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? After you have done your research and decided that business school is right for you, make a personalized plan to gain admission to your dream school(s) and execute it as quickly as possible. If you do not apply until you have the perfect GMAT score, essay, and/or recommendation, you may never take the leap! Learning how to quickly troubleshoot and change course can be a game changer. Finally, be sure to have mentors who have gone through the process successfully, know you well, can identify your weaknesses, and can provide successful strategies tailored uniquely to you.

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?  I received feedback from several of my managers that I needed to work smarter, not harder. For me, this advice indicated that I was lacking the necessary frameworks to systematically approach the problems I had and would face throughout my career. I knew that attending Simon Business School would provide me with the quantitative and data analytics skillsets to frame, analyze, and communicate insights that will solve complex business problems efficiently. Additionally, the small class size allows me to have the support I need from fellow classmates and professors to be successful and gain leadership skills in and outside of the classroom.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year of business school, I would like to make an impact in the healthcare industry and continue to develop close, lasting bonds with my classmates.

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