2018 MBAs To Watch: Jenny Tang, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Jenny Tang

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University

“Often overthinks about being born so fortunate in this world.”

Age: 27

Hometown: Chandler, AZ

Fun fact about yourself: I drove and crashed my grandpa’s car in the neighbor’s fence when I was 4 years old. Shortly after, I traveled to Beijing almost every summer until college graduation.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of California, Berkeley, B.S. in Environmental Science, Minor in Energy and Resources Group

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?
Antenna Group Public Relations – Associate Account Executive
Smart Agriculture Analytics – Assistant Editor and Analyst; Business Development
Clean Air Alliance of China – Energy Fellow
AirVisual – Public Relations Manager
Philanthropy in Motion – Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? E. & J. Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA

Where will you be working after graduation?
E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA, as a Senior Supply Chain Analyst and head of the Sustainability Employee Resource Group.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Net Impact V.P. of Food and Agricultural Systems – worked with the leadership team to revive Net Impact from dormancy to the largest and most active MBA club

Pro-bono consultant and volunteer for the Roosevelt Center for Sustainability – a greenhouse dedicated to providing fresh produce for underserved K-8 students in South Phoenix

Team Lead for Board Fellows – a club dedicated to pro-bono consulting projects for local organizations

Finalist – Smeal Pepsi MBA Sustainability Case Competition

Finalist (Winners TBD) – Olin Monsanto Supply Chain Case Competition

Forte Foundation Fellow

Pepsi Foundation Fellow & Scholarship Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Developing a continuing relationship with the Roosevelt Center of Sustainability. The Greenhouse is an avenue to directly practice what students learned in the classroom around marketing, operations, and strategy, while staying focused on the Greenhouse’s mission to help local underserved students and families. It’s also a fun place to help grow hydroponic vegetables. What I’m most proud of, however, is more personal: I am living with my younger sister after being separated for seven years. I prioritized re-connecting with her and supporting her growth.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Launching the international partnership and award program for the Clean Air Alliance of China. I led international outreach efforts for the organization’s first annual award series to gather, assess, and promote air quality technologies to connect them to aggregated demand across China. Our inaugural award had almost 60 applications, with more than 40% from international companies.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Hina Arora: She designed her data mining / Python class to be one of the most challenging and fast-paced classes in the program. She sets consistent standards, memorizes materials and lesson plans, makes supplemental videos, and clearly communicates her intentions with every exercise and how they connect. I appreciate how she can distill the most important points and not get bogged down by details, and openly provides us with every tool we may need (including keeping open office hours all day).

What was your favorite MBA Course? Decision Modeling and Mindful Leadership. Decision Modeling introduced how powerful the software can be. I’ve used Excel for analysis in research, but never interacted with it in such a dynamic manner. Mindful Leadership provided a thorough framework around what I think is one of the most elusive and over-analyzed topics in magazines: what it means to be a good leader. It was eye-opening to see so many schools of thought.

Why did you choose this business school? I wanted to tap into one of the biggest channels of environmental impact: the supply chain of a large food and beverage company. The W. P. Carey School of Business naturally stood out with its supply chain program. The Forward Focus Scholarship was a bonus that truly de-risked personal development, which enabled the pursuit of unconventional passions. Its impact can be felt through the laid-back, collaborative student culture. Finally, the location was also ideal for me to re-connect with my family.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Unapologetically celebrate the traits that make you unique. For me, it is my focus on bringing food to places where it is needed most and protecting our resources. For my classmates, it ranges from running a family business to empowering refugees to changing the education system. Each program also looks for slightly different candidates, so try to get a sense of each school’s culture and know what feels right for you rather than rely on stats and numbers.

What is the biggest myth about your school? One myth is that Arizona State University is only a party school. The university’s leadership team has a palpable vision to transform ASU, and progress has already been felt. Full-Time MBA students are also a bit removed from the greater student body, and usually take 3-7 classes per 7-week quarter, which is 12-28 classes a year – that’s no joke!

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not taking the time to get to know some of my classmates on a deeper level.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Our Net Impact co-presidents: Rachel Curtis, James Hood, Eve Richer – They were the first three who went to the Net Impact Conference last year, pushed the administration for recognition and resources, and got us to be the largest and most active club in the program. Our chapter had the 2nd most attendees at this year’s Atlanta Conference (The largest group was Georgia Tech – at their home city). Because of their work, a lot of us were able to tap into this network for inspiration and connections to pursue careers that we care about. They have been humble and open throughout the process, and stuck to their mission of making this a collaborative group that is now connected to other colleges at ASU and the greater Tempe area.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Working with various start-ups allowed me to see business struggles that I didn’t know how to overcome, while giving me a close-up on the ups-and-downs of “learning by doing.” I am grateful for the projects and responsibilities at these organizations, which have taught me how to be scrappy in uncertain situations. However, lots of time and energy could have been saved with some fundamental business training. I saw this with various leadership teams during time-crunched decisions that affected the entire company – as well as the well-being of all its employees.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…traveling around in Asia working with various environmental and tech start-ups. Or, I’d be a grocery buyer.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? One of our class’s favorite programs is Executive Connections, but some students could benefit from meeting other professional mentors. I would curate a group of mentors that are especially passionate about coaching, and has the time to do so, and expose them to more students to develop deeper relationships.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Live in a van for an extended period to visit national parks across the U.S. (I will be doing this for one month in May!)
  2. Grow a vegetable garden. I need to learn how to keep plants alive.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Someone who builds bridges to connect different perspectives; someone who can bring a laugh,; someone who gets things done, but always remembers that taking care of people is the most important.

What is your favorite movie about business? American Gangster. It’s a great mix between business concepts and historical context. It reminds me how behind every business is a cultural and social story that is critical to its success and failure.

What would your theme song be?  Sia – Elastic Heart

Favorite vacation spot: Thakhek, Laos – I stayed at Green Climbers Home for seven days in January there and it was a perfect combo of great climbing, scenery, food and weather.

Hobbies? Climbing, Running, Playing Basketball, Drawing, Writing Poetry, Reading, Traveling

What made Jenny such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Jenny took my Business Analytics course in Spring 2017. This particular course requires a balance of technological savvy, strategic thinking ability, and above all analytical skills. Jenny demonstrated all these talents well. She exhibited a level of sincerity, curiosity, dedication, and work ethic that makes me say without a doubt that she will be able to complete any academic challenge.

But beyond academics, Jenny is passionate about the way businesses impact the community and believes that this impact is essential for students to learn about. She pursues her goals while maintaining integrity… never stepping on others, but carrying all her peers with her. It is remarkable the way she is able to positively influence people and situations so that everyone ends up in a better place for the experience. Jenny is exactly the type of person I hope to see leading our most influential companies and institutions over the next 50 years. I feel that she should be recognized for the qualities she has exhibited and to encourage her to carry herself with full confidence. I strongly recommend her for this recognition.”

Uday Kulkarni
Associate Professor Information Systems
W. P. Carey School of Business

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018