2018 MBAs To Watch: Desiree Shannon, Purdue University (Krannert)

Desiree Shannon

Krannert School of Management, Purdue University

I am a highly motivated, self-propelled servant-leader striving to bring about socially-responsible change.”

Age: 23

Hometown: Mt. Vernon, Ohio

Fun fact about yourself: I have been cake decorating since age 11. By age 17, I began my own online remote bakery called “Desi’s Delectables”. Upon graduation, I will restart this business under the name “The Scrumptious Duchess” delivering customized cakes and cupcakes to those in my next destination. My specialty is the strawberry shortcake cupcake!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Ohio University, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and History.

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? AmeriCorps, Ohio College Guide

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as a Business Analyst in the Treasury Services department.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am currently interviewing with 3 different organizations, including 2 governmental agencies and a for-profit Fortune 100 company.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Throughout the past two years at Krannert, I have served with the following organizations: Habitat for Humanity, YWCA Women’s Domestic Abuse & Prevention Center, Hunger Hike, Pack Away Hunger, Food Finder’s Food Bank, Inc. and Bayou City Relief. These opportunities have been made possible because of my term as the President of the Management Volunteer Program within the Krannert School of Management. I have driven over 450 hours of direct community service from Krannert Masters students, raised $1,500 in grant dollars, managed a budget of $5850, and generated nearly $1500 in fundraising dollars in my short time as President. Because of my service work, I am in the process of editing a research article named “Restoring the Damaged Pieces: Practicing Graduate Service-Learning in Hurricane Harvey Wrecked Houston” that will be published in the Fall 2018 edition of the Purdue Journal of Service Learning and International Engagement. In addition to this vast servant-leadership work, I have led my peers as a two-year Graduate Assistant and as first-year Mentor. As a graduate assistant in the Leadership Communication Studio, I have engaged over 475 freshmen, 575 kindergarteners through 3rd grade students, and built partnerships with West Monroe partners, Deloitte, Wall Street Prep, and other Purdue Colleges. I have been afforded the opportunity to manage, plan, and coordinate eight signature-learning projects for both graduates and undergraduates. As a mentor, I supported a group of four incoming MBAs and MSHRMs throughout their adjustment to the Krannert School of Management. To this day, I continue to nurture these mentor-mentee relationships.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? In the fall, I had the opportunity to lead a team of nine Masters students to Houston, Texas to aid in Hurricane Relief. I secured a $1500 grant to support our trip expenses with the Office of Engagement and Service-Learning, and ultimately, we generated over 264 hours of direct community service in this trip. As a result, we saved people tens of thousands of dollars and aided in any grief these families felt.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?  Prior to attending graduate school, I had the honor of serving as an AmeriCorps Ohio College Guide working with over 1,000 students from the Appalachia Ohio area serving over 1,724 hours. This is my most proud achievement because I had the chance to impact and change the course of disadvantaged youth’s lives. To know I am a positive role model and potentially touched just one kid’s life is the most fulfilling feeling I have ever experienced.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? During my time at Krannert, I have had the pleasure of taking 5 classes with Professor Cara Putman, J.D. She consistently connects her legal expertise and nonprofit experience to the course concepts. Students feel her energy every class, and feel comfortable sharing their perspectives. She and I have had the chance to build a strong relationship based on our similar backgrounds, as she has with numerous students. Her willingness to support her students and ability to adapt her class concepts to their interests makes her by far my favorite professor in the MBA program.

What was your favorite MBA Course During the MBA program, I have had series of amazing classes, but one specific course was my favorite. Macroeconomics, taught by Professor Gerald Lynch, provided me with a great deal of insight that expanded upon the knowledge I gained from my internship at the Fed. There is a tedious balance between maintaining independence and transparency. His engaging lecture style consumed my interest! Most importantly, I learned that the globalized macroeconomy cannot be boiled down to one factor, but encompasses a broad range of variable factors.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose the Krannert School of Management because they offered me the chance to build close relationships with relatively small class sizes and strong faculty support.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Any applicant hoping to attend the Krannert School of Management should take the time network with Krannert alumni and current Krannert students during the application process in addition to building their technical knowledge. This adds an extra layer of self-motivation, perseverance, and quantitative strength that is highly attractive in the MBA program.

What is the biggest myth about your school? A large myth about Purdue University is that if you walk under the Bell Tower you will not graduate. I wouldn’t know if this is true or not because I haven’t walked under the bell tower, and I don’t want to find out!

 What was your biggest regret in business school? Taking more social time to spend with my brilliant peers! I am still meeting people that I have not had a chance to get to know, and sooner than later we will be going our separate ways. Cherish the time with your peers

Which MBA classmate do you most admire?  Throughout the duration of my courses I have grown to admire David Page. He is enthusiastic, passionate and consistently positive. I can always look forward to his motivational attitude and bright smile. When we are in class together he asks strong questions, and is always upbeat!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? During my undergraduate studies, I developed a strong relationship with the Associate Director of the History Department, Dr. Korcaighe Hale. From day one, she saw potential in me that I did not even see in myself at one point. She snatched me up as a history major, and invested her time in my success. Aside from academics and personal life, Korcaighe advised me to get real world experience and, once I built that experience, I should attend graduate school. She encouraged the inevitable which ultimately led to my attendance at business school. Without her pushing me to strive for a graduate level education and build upon my existing business knowledge, I am not sure I would have pursued my MBA.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a professional baker.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?  If I was dean for the day, I would develop and implement a business-related service-learning course. This course would involve pro-bono consulting services to make real-world change within the local nonprofit sector. The course would aim to provide students with an experiential service-learning initiative that builds upon their marketing, human resources, finance, operations, management, and technological skills. Furthermore, it would provide nonprofits with much-needed MBA talent and vast economic value.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My top items on my bucket list includes participating in a pub crawl in Dublin, Ireland and to snorkel around the Palancar Reef in the island of Cozumel.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want my peers to remember me as a person who demonstrates the importance and impact of being socially responsible, and as an example of someone who lives to learn from serving others.

What is your favorite movie about business?  My favorite business movie is Working Girl because it shows young women that women can “do it” too, and just as well. It shows women that resiliency in their goals to overcome societal barriers can lead to future success.

What would your theme song be? ”Congratulations” – Post Malone

Favorite vacation spot: Rome, Italy+

Hobbies? I enjoy cake decorating, swimming, cuddling with my dog, and anything to do with arts and crafts.

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

“Desiree Shannon is an ambitious Krannert MBA that exemplifies the true definition of “giving back.” Desiree’s passion and social responsibility is apparent in and outside the classroom. In addition to earning her MBA, Desiree has served on countless non-profit organizations, including: Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, Hunger Hike, Pack Away Hunger, Food Finder’s Food Bank Inc. and Bayou City Relief.  Desiree is extremely motivated and determined individual who also has an entrepreneurship spirit. From restarting her online remote bakery to looking for a job with a non-profit organization or governmental agency, Desiree is sure to leave a mark everywhere she goes. She constantly strives for social change and is advocate and leader amongst her peers. She has been a great asset to the Krannert School of Management.”

Jennifer Schukraft

Associate Director of Student Services





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