Meet MIT Sloan’s MBA Class Of 2020

Liliana Kennedy-Paesler

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Kind-hearted, scrappy, and full of surprises.

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Fun Fact About Yourself: I teach Pure Barre in my free time. Squeezetuckhold!

Undergraduate School and Major: Dartmouth College, Neuroscience

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: CVS Health – Senior Consultant; ClearView Healthcare Partners – Senior Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passion for making healthcare more accessible during my tenure as a consultant with CVS Health. The accomplishment I am most proud of is helping develop a program that will save patients money on their medications. In response to the increasingly heavy price burden that patients face at the register, my team built a solution that finds cheaper options for patients who may have otherwise been unable to afford their medication. I came out of that experience, and others like it at CVS, feeling like I truly could solve complex business problems and create lasting impact.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Multifaceted.

Every time I hang out with a Sloanie, I learn something new and wonderful about them. For example, my friend Martin not only worked in strategy for Telefonica in Spain, he also created a cacao business on the side. I recently found out that one of my other friends, Jonathan, who is working on a startup in delta v, is also a physician. I can never put Sloanies in a box. I love them for that.

Aside from your classmates, 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 chose Sloan because of its proximity to science. Sloanies have the opportunity to build connections across the MIT community and leverage those relationships to help commercialize innovative scientific concepts. I have seen this first-hand while working at MIT’s summer accelerator, delta v.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I can’t wait to join the Happy Belly Club. I love to cook (and eat) and learn about food.  I’m looking forward to making some like-minded, foodie friends.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I chose to get an MBA this year to increase the slope of my learning curve. After working for a few years, I realized that I was starting to become too comfortable in my career. I wanted to increase my personal growth and learn about other career options.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? The decision to pursue an MBA was an investment in my future. I know that an MBA will help me reach my long-term goals. Also, I think it’s hard to put a price on the friends and experiences you gain while in business school.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Sloan, Booth, HBS, and Kellogg.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? hen I was looking at schools, I prioritized academic and social fit. I gravitated toward more rigorous programs where I felt I could get a strong understanding of core business concepts. My primary research strategy was reaching out to current and former students to ask them about culture and day-to-day life. Overall, I found that talking to students was the best way to understand how each school would fit with my academic and social goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I began learning to lead by understanding others’ perspectives during childhood. After my parents divorced when I was young, I found myself acting as a mediator between two households. I learned that listening to others’ opinions instead of merely defending my own encouraged understanding. This experience helped me develop a unique leadership style based on trust, empathy, and collaboration.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? After graduation, I hope to continue to work in consulting to hone my understanding of how to approach new opportunities in diverse industries and prepare myself to be a creative problem-solver.

Where do you see yourself in five years? My long-term goal is to combine my understanding of the healthcare industry with the finance training I receive at Sloan to bring gene therapies to market through consulting, VC, or a similar impact-driving business.

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