“A wine-loving wanderlust who is the occasional bookworm!”
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio, USA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I was in the 2003 McDonald’s All-American Dunk Contest. In fact, that year’s event reruns almost every April because it was LeBron’s year. How do I know this? Because I get a phone call every year from someone who saw me on TV…
Undergraduate School and Major: UConn, for both graduate and undergraduate, majoring in Sports Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Harlem Village Academy, Vice Principal
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being a 4th grade teacher was not only the HARDEST position that I’ve ever held, but it was by far the most rewarding (shout out to all the teachers out there!). There will never be a salary that does justice to the many hats that teachers wear. While building relationships with my students and families was top priority, in my final year as a teacher I was able to get 100% of my 4th grade class to pass BOTH the New York State Math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams, which is not an easy feat.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I absolutely adore my classmates—they are 95% of the reason that I chose Owen! They are beyond excited to engage with each other. This group will definitely give you FOMO.
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? The small class size was a selling point. I would rather have meaningful conversations with faculty, administrators and fellow students than to just get acquainted with hundreds of people.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most excited to join Out & Allied, our LGBTQ organization at Owen. The social and political climate has been a challenging one in the past few years, and having allies, for any group of minorities, be it people of color, women, those with disabilities, or others, is very important to me. With that being said, I want to be a catalyst for creating more allies for the LGBTQ community at Owen and build onto the great things that the club has already done.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I taught my students that being illiterate can be a life-threatening disability. There are so many opportunities and circles that a person can be left out of because of their illiteracy. In that vein, I felt illiterate when it came to business acumen and finance. I want to be literate in the business world and acquire the acumen that will make me a force to be reckoned with.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Money comes and goes, so I believe that I will make my financial investment back. The investment in time, especially because I will be 34 when I graduate, was one that I struggled with. However, it’s a pretty black-and-white issue. Two years are going to pass, regardless of what I do – how I spend my time in those years is what really matters. I wanted to be able to say that I invested in myself in that time. That, my friends, is invaluable!
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Michigan, Ohio State, Texas
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I spoke to a lot of alumni and I visited every school. I wanted to make sure that I could see myself there. I definitely utilized Poets & Quants, because of the diversified articles and school features. My advice would be to go to the mixers that each school holds so you can meet the alumni, which is the best way to get a feel for the culture of the school. It’s also a good idea to start looking at the companies who recruit at the different schools. It’s normal to now know what function you want to hold, but you may have an interest in a certain industry or company, so be on the lookout for that.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Sadly enough, getting hurt while playing basketball completely changed my life trajectory. I was the number one recruit in the nation coming out of high school, and I suffered a career-ending injury in my freshman year of college. I was told that I was never going to play basketball after college because of the damage, and they were correct. What they didn’t tell me was that I was going to have to find a new identity. The road was long and beyond difficult, but one that has shaped who I am today. I was forced to find other passions and open my mind to other interests and various paths I might have otherwise never taken, hence this MBA!
What do you plan to do after you graduate? TBD
Where do you see yourself in five years? The goal in five years is simple. Be a boss, in every sense of the word. Of course, I want to be well-connected and I want to be living comfortably, but I also want to be a connector for other people and live life with purpose.