Meet the Carnegie Mellon Tepper MBA Class Of 2020

Anna Situ

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

A creative and upbeat team player and an eternal dog lover.”

Hometown: Oakland, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve completed 7 marathons and over 10 half marathons, including the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge in which runners compete in the 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon on back-to-back days.

Undergraduate School and Major: BA in Public Health and Legal Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mathematica Policy Research, Survey Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I ran a data collection center and managed a group of 30 interviewers for a project for the Department of Education. My previous experience and education did not prepare me for that role, but I was able to rise to the occasion with my creativity and with help from my colleagues. In the end, I was formally recognized for my role in running the center and was awarded a certificate of recognition.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I attended the Forte conference with many of the women Tepper students and they were all amazing! Passion is a word that comes to mind when describing them. They are all not only passionate about what they want to pursue, but also equally passionate about helping other classmates.

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 applied as a dual-degree MBA/public policy candidate, so I had to consider the characteristics of the public policy programs in each of the schools. It was important for me that the public policy program had a quantitative and analytical focus. However, what drew me to Tepper was the culture. My interactions with current students, perspective students, and staff were all positive and felt genuine.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Recruiting!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I recognized the limitations of having a bachelor’s degree. If I want to truly create an impact with my work and have direct results, I need to purse a master’s degree.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? An MBA is a degree I can apply to multiple sectors. Life is uncertain and an MBA will prepare me for whatever challenge comes my way or if I change my mind about what I want to do multiple times.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Michigan and UNC Chapel Hill (both had dual degree MBA/MPP options)

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized the percent of students who went into the industries and functions that I’m pursuing. Tools I used included employment data released by the schools and school profiles on Poets & Quants. For determining cultural fit, I reached out to MBA ambassadors who had similar career interests from each school via email, phone, and in-person coffee chats. Interviewing on campus was also very valuable for determining fit. I had the chance to see how students interacted with each other and the larger communities that the schools were part of.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My mother unexpectedly passed away during my final semester of college and that had a profound impact on me. At first, I fell into depression and struggled with my courses. I seriously considered taking off a semester and postponing graduating. But I learned an important lesson: the world will move on with or without me and I could either participate or stand by and watch. From then on, I knew that I always have a choice to do something to change an outcome. I chose to finish that semester and graduated.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?  My goal is to work in a consulting role to help organizations that create social impact.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Doing something that will improve the quality of life for others and owning my second dog.