Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class Of 2020

Jazmine Carter

University of Rochester, Simon Business School

Curious learner that challenges the status quo with a fun-loving attitude.”

Hometown: High Point, North Carolina

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love Snoopy and collect all things Peanuts gang created by Charles M. Schulz! (Family tradition)

Undergraduate School and Major: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Major – Communication Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Southwest Airlines, Business Consultant-Customer Experience Planner

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career was my contribution to Southwest Airlines, both its customers and the Southwest employee family. I had the privilege of working cross-functionally at Southwest by partnering with the operations, supply chain, marketing, and technology departments among others. I contributed to major strategic initiatives like optimizing the current inflight food and beverage program, launching the 2017 uniform refresh impacting 40,000+ frontline employees, and supporting the five-year strategic investment planning process for the Commercial organization. In addition to business acumen, I learned what it means to truly live the Southwest way. Following the golden rule and putting people first is not just a mantra but the way of life at Southwest. These values will always and forever be a part of who I am and how I live both professionally and personally because of this rich experience.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Collaborative is the quality that best describes my MBA 2020 Simon family. Because our class size is very intimate and cozy, we have the privilege of truly getting to know the entire cohort well. The spirit of collaboration is evident through the kind words exchanged in group communication forums and the genuine willingness to help each other learn whether in classwork or career search. Here at Simon, we go above-and-beyond to show up and show out each other as cheerleaders, coaches, or simply friends sharing the MBA experience.

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 key factor that led me to choose this program was Simon’s approach to graduate business education as unabashedly analytical. Simon’s focus on analytics is long-standing, proven, and far surpasses the recent buzzword of “analytics”. The analytical t approach to solving business problems rusn deep in the program spanning cousework, experimental learning, and extracurricular activities. As I had a deep desire to enhance this skill-set, I felt very confident Simon would place in the analytical environment to challenge not just the way I think but also my ability to impact the business world.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most looking forward to the Simon Vision Consulting club to find the perfect business opportunity to help solve. Having hands-on experience outside of the classroom as a supplement to coursework gives the immediate practical application of concepts and offers the type of learning I want to gain from my MBA.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? With 6+ years of professional experience prior to pursuing my MBA, I viewed the opportunity to obtain an MBA at this point in my career as a long-term investment in my future. Specifically, I wanted to gain core analytical skills in order to glean insights from big data and enhance my leadership to prepare for my future career. Even more, I wanted exposure to different facets of business to fulfill my passions and prepare myself for the next steps in my career.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Specific organizations like the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and the Forte Foundation significantly impacted my decision to pursue an MBA. These organizations provided unparalleled access to professionals with MBAs to understand their journeys and how an MBA has positively impacted their careers.  Finally, I knew that rounding out my professional experience with a master’s level degree would accelerate my ability to impact the market in my long-term career and provide a network.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Ross, UCLA, and McCombs

How did you determine your fit at various schools?

What factors did you prioritize? Culture, Community, Values and Mission of the schools

What tools did you use to evaluate schools? / How did you research culture?  Visit weekends, students and alumni, and career forums

How did you know it fits your career goals?  Coursework and experimental learning and clubs and extracurriculars offered by the school. I also reviewed the MBA employment reports published by the school to understand student placement and hiring opportunities.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? A moment that shaped my life was the passing of my grandmother. As she was a phenomenal woman who raised me to be the person I am today, I celebrate her by continuing her legacy as a visionary. I now seek to be the example in my family to take our legacy to the next level – i.e. MBA – so I can raise the bar and continue to take on experiences that force me to grow and become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?  Contribute the analytical skill set I gained at Simon to solving complex business problems.

Where do you see yourself in five years? TBD

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