“Marylander-turned-Midwesterner and creative entrepreneur working to start my own organization to address factory farming.”
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to do photography and draw.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Class of 2011, BA in Political Science
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, FoodShare Outreach Specialist
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my role at Second Harvest Foodbank, I built community partnerships and conducted FoodShare (SNAP) outreach and enrollment that generated 1.7 million meals to feed hungry community members and $7.9 million in local economic impact. (I have the stats if you need them).
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? New, so far! Lots of new people to meet who come from career backgrounds and professional interests that are new to me.
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? Social entrepreneurship fit. My goals are to start my own organization and I wanted a nonprofit management and social entrepreneurship focus to my graduate school experience. The option to do an MPP/MBA with nonprofit management on one side and the Ventures Enterprise on the other side made that possible.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I plan on applying for the Sands Fellowship and I am most looking forward to the opportunity to incubate and develop my idea in a supportive environment.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am working on starting an organization called Greener Pastures, which is a visual storytelling and lifestyle community that celebrates the stories of farmers and organizations in humane, sustainable agriculture to help cultivate consumer demand and grassroots action away from factory farming. My background is in nonprofit development and community organizing, but I don’t have a key set of skills I need to run a strategic organization with longevity that doesn’t predominantly rely on fundraising to make an impact.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship for my MBA through the Forte Foundation, which is a game changer for someone with nonprofit/social venture goals. I knew that if I took the time to earn my MBA, I would have a bedrock set of organizational management skills that I could use to start my own venture, with the safety net knowledge that I could always support myself and my family in the traditional business world, which, as a woman today, is a powerful and agency-affirming feeling to have.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan (all MBA/MPP dual degree programs)
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I looked for schools with an MBA/MPP program with opportunities for applied learning while working on mission- or social impact-focused projects throughout the program. I also looked at schools in cities with a thriving progressive non-profit and food community in Big Ag states. Once I was admitted into multiple programs, I valued small class size and having a program where I felt like I could feel comfortable as a non-traditional MBA candidate.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I had the experience of witnessing a factory farm up-close when I was a child, and it shaped my understanding that we can have a food system that is kinder, greener, and more just than what we have now – and that people fundamentally care about the values behind their food!
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to launch my organization, Greener Pastures, during my time at Carlson and work as its executive director ongoing.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Leading and working with a passionate team to inspire support for humane, sustainable agriculture at Greener Pastures.