Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2020

Abby Rudd

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“Authentic and passionate lifelong learner constantly looking to grow as an individual.”

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona

Fun Fact About Yourself: If your first year of an MBA wasn’t challenging enough, I’ve decided to train for the Phoenix Marathon. I started having only ever run, at most, 6.2 miles with a new goal of reaching 26.2 miles.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Science in Finance, San Diego State University – Master of Science, Integrated Marketing Communications

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Customer Experience Analyst, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment came when working in the market research industry. After only a few months into my career, I helped lead a study for a financial services client. Due to organizational changes, I essentially became the client-facing lead on a large study, with a new client, and in an entry level role. We delivered reports that exceeded our client’s expectations, which allowed us to build a strong, lasting relationship. As a result of my performance on this project, I received a company performance award and was promoted to Research Manager.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My ASU classmates are very open, transparent, and authentic. Everyone is so willing to help one another out and provide support in whatever ways they can. I think everyone presents themselves in a way that is true to who they are as people both at work and home. It is refreshing to be surrounded by classmates who are so supportive of one another.

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? We live in a world that is changing rapidly as a result of globalization and technology. I wanted to be part of a program that focused on preparing students for the business world of tomorrow and not just of today. As the number one school in the country for innovation, ASU’s program is built to create business leaders that can navigate the changing business landscape. This factor alone led me to choose ASU for my full-time MBA. I wanted to be best prepared to succeed in this dynamic landscape.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? During the admissions process, ASU’s MBA Ambassadors played a pivotal role in making sure I was supported when making my decision. I’m excited to join the MBA Ambassadors during my second quarter to guide future students through their admissions process. Whether it is answering questions about the program curriculum or providing recommendations on Phoenix, I want to show future MBA students everything ASU has to offer.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’m passionate about learning and constantly expanding my skill set. As someone who is always looking for opportunities to grow, an MBA was an obvious progression. In addition to the learning aspect, I wanted to refocus my career goals. After a few years of work experience, I started to define what I actually wanted to do with my career. I wanted to become a more effective leader and an MBA provides students with the resources to build and leverage those skills.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I believe that learning opportunities are worth the investment. By understanding the skills I would gain and preference I would receive MBA-level roles, I knew the investment was worth it.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I wanted to be part of a program that was forward- thinking and focused on the future business world. As the number one school for innovation, I knew ASU was the perfect fit for what I wanted to do. This is why I only applied to ASU.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When evaluating MBA programs, I focused on the curriculum and the program’s acceptance of change. ASU’s curriculum provided courses, such as fusion learning labs, that encouraged cross-functional collaboration on real business issues. They don’t think of cross-functional as marketing and finance speaking to one another, but rather engineering and business. ASU is also very welcoming to making changes to their program to meet the needs of its students. For example, there are industry specializations being implemented to support students who want exposure to those areas before pursuing a career in the industry.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment involved choosing a learning opportunity over the extrinsic rewards of a role. Prior to leaving work for my MBA, I was in a role where I was close to being given a promotion to get me closer to my goal role. However, I saw the value of an MBA and the unique learning opportunities it would provide. Those opportunities wouldn’t necessarily come at work. I made the decision to sacrifice the extrinsic rewards to do something intrinsically motivating for me. It really showed me how important your ambitions are. Even if there are opportunity costs, I need to always make decisions that most motivate me to be the best version of myself.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Following graduation, I hope to move into product management within technology, retail, or financial services. I want to help build strategies and roadmaps to bring customer-focused products from conception to market. As someone who is data-driven, I want to be in a role where I can constantly assess market and competitive conditions to identify opportunities to better serve customer needs.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I hope to be in a people management role where I can use my experiences to help grow early-in-career employees. I want to see people succeed and enable them to accomplish their career goals.

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