“Teacher turned consultant who is passionate about creatively solving problems and eating New York bagels.”
Hometown: Edison, NJ
Fun Fact About Yourself: I once met Kimberly, the original pink Power Ranger (my fellow 90’s people know who I’m talking about). It was one of the best moments of my life.
Undergraduate School and Major:
BA, Rutgers University, Economics & Communication
MS, Johns Hopkins University, Education
Most Recent Employer and Job Title:
ZS Associates- Strategy Insights & Planning Associate
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After graduating from college, I joined Teach for America where I taught high school math at a large public school. This was an amazing experience that gave me the unique opportunity to mentor and guide nearly 150 students in total. I’m very proud of my students’ success in Algebra as they advanced over three grade levels in math ability each year and showed a real passion to learn, making my job very rewarding.
All of my students are either in college right now or have already graduated from undergrad. Hearing about how my students are thriving and pursuing their dreams (one of them is even applying for law school already!) is very exciting and I look forward to hearing about how these 150 kids – I mean young adults – take the world by storm.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I’ve been blown away by how supportive all my classmates have been so far both inside and outside the classroom.
Prior to beginning classes, there is an optional program called Darden Before Darden, which is a pre-matriculation program designed to provide students with a solid foundation in core business skills like Accounting and Finance. This program is great for people who haven’t been exposed to many of the “traditional” business classes (like myself). During one of the Finance classes in this program, I expressed that I was struggling to understand a certain concept and was pleasantly surprised to receive many messages from my section-mates with very thorough examples and offers to meet after class to go over everything. The fact that people have been willing to go out of their way to support me has shown me how genuine my Darden classmates are.
An interesting aspect about getting an MBA outside of a major city is that everyone tends to live near each other and you’ll see your classmates at the bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and parks. This brings classmates closer together and creates a very tight-knit and supportive culture.
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 case method was the biggest draw for me. When I was a high school teacher, I saw that my students learned and retained the most when they were able to discuss the topics and form their own connections to the material. I realized how powerful that method of teaching is and so I looked for a learning environment where I could be an active participant and learn from my professors and peers.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Wine and Cuisine Club. Charlottesville is known for its vineyards so it’s the perfect time to learn about wine so I can hopefully become slightly classier during these two years.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Getting a full-time MBA seemed like a great opportunity to reflect and evaluate what matters to me while also growing skills that I will use for the rest of my career. I’m excited by the opportunity to recruit with many interesting firms and find a role that excites me.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I talked to alumni and current students at every school I applied to. These phone calls and coffee chats took a long time but were extremely valuable as they showed me what I could expect during these next two years. Everyone was very open to chatting and happy to share their experiences.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Tuck, Stern, Ross, Yale
How did you determine your fit at various schools? The MBA Mission Insider Guides were very valuable along with the Poets&Quants profiles of the schools. Additionally, I found visiting classes to be very valuable to determine if I could visualize myself in a certain learning environment. During this process, I learned that I preferred a smaller MBA program where I could form deep connections with the school, professors, and classmates rather than one where I wouldn’t necessarily get to build relations with everybody.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I don’t think I’ve had the defining moment yet, but I anticipate I’ll have many during these next two years. Every Darden alumni I’ve talked to has described the transformation one undergoes as a student here and I can’t wait to see how I evolve.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I’m exploring different career options within consulting, tech, and marketing. I’m hoping to find a job that allows me to be both creative and analytical on a daily basis.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Only time will tell.