”Always finding opportunities for self-improvement.”
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: As part of my college’s graduation requirement, I had to pass a swimming test. I attempted the test my freshman year after convincing myself I could swim four laps although I’d never done it before. I immediately sank to the bottom, realized my mistake and the swimming coach had to come in and fetch me. I took the swimming class and passed the test my junior year (with floaties).
Undergraduate School and Major: Hamilton College, Sociology
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), Quantitative Insights Associate
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: This past year, I had two opportunities to share my personal and career story. As a Futures and Options Young Professionals Committee member and program alum, I had the opportunity to share with the organization’s investors the power of how the career prep program helped me blossom early on in my career as a high school student. I also had the opportunity to go back to my alma mater and share my story with students and their parents about how Hamilton College’s Opportunity Program supported my success as an undergrad. I’m most proud of these accomplishments because I had the courage to share my authentic self and continue to conquer my fear of public speaking, all while feeling empowered.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Supportive. I knew going into Darden that I would enter a collaborative community, but I didn’t realize to what extent that would be true starting from Day 1. My classmates have already connected me with their networks, taken the time to speak with me about their experiences, and gone out of their way to learn more about 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? The case method terrified me, and I knew that was exactly why I needed to apply. I felt the Darden classroom experience would prepare me to be an active leader, gain more confidence in my ideas, and feel comfortable being challenged regularly.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Global Immersion Course. I knew when I applied to business school, I would have more opportunities to go abroad. Being the first class to experience Darden’s Worldwide Course Scholarship is going to guarantee that happens!
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? About a month after I graduated undergrad, I knew I wanted to pursue my MBA. Two years into my work experience, I started to notice where my interest was most piqued, and this theme continued to when I changed companies. Within the first few months of changing companies, I knew that if I wanted to truly have an impact on an organization while pursuing my passions, the MBA was a crucial next step.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I wanted to take the opportunity to pursue my MBA earlier on in my career, so that I could lay a strong foundation for my trajectory. Before starting the application process, I asked myself, “Can I get where I want to be, in the same timeframe, if I don’t pursue my MBA?”
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Foster, Said, Ross, and Goizueta
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I first considered my career goals and the type of leader I wanted to become. I looked through each school’s curriculum and extra-curricular activities to see what opportunities there were for me to gain the insights and experiences I needed. I also spoke with at least two current students and alumni from every school to get a feel of their priorities during the application process and why their school was such a good fit for them. I narrowed down my list of schools by constantly asking myself one question: Would I be excited about going here if I was accepted?
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When I was in high school, my dad told me a story of how when my mom and I emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria. I had tried to push our luggage across the JFK airport floor. I was only three years old, so I don’t think I got very far. To this day, it defines how I try to push myself: I try to take on way more than I should be able to handle and hope for the best because I know the worst that can happen is that I fail.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to work for a company whose mission I support and in a role that allows my strategy skills to blossom. I also plan to continue to find time to pursue my passion for supporting education organizations and finding opportunities to eat abroad.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I see myself in San Francisco, working my dream job that intersects my interests in both healthcare and technology. I’ll be an active alum for both Hamilton and Darden, while finding time to enjoy tea, traveling, and time with friends.