2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Claire Battafarano, Michigan State (Broad)

Claire Battafarano

Michigan State University, Broad College of Business

Dedicated, empathetic, pun-loving, humorous, servant-leader, wine-and-cheese enthusiast.”

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Fun fact about yourself: I was born in Nuremburg, Germany

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Texas at Austin; B.S. in Advertising

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? True[X] (an advertising tech company), Senior Account Manager; NYC, NY

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? The Boeing Company; Seattle, WA

Where will you be working after graduation? The Boeing Company; St. Louis, MO; HR Career Foundations Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President, MBA Association (2018-2019), Cohort Representative (2017-2018); Graduate Assistant, Undergraduate Business Communication (2018-2019); “Most Outstanding MBA” (2018)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Participation in and completion of Race and Gender Dialogues, two separate dialogues offered through Michigan State University’s Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. MSU Dialogues have helped me explore my own identity, understand the impact of race/gender in the US, and develop a skill set to challenge oppression.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a Senior Account Manager at true[X], I spearheaded an initiative to streamline our creative development process. My goal was to develop a quick go-to-market process that could meet some of our top clients’ compressed timelines. This required collaboration between sales, creative, interactive producer, operations, and account management teams and decreased our dev timeline from 15-20 days to 5-7 days after receiving assets. As a result, one of our client’s increased their spend from $1.5MM in Q3-Q4 to $6MM annually. Since leaving the company (to attend Broad), this process has been further optimized and campaigns can launch in 4 hours.

What was your favorite MBA Course Negotiations; This class taught me that negotiations are more than a win-lose situation. Instead, you can be integrative and create significant value between the parties involved.

Why did you choose this business school? To be honest, a pros and cons list only went so far. The feeling of belonging and knowing the staff and students had my best interest at heart is why I chose the MSU Broad MBA Program.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic. Finding the best program fit will help you be successful – you cannot do this if you are not being transparent about yourself, your interests, and your goals.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Our Broad MBA Program has the reputation of being a team-building school, which I found to be the case. From the start, one of our professors breaks our class up into 5-person teams, which we retain for the entire first year. All group cases, projects, and papers from our core curriculum are completed with this team, which builds and reinforces a collaborative and team-oriented skillset that can be applied in the workforce.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? Don’t underestimate the importance of self-reflection before you enter your MBA program. This helps you establish your goals, explore industries of interest, and develop a list of target companies during the quiet before the graduate school storm.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? While the curriculum itself has been transformative, my classmates have been essential to my development in the program. Their diverse backgrounds, points of view, and interests have challenged me to change my perspective and, in times of great stress, they’ve been the support system that’s helped me survive.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Brent Cartwright. As a member of my first-year team, I was fortunate to witness his passion for learning, unfailingly positive attitude, and giving nature. Even when completely overwhelmed, Brent could always find the silver lining and lift our team’s spirits.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? TL;DR “Too Long Didn’t Read”. I have nightmares that I will someday receive this response in an email.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…probably in NYC, still regularly eating $1 slices of pizza and complaining about “how unreliable the subways have gotten.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? Priceless – I can’t begin to assign value to all the intangible skills developed and benefits received from the Broad MBA Program. I primarily have the faculty, staff, and my peers to thank for this.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Revisit my birthplace (Nuremburg, Germany), eat Tex-Mex with Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I’d like my peers to remember me as a positive, supportive, and empathetic person who will always put my best foot forward for causes greater than myself.

  • Hobbies? I enjoy running, crockpotting, and reading. Also…does constantly watching re-runs of The Office count as a hobby?

What made Claire such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

From the moment she arrived in the FTMBA program, Claire was a leader, able to establish consensus amongst her classmates through strategy, empathy and work ethic. Whether she was involved in supporting professional treks and engagements or helping create MBA socials to bring her classmates together, Claire was consistently at the forefront of supporting her graduating class and strengthening the program. As the MBA Association President, Claire and her e-board have left a footprint that will resonate well after their departure. They worked tirelessly to revise, strengthen and expand their operating documents and constitution, resulting in a new mission and vision statements for the MBA Association that will inspire and motivate future classes to expand the scope and reach of this critical student organization. Claire’s presidency has made the Broad MBA a better program, and we thank her for her service!”

Wayne Hutchison

Director, MBA


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