2019 MBAs To Watch: Molly Robinson, Boston College (Carroll)

Molly Robinson

Boston College, Carroll School of Management

“A challenge-seeking INTJ with farm-girl roots.”

Hometown: Palmer, MA

Fun fact about yourself: I spent three months backpacking in South America, and my first big camping trip was the nine-day Torres del Paine circuit trail in Patagonia.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Wheaton College (MA), Sociology

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I’ve held a number of marketing roles across a variety of industries prior to business school. Most recently, I was the first marketing hire at a PaaS start-up in Boston and served as Director, Marketing and Communications. I was responsible for everything from event strategy and execution to implementing a marketing automation system to hiring a team for paid acquisition and public relations.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Bain & Company, Boston, MA

Where will you be working after graduation? I’ll continue working at Bain & Company as a member of the global marketing team.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-President of the Graduate Marketing Association
  • Research Assistant to the Dean
  • BC Ambassador Program
  • Dean’s Scholarship Recipient
  • Volunteering, including at City Year, Community Servings, and the Boston Athletic Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I was one of three students from Boston College selected to participate in an international consulting project in partnership with a university and a company based in Nuremberg, Germany. The team of students was responsible for developing a new digital-driven business model for the company with almost no parameters or restrictions on our creativity. It was hands-down the most relevant, challenging academic experience I’ve had. Knowing that our work and recommendations would result in real changes within a business was incredibly motivating and exciting. The experience was also a valuable leadership exercise in terms of working cross-culturally with long-distance colleagues.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m so proud of my time at Genscape, a medium-sized energy information company in Boston. I was brought on as part of a very small, newly-formed marketing team and, in three years, was able to help build an integrated marketing engine that influenced more than 52% of sales opportunities. My most memorable project was putting on a new event from scratch with the goal of building the brand and driving revenue opportunities. I secured high-profile speakers and sponsorships and brought in panel moderators from top industry publications. I organized the agenda, coordinated logistics, and managed the marketing campaigns. In the end, we had more than 100 paid attendees and the event led to significant revenue opportunities and strengthened Genscape’s relationships with industry partners and thought leaders.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor has to be Metin Sengul. He holds everyone to a high bar and commands your respect, attention, and the utmost effort. While this may sound intimidating and difficult to some, not one student would complain about Metin’s class. He challenged our reasoning to get to better outcomes while keeping a wry sense of humor. We’re all much better for having had the opportunity to learn from him.

What was your favorite MBA Course? One of my favorite courses was Strategic Pricing and Policy with Professor Gerald Smith. The biggest insight was that companies often focus on cost-cutting to increase profitability while overlooking the power of value-based pricing. A small increase in price can have an outsized impact on profit, and any one of us may have the opportunity to make the case for a strategic price change to leadership. Not only did we learn the formulas and strategic approaches to measuring value and setting prices, but we also discussed important management techniques and the pitfalls to avoid.

Why did you choose this business school? The driving reason for choosing Boston College was the sense of connection and community I felt when I attended the accepted students’ day. The students are down-to-earth, humble and have rich, unique backgrounds. Another important reason was Boston College’s emphasis on data analytics, which is included in the core curriculum and gives every student a solid frame of reference for any future management role or a springboard into a data analytics career.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic with yourself when you think about why you’re applying to business school and what you need to succeed. Then make it shine in your application. Boston College does a great job of curating MBA classes with unique stories, perspectives, and interests. If you thrive when you can collaborate with and learn from your peers and have a genuine passion for learning, then you’re the right fit!

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Boston College is that most students pursue a finance concentration. While the finance department is definitely a strength, I’ve found the student body to be extremely diverse in terms of interests and backgrounds with many pursuing marketing, operations, and strategy.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? I wish I’d had a better sense of the demand for my personal time. I lived in Boston for years prior to starting school and have a strong network of friends here. Between class, career, and social events with my new classmates, I struggled to maintain my existing relationships and had to make tough choices about how to spend my meager free time.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? One of my big reasons for pursuing an MBA was to gain the confidence I’d need to be a leader in a larger company. I’m happy to report that my confidence level has transformed, and I now feel ready to be a respected, thoughtful leader in any future role.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is a hard one. I have so much respect for my classmates, especially the parents and veterans who are juggling heftier commitments than most. I have to choose the first person who came to mind – Victoria Booth. Her intelligence and intensity intimidated me on day one, but I’m happy to say she’s one of my best friends today and is not at all scary. She’s got a quick wit and is never afraid to speak up with an out-of-the-box idea and defend her position with grace and clear logic. While some would use their final semester with a great job offer in hand to take it a little easy, Victoria is cramming her schedule with as many courses as possible, always striving to better herself. I’m excited to see her career take off after graduation.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Jaimie Weiss, a former colleague who became one of my best friends in life, was a major influence in my decision. At Genscape, we shared concerns about our career trajectories and were both highly ambitious. When Jaimie left to earn an MBA at UCLA Anderson, she frequently shared her enthusiasm for the program, the new opportunities she encountered, and the business strategies she learned. As I contemplated my own next steps, her advice and encouragement became a big factor in my decision.

What is your favorite movie about business? Joy with Jennifer Lawrence. I loved seeing her passion and commitment to her idea to pay off. Plus, her no-nonsense personality was hilarious. The biggest lesson I took from the movie was to learn to trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take risks to pursue your passion.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. This term was introduced in a negotiating workshop and quickly took on a life of its own. We even had fun with our own version: WATNA (your Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…Business school was never a certainty for me. However, with a degree in sociology, I began feeling that I was running into a ceiling and lacked the confidence and business acumen to become a true leader in a larger company. Without Boston College, I’d likely be in a medium-sized tech company replicating some of my previous projects and achievements to help build a marketing function from the ground up.

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? Is this a trick question? While I paid a specific dollar amount for my education, it’s impossible to know how far this degree will take me in the decades to come and what value that will bring me. The value and worth I’ve gained can be measured in future salary, but also in the confidence I’ve gained, my expanded network, the lasting friendships built, and a new level of self-awareness. These intangible benefits can’t be measured.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Visit Scotland to explore my “McDonald clan” heritage and go on an Alaskan cruise.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope my classmates remember me as someone trustworthy, reliable and approachable who they would not hesitate to connect with in the future.

Hobbies? Travel, cooking and trying new restaurants, exercising, and hiking with my dog. I grew up on a horse farm and hope to start horseback riding again after graduation.

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

“Molly brings tremendous energy and spirit to the program. Prior to beginning her MBA, Molly was asked by her previous employer to continue to work into her first year. Given how little time students have to do anything but school work during their first year of business school, Molly not only withstood the pressure of her situation, but came out on top, performing at a high level in the classroom.

Her energy carried through to her career goals: even before entering business school, Molly aimed to pivot into service marketing, which she did by securing an internship in that area. She eventually interned at Bain & Company, where she is headed back to after graduation. In this sense, Molly has been proof of the simple, timeless idea that possessing clear goals and a strong drive does indeed lead to success.”

Marilyn Eckelman

Associate Dean, Graduate Programs

Boston College Carroll School of Management

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