MBA Program: UNC, Kenan-Flagler Business School
MBA Concentration: Management Consulting
Hometown: New York, NY/Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia, Psychology & Sociology
Current Title at Microsoft: Solution Sales Specialist- Azure Apps & Infrastructure
How would you describe your role to your mother? As part of an account team, I help enterprise customers identify opportunities where using Microsoft’s cloud Azure can result in business benefits like decreased IT costs, faster innovation, better data security, and scalability.
A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I’m a huge fan of Marc Anthony. One year I saw him in concert three times.
What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment? During the 2nd year of my MBA, I was selected to be part of the leadership immersion capstone. One of the most challenging parts of the immersion was the required Outward-Bound experience in the mountains of North Carolina. For five days, I hiked with a 40-pound pack on my back, set up camp each night, slept in the cold and rain, scaled a high ropes course, and rock climbed – all without any showers, phones or internet. I’m not an outdoorsy person and I cherish all modern amenities, so this experience was completely out of my comfort zone. Through the many highs and lows that week, I learned that growth comes from working through discomfort. I completed activities that were mentally and physically challenging, scary, and uncomfortable. I accomplished something that meant a lot to me personally and I’m stronger for it.
Why did you choose to work at MSFT? I chose to work at Microsoft because I could see myself building a life-long career here. While recruiting, I spoke with many Microsoft employees who genuinely expressed feeling valued, engaged, and proud of their work. The phrases “dream job” and “dream company” were often used. While no company is perfect, I got the sense that Microsoft’s culture is one that empowers employees to do their best work and to never stop learning. Working here has been a dream realized and I’m excited to be part of Microsoft’s future.
What did you love about the business school you attended? What I loved about UNC were the multiple global learning opportunities available. My 1st year, I traveled to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia on an immersion trip focused on strategy and entrepreneurship. We learned about the culture, history, and economies of each country, and their influence on entrepreneurship and doing business there. In my 2nd year, I spent three months abroad in South America. I took business courses at UTDT in Buenos Aires, in classrooms filled with students from around the world. I also traveled to Peru, Colombia, and Argentina. KFBS really encouraged developing global leaders. Some of the most valuable lessons learned during my MBA were during these experiences.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at MSFT? I’ve learned that success isn’t measured by “knowing it all.” Having a growth mindset means being curious, continuously learning, and acknowledging that you won’t always have the answers. It has been difficult to embrace this especially when I want to appear competent and add value. However, I continue to learn from others and on many occasions, others have learned from me.
Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at MSFT and how has he or she made you a better in your role? My manager Cathy Leous has been integral to my success this year. She’s been at Microsoft over 20 years and has seen the company through various transitions. I’ve learned so much from her knowledge and experience. She has encouraged me to take on challenging accounts and has put me on high visibility projects.
My mentor Doug Williams has also been very supportive. He joined Microsoft after his MBA, so he can relate to my experience. When I expressed doubts about having technical conversations with customers, he reassured me that the value I bring is in my ability to assess their needs, understand their business objectives and instead focus the conversations around how our technology solutions will help deliver business value.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for MSFT? Really get to know Microsoft as a company, know our mission, what we value, and how we see our technologies impacting the future. Have conversations with employees in different roles, across different stages in their careers to get a sense of what it would be like to work here. Doing this really helped me convey why I wanted to work at Microsoft and how my unique strengths and experiences would bring value to my role.