Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class of 2021

Ran Levinsky

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“I’m an Israeli tennis player who loves to travel, hike, and meet new people.”

 

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a big fan of rice! In the age of 27, I cooked pasta in my first time in my life. (I had to google it.)

Undergraduate School and Major:

Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Management (Cum laude with honors; Top 3% of Class)

The College of Management Academic Studies, Rishon Lezion, Israel

Class of 2015

 

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Teva Pharmaceutical, Corporate Financial Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was selected by my college professors as 1 of 30 students from over 11K applicants to attend “The Leaders” project. For five months, I interned as a financial analyst in a rotational program at Israel’s leading investment house, Meitav-Dash.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? All the classmates I met so far are awesome! The collaborative, friendly, and diverse environment best describes my classmates at UNC Kenan-Flagler. The admissions office did an incredible job of choosing smart and friendly people from diverse backgrounds. I learn something new from their experiences every day. Chapel Hill and the UNC Kenan-Flagler full-time MBA program combination creates a unique environment that cannot be achieved in any other place. In addition, I think that it’s the Carolina way influences all of us to exhibit the core values of excellence, leadership, integrity, community, and teamwork, that first attracted us to UNC.

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? Developing my leadership as well as my soft skills were critical factors for me when I decided to apply to UNC Kenan-Flagler. In today’s business world, over 90% of the employees are looking for a future business leader, especially from the MBA programs. After examining the top MBA programs, it was clear that UNC Kenan-Flagler’s leadership development model is unique and made it the ideal place for me to develop the skills and experiences that I need to achieve my career goals. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s endless opportunities to get hands-on experience and experiential learning opportunities, such as the STAR program, will allow not only to practice what I have learned in the class, to grow as a leader and to make a positive impact on the MBA community, but also to develop the skills and experiences needed in order to achieve my career goals.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school?

UNC Kenan-Flagler clubs are a unique opportunity to take leadership roles within the school in which you can impact the business school and develop your soft skills. As an MBA student, you need to manage your time well while still contributing and making an impact. UNC Kenan-Flagler has over 45 different clubs, out of which I’m looking forward to taking a leadership role within the Corporate Finance and Pride clubs. In the Corporate Finance Club, I hope to contribute from my experience as a corporate financial analyst by supporting those who would like to make a career change and developing the club professionally. In the Pride Club, I hope to increase awareness of workplace discrimination toward the LGBTQ+ community among my fellow students and professionally support LGBTQ+ as an ally.

 

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? – What is your favorite food, and how is it connected to your personality?

 

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had a great career until business school started. Between my time in the army as a budget controller manager and my last role at Teva as a corporate financial analyst, I had many opportunities to be exposed to finance, lead different teams and projects, and grow professionally.

To develop the additional skills I need to achieve my career goals, it was clear to me that pursuing the academic and social aspects of the MBA was the best next step for me. Not only did I seek the academic knowledge that comes with an MBA, but as an international student who has goals of working in the global market the social and cultural experience of the MBA is unparalleled.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Johnson and McCombs

How did you determine your fit at various schools? As an international student, my research was extensive and broad. Not only did I need to learn about each school’s reputation, location, culture, and diversity, but also I had to think strategically about which school will be most valuable for my future career. It was a long and in-depth process to determine which school to apply to because the amount of information, reviews, and marketing materials you can find online on each program are endless. For me, one of the main factors that helped me to make the decision was the people. Within each school I considered, I talked to students and alumni and their experiences gave me the additional knowledge that I sought. I learned how school contributed to people with the same background as mine both in terms of soft and hard skills and academics. Moreover, by talking to students and alumni, I learned about how the school culture contributed to their overall experience.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My grandfather escaped a Nazi concentration camp and lived in the forests of Poland for several years. My defining moment happened a few times when he shared with me stories from his childhood that shaped the values that I live by to this day. Each story reflected lessons he learned surviving the unimaginable and each one is universally applicable to my life today. One of the values he taught me is that being a leader may seem obvious, but trusting others and working collaboratively will give me an advantage. Values such as excellence, teamwork, and originality are the values that I live by today.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years from now, my career goal is to grow to a CFO level position within a mid-size company.

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