Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class Of 2021

Kristin Mixon

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

“Army veteran and mother of two, my husband is also Ross Class of 2021.”

Hometown: Dearborn, MI

Fun Fact About Yourself: While I was applying to grad school, I was serving in the Army as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, leading an organization of over 200 people, and taking care of my two children while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy, Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Army, Captain

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  Leading an organization of over 200 soldiers for two years in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My classmates are genuine. Not only are they talented, but they want to share their talents and experiences with their fellow classmates so that come graduation we can all go out into the world and make a positive impact.

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? Action-Based Learning was the key factor that led me to choose Ross. Having the opportunity to apply academic lessons to real-world problems in an academic environment made me feel that I would be able to push myself outside my comfort zone and optimize my MBA experience. I knew that Ross would help me get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m most looking forward to joining the Michigan Business Women club. I expect that meeting its members and hearing their stories will be both inspiring and empowering.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Tell me about a time that you received professional feedback that was difficult to take.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have learned that if you want to be an effective leader, you need to have a general knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the people on your team. I knew that leading people is something I would miss from my time in the military and I wanted to continue to work in that capacity as a civilian. I felt that earning my MBA would best prepare me to take on a leadership role in a new career field. 

What other MBA programs did you apply to?  I actually only applied to Ross. I visited Ross during their Veterans weekend in 2017 and knew that Michigan was where we (my family) belonged. It felt like home.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I determined that Ross was the right fit for me because it had a collaborative culture and fit my career goals. I visited Ross multiple times during the application process and interacted with countless students. Every student that I interacted with (even those not involved with admissions events) only had positive things to say about Ross. The current students and alumni were extremely helpful and willing to take time out of their busy lives to advise me during the application process. It is rare to find a collection of people who are so talented but still so down-to-earth. I found that at Ross. Ross was also the perfect fit for my long term career goals. I grew up in the Detroit area and am excited to get involved in the revitalization that is happening downtown and in surrounding cities following my MBA.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?  In 2014, my husband and I decided to start a family. At that point in my career, there were no other female Army Aviation Officers in my unit who were having kids for me to look up to. Most female Aviation Officers I met either put off having kids or decided to leave the military because they thought they couldn’t continue to perform at a high level professionally. This was a defining moment for me because I decided that I was not willing to sacrifice what I wanted for either my personal or professional life. I knew I was going to find a way to make them work together and I will continue to do that throughout my career.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?  Working in real estate development and urban planning to aid in the revitalization of Detroit.

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