Yale | Mr. Tambourine Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Sales From Law School
GMAT 700, GPA 11/20
Wharton | Mr. Rural Ed To International Business
GRE 329, GPA 3.6
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
IU Kelley | Mr. Jiu-Jitsu Account Admin
GMAT 500, GPA 3.23
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. URM Artillery Officer
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer To PM
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (with Honors)
Harvard | Ms. Eternal Optimism
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Lady Programmer
GRE 331, GPA 2.9
Ross | Mr. Double Eagle
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Harvard | Mr. UHNW Family Office
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85

Meet Carnegie Mellon Tepper’s MBA Class Of 2021

Cynthia Mills

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“Driven professional with a passion for mentoring women, college football, and my corgi.”

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m named after my mom’s best friend. She’s 40 years older than me and one of my best friends.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Miami, Architecture

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Arise Virtual Solutions, Manager, Digital Strategy

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Others have taken a chance on me in my career, and I was able to pay it forward when I hired Melanie for an internship. I needed someone to train our IBM Watson chatbot by entering thousands of real user questions. Melanie didn’t have experience as a system administrator, but neither did I when I started at Arise. I mentored Melanie, providing feedback and guidance on her project as this was her first corporate job. She successfully completed her project. She enjoyed her experience and pursued a career in Tech. She’s now a project manager with 15 people reporting to her.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Warm and engaging. Before visiting the campus this January for the Women in Leadership Conference, I was familiar with Carnegie Mellon’s reputation for strong academics. I was pleasantly surprised to find out my classmates were not only intelligent, but down-to-earth and easy to talk to. I have continued to get to know my classmates and really bonded with some amazing women at the Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference.

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? I chose Tepper for its strong curriculum with a focus on leadership, technology, and analytics. I have very little formal education in business, so I wanted a program with strong core classes and diverse electives exploring the intersection of business and technology. I plan to use what I learn during my MBA to pivot from being an individual contributor to a more strategic role.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Tepper Women in Business Club. Empowering women in business, especially in tech, is important to me. One of the reasons I’m pursuing an MBA is to attain the business knowledge I’ll need to reach my goal of becoming a female executive in a male-dominated field. I’ve had amazing female role models throughout my career in tech, and I plan to continue to be a role model for others.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I was asked during the admissions process came from friends and family. Some had a hard time understanding why I would move across the country, spend a considerable amount of money, and take two years out of the workforce when I “already had a good job.” It’s certainly a bold move, and I’m making a personal sacrifice of moving away from my fiancé for two years. However, I’m confident getting an MBA will give me the skills and network I need to transition to the next phase of my career.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’ve enjoyed being an individual contributor to tech, but I want my career to be more impactful. I’m more excited about being a decision-maker than a coder or analyst. With over three years as a system administrator, I have experience as an end user of sophisticated technology. If I combine this invaluable experience with what I’ll learn in during my MBA and internship, I’ll be equipped to transition to the business side of tech.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Ross, Fuqua, Kenan-Flagler, and McCombs

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I wanted an MBA program with a rigorous core curriculum and strong career placement in tech. Additionally, I’ve been in South Florida for ten years, but my fiancé and I are ready to move back to the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, so I needed a school with a robust alumni network in that part of the country. To evaluate schools, I spoke with admissions teams at the Miami Forté Forum and researched using the school’s websites and career reports. To determine fit, I visited each school, I interviewed on campus when offered the opportunity. These visits really allowed me to determine if the school’s culture was a fit and if I could see myself as a student in the program.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My mom has multiple sclerosis and had a stroke in 2010. Despite these health issues, she is a vibrant woman with a powerhouse career. She has shown me how to appreciate how lucky I am, even if unlucky things happen.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Professionally, I want to be an executive working in product management at a software company that makes tools that empower businesses to use data to make decisions. Personally, married to my fiancé Jordan with a few kids, and probably another corgi.

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