“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.