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

Kathleen Orr

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“Small business owner, proud Penn Stater, mediocre tennis player, travel enthusiast.”

Hometown: Greensburg, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to kiteboard. Scouting out kiteboarding spots and nailing new tricks are some of my favorite things to do.

Undergraduate School and Major: The Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College, dual majors in Marketing and Spanish

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: IBM, Senior Enterprise Application Consultant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The accomplishment I am most proud of in my career is when I successfully developed and led a training program for a software implementation of a major international retailer. The client was undergoing a software change that impacted their day-to-day business processes and functionalities. As the training lead on that project, it was my job to create and deliver a training strategy to help this client adapt, so they could be productive on day one of their new systems. I created custom training tools and led training sessions with users to deliver a successful end result. This role was new and challenging to me and pushed me to grow professionally and personally.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Eagerness. In all the interactions I’ve had with my classmates, I’ve felt a strong underlying sense of this. It’s an eagerness to learn, to help each other out, and to grow. It is manifested in curiosity and a desire to better not only themselves but also to help those around them.

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? The key factor that led me to choose Tepper for my full-time MBA was the prospect of challenge. I believe that this program is going to challenge me in many different ways. It will push me academically, professionally, and personally. To me, this is the most important aspect of a program. What I hope to gain from an MBA is growth achieved by facing challenging situations, working to find solutions and learning new skills along the way.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to joining the Tepper Women in Business Club. I am excited to join a club that fosters and promotes the success of women in business. I am also interested in joining the Graduate Entrepreneurship Club and working with other graduate students across Carnegie Mellon.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I was asked during my interview was to think of a time when I had to make a compromise on the job and how I handled it. It made me reflect on my career at IBM and think about how I’d grown over my time there.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I decided to pursue an MBA because I am at a crossroads in my career. I spent four years as a consultant and decided that it wasn’t the path for me. However, I’ve always wanted to return to my family’s business, Orrco, a precision manufacturing company based in the Pittsburgh area. I knew that a degree from Tepper would elevate my current strengths, while also providing me with a new skill set. With the help of Tepper, I am excited to use the skills I have and will acquire to the benefit of Orrco.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Pitt Katz. Due to my focus on my family business, I considered only Pittsburgh-based programs.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I wanted a school that would challenge me and I knew Tepper, with its analytical reputation, would do just that. I attended Tepper’s Women’s Visit Day and Welcome Weekend – and those trips made a lasting impact on me as well. Everyone I met was genuinely interested in collaboration and those weekends gave me a feel for the positive culture at the school. I also knew the program aligned with my career goals because of its reputation for excellence in entrepreneurship and analytical focus.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Rather than a single moment, I find that there is a multitude of moments that shape who I am today. There was the first summer in high school when I worked on the production floor of my family’s machine shop. I operated machines and inspected complex parts. I saw first-hand the dedication that the past three generations of my family have all had to the company that I now look to join.

Another pivotal moment in my life was, shortly after graduating from Penn State, stepping alone onto a plane bound for Texas. This was only the first of countless trips I would take throughout my consulting career with IBM. During my time at this job, I learned the value of independence and adaptability when faced with unfamiliar situations and problems.

Finally, this summer I moved home to Pittsburgh and rejoined Orrco, though this time in an office and not on the manufacturing floor. I look to begin a new phase of my career and my life as I pursue my MBA and continue Orrco’s legacy.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I hope to be using the skills I have attained through my time at Tepper to further the success of my family’s company.

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