2020 MBAs To Watch: Diandra Prutton, Michigan State (Broad)

Diandra Prutton

Michigan State University, Broad College of Business

“If I try to be like her, who will be like me?”

Hometown: Pleasant Hill, California

Fun fact about yourself: In 8th grade, I had to recite the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. I still know it by heart!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Senior Mortgage Analyst for JVM Lending

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? The Boeing Company in Plano, Texas

Where will you be working after graduation? S&P Global, Corporate Credit Ratings Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Broad MBA Finance Association
  • VP of Corporate Relations, Broad Women in MBAA Association
  • Foster parent for Capital Area Humane Society

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of being the president of the MBA Finance Association. When I was asked to be president, I had a tinge of imposter syndrome run through my body. When I expressed this to my friend, he was shocked and said, “Don’t even think about it, you’re going to be great.” At that moment, I realized the only person who thought I might not be a fit was me. Pursuing your MBA is about pushing yourself, learning, and developing a strong network of people that support and empower you. At that moment, I decided to drown out my self-doubt and pursue things that made me uncomfortable because those are the experiences that you grow from the most.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I first started working for JVM Lending, I had experienced a huge learning curve. It was challenging, fast-paced, and the stakes were high. At 22, I had a lot of autonomy and responsibility that I felt I couldn’t handle. Through the challenges, mistakes, and long nights working for JVM Lending, I continuously worked hard to ensure those mistakes wouldn’t happen again. Fast forward four-and-a-half years later, I left JVM as a manager of a team of analysts. I always smiled on the inside when some would say, “You seem to know everything and never miss anything!” If only anyone knows the hard work, resilience, and grit that comes with pushing yourself and overcoming challenges. Through this experience, I learned the importance of grit and the power of resilience.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor is Mahdi Nezafat. I took his Corporate Valuation class this past module and was equally terrified and intrigued by his class from day one. Being challenged by a professor who fosters an environment of safety and inclusion is rare. Professor Nezafat continually pushes you to think beyond the classroom and realize the real-world, relevant impact valuation can have on a company or project. He always says, “Valuation is an art, not a science.” I’ve become a better student, critical thinker, and employee because of Professor Nezafat.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Looking back at my time in business school, I can’t help but think of the people I’ve met. My first two friends at MSU have become some of my best friends. During our first week, we decided to meet for a beer at a local bar near campus. Since that first Wednesday, we’ve made it a tradition to go every Wednesday. On any given week, you can find six people in most of our class there. Dublin Wednesday has been something I look forward to every week, especially on those long days and cold nights. As classmates, we’ve been able to celebrate internship/full-time offers and share in disappointment when an interview didn’t quite go our way. I’ll cherish the conversations and memories we have shared those nights!

Why did you choose this business school? The intended path for my MBA, like many others, started out different than how it will end! After working for a small boutique mortgage lending firm, I became fascinated with how companies grow to scale and do so efficiently. I initially pursued my MBA to switch careers to human capital consulting and human resources. I applied to MSU because they have an excellent HR program and professors such as Professor Wagner. Fast forward several months and several finance classes later, I fell in love with the role finance has in decisions made for a firm.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Make sure you are ready to absorb the amazing experience that is getting your MBA. If you don’t have a direction or understand the value of pursuing an MBA – wait!

What is the biggest myth about your school? Not everyone bleeds Green and White.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back, I would have made more time to develop relationships with my professors. I’ve learned some of the most valuable lessons from them and I wish I shared that with them more.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate, Bolor Erdenechuluun. The best way I can describe Bolor is to reference the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. The book explains that in business there are takers, matchers, and givers. The book believes that you do not need to put people down to achieve success and that givers tend to be the most well-connected and successful. Bolor is an amazing example of a giver. She is driven, intelligent, generous, empathetic, and inclusive. She is constantly willing to help anyone in and out of the classroom. Often times, you will hear our classmates say “What can’t Bolor do?” Bolor is a remarkable combination of grit, charm, and empathy. She makes you want to be a better person and can’t think of anything more admirable than that.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

1) Work internationally, especially India

2) Hold a position in Investor Relations

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Curious, driven, and playful.

Hobbies? I love live music, fostering kittens, and coaching master’s swimming.

What made Diandra such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Being a teacher, particularly early in one’s career, is not easy, nor common. Learning how to succeed in any new environment also requires clear priorities, sacrifice, continued hard work, and the resiliency to succeed regardless of the situation. Many of these reasons are why MBA students have difficulty succeeding individually and as a student leader. Being a great teacher, on top of these roles, is a herculean challenge, which is what makes Diandra’s contributions to the 2020 class so special. As the sole graduate assistant for our MBA core economics class, Diandra can find herself in an environment where she is tutoring one MBA first year or seventy. Her reaction is the same in both circumstances:  empathic, measured, and full of knowledge. We have learned on multiple occasions that Diandra’s approach has made an immeasurable impact on these students. Diandra has taken this same attitude towards her roles in leadership in MBA Finance and MBA Women, and both organizations have seen considerable benefits from her leadership, registering noted achievements in engagement and programming. As an MBA finance graduate, Diandra joins a distinguished group of previous alums that have used their Broad MBA education to unlock great success. We believe that Diandra’s technical acumen, paired with her natural teaching abilities, makes her a notable addition to that group, and we look forward to all the exciting successes we know are ahead.”

Wayne R. Hutchison, Ph.D.
Managing Director, FTMBA



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