Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Caitlin Byrnes, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Caitlin Byrnes

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“A curious, creative thinker with an aptitude for strategy and an appreciation for fun.”

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have relocated to Phoenix to attend ASU – my first time ever living outside of New York City!

Undergraduate School and Major: Fordham University, Marketing

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: CHANEL Inc., Group Director of Brand Marketing

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was intrigued by W.P. Carey’s Sustainable Enterprise specialization. I have spent the duration of my career thus far working in fine jewelry marketing and would like to return to this field post-graduation. The fine jewelry industry is intrinsically reliant on earth’s natural resources. Jewelry brands such as those I have worked for simply cannot operate unless they understand the imperative that is sustainability.

Arizona State is renowned for its innovation. How have you seen innovation in the philosophy, curriculum, or researches at W. P. Carey? In my very first conversation with a member of the W.P. Carey community, I learned that an entirely new area of emphasis was established at a student’s suggestion. I am incredibly impressed with the flexibility of the program and the level of influence that each student can have on his or her own MBA experience.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I look forward to joining the Women’s Leadership Association. I have been incredibly lucky to work alongside many brilliant, empowered, and empowering women leaders thus far in my career and I would love to leverage some of my connections to further enrich the work of this group. I also look forward to further building my network!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While working at Tiffany & Co., I had the opportunity to co-develop multiple internal marketing programs in support of critical collection launches. This out-of-the-box approach to marketing served to drive millions of incremental sales and created an impact on Tiffany corporate culture.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have learned a lot during the past eight years of my career, but I think that an MBA will push me out of comfort zone and force me to think differently. I believe that it will be a steppingstone towards becoming a senior leader in my industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? NYU Stern, UC Berkeley Haas, Georgetown McDonough

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The admissions interview included a business case question, which was a bit intimidating—but fun. To the interviewers, the approach I took to reasoning through my responses was even more important than the responses themselves. I think this speaks to the importance that creative problem-solving plays in the W.P. Carey MBA experience.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? As a high school senior, I was undecided on a college major and chose to join the Fordham University Global Business Honors Program mostly thanks to the allure of subsidized international travel. This proved to be one of the best decisions of my life thus far, as it led me to discover my love (and talent) for marketing, introduced me to my first employer, and resulted in some of my most important friendships. I am excited to build upon my Fordham experience through my time at W.P. Carey.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? Above all, I want to work for an employer that values innovation. I am a creative thinker who loves to contribute new ideas and it is important for me to feel that my voice is being heard.


DON’T MISS: Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class of 2022

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