“Caring chemist using science to spark consumers’ emotional connections.”
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
Fun Fact About Yourself: I started gardening to connect with my coworkers in rural Missouri since many of them were also farmers. It quickly became my favorite hobby. Unfortunately, my green thumb only extends to produce. I have killed nearly every house plant I have owned.
Undergraduate School and Major: BS Chemistry, Spelman College & BS Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Perrigo Pharmaceuticals, Project Engineer
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? Stern’s strength in luxury marketing is what made the school stand out in my search. I initially considered the focused Fashion & Luxury MBA, but eventually decided to pursue the two-year program to take advantage of the summer internship.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at NYU Stern? What makes you most nervous? I am most excited about the opportunity to explore my passions fully. In undergrad, I made choices that prioritized security at the expense of my dreams. With a bit more wisdom and confidence, I am ready to bet on myself and go all-in.
I am most nervous about recruiting uncertainties in the wake of COVID-19 and am eager to see how some of my target companies will continue to adapt.
What club or activity excites you most at this school (and why)? The Association of Hispanic & Black Business Students (AHBBS) and Stern Women in Business (SWiB) were extremely influential in my research process. I am excited to get involved in their programming now that I am a student.
What word best describes the NYU Stern classmates you’ve met so far? Why? Organizers. Sternies are not waiting around for classes to start to make a difference. In the summer before school, I have watched incoming students launch fundraisers for social justice and teach finance basics to those anxious about re-entering the classroom. Behind all of these projects is an immense sense of community and sharing resources towards the success of the entire class.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While I have improved operational efficiency through my installations, I am most proud of my ability to use my work to empower those around me. Whether it was listening to project ideas from a mechanic that used to going unheard, coaching operators on how to control hazardous energy safely, or giving my team a confidence boost before an FDA audit, my work is only as important as the impact it leaves on those around me.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Thus far, my career has been in manufacturing plants, where I have learned how products are made. When I looked around at my projects, they were all focused on equipment. I realized what I love most about the manufacturing process is its ability to take raw materials and transform them into the products consumers love. As I think about my next position, I want to step away from automation and lean into the emotion that comes with consumer-focused roles. Pursuing an MBA will allow me to learn the business decisions that dictate which products will make it into the plant.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? None! I peeked around at a couple of additional programs but realized early on if it wasn’t Stern this year, it was Stern in the future.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question I received was around how I plan to leave an impact on the Stern community. The application process forces a ton of self-reflection—I knew why Stern, why MBA, why now—but all of that was centered around what I would gain from the program. This question allowed me to focus on what I could give.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? Although Stern was at the top of my list, I spent a lot of time confirming this was the right decision. I had the advantage of already being New York-based, so I attended every info session Stern and its affiliates offered to speak with current students and alumni about their experiences. Every time I visited the campus, my gut told me this is where I needed to be. Attending the 2019 Luxury & Retail Conference was what sealed the deal. After seeing the extensive list of sponsors and hearing from keynote speaker, Nicolas Hieronimus, Deputy CEO of L’Oréal, I knew Stern was the best business school to achieve my goal of moving into the beauty industry.
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? I have spent the last few months developing the habits and routines I will need to succeed in school. Working in a manufacturing plant has you up at early hours, so I have spent time adjusting my sleep schedule to support some of the late-night studying (and socializing) I expect I’ll be doing. I have also attended pre-MBA conferences to get a head start on the recruiting process.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Before I moved to New York, I visited friends in the city when I stumbled across a Mother’s Day billboard that read, “I didn’t go nine months without chardonnay for you to hate your job.” While the sighting initially provided a good laugh, the message stuck with me. I knew I owed it to the people who supported me and, more importantly, myself to pivot into a career path I loved. On the plane ride home, I vowed to take the risks I needed to achieve my goals. Four months later, I was living in New York—the epicenter of the beauty industry—and one step closer to making my dreams come true.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Fenty Beauty has been a recent favorite of mine. While the brand benefits from Rihanna’s celebrity, Fenty Beauty is an excellent example of not resting on your name (or the name of your school) and putting out quality work. I think business students can learn a lot about leading with inclusivity and small, well-timed expansions that keep consumers excited and craving more, instead of having everything “right” at launch.
DON’T MISS: MEET NYU STERN’S MBA CLASS OF 2022