“A teacher pivoting to business, looking to impact how people transform their lives through learning.”
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Fun Fact About Yourself: Back in the day, my grandparents used to breed Old English Sheepdogs, and I am currently a proud owner of a Sheepadoodle (Sheepdog + Poodle)
Undergraduate School and Major:
- BA University of Virginia – Political Philosophy, Policy & Law
- MA Fordham – Teaching Adolescent Social Studies
- MA NYU – Education Leadership, Policy, and Law
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: General Assembly, Senior Instructor Manager
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 interested in attending Columbia because of their focus on educating students from diverse backgrounds, so I knew they would have resources to support all learners.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? The quality that best describes my MBA classmates is collaboration. We all joined business school at the height of the pandemic and knew we would not have a traditional experience. My classmates have really come together in this time to support one another.
What is the best part of coming to New York City for your MBA? I have lived in New York City since I graduated from college and I love living in a fast-paced environment. New York is the center of business and it is a privilege to go to school in a city with so much opportunity.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Columbia Business School? What makes you most nervous about your MBA? The most exciting part about getting my MBA is meeting so many engaging and driven people. My classmates have a wide range of experiences and expertise and I’ve enjoyed getting to learn from them. Since I don’t have a traditional business school background, some core courses were intimidating and I knew the first semester would be a challenge.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far. The biggest accomplishment in my career has been getting to see people transform their life through education. While working at General Assembly I had the privilege of witnessing people from many different backgrounds pursue the work they were passionate about and transition to new careers. It was extremely motivating to make sure our programs responded to the needs of our students because of the dedication and hard work the students put into the programs.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I decided to pursue an MBA in order to develop a framework for thinking through strategic business challenges, as well as learn the fundamentals of business. Prior to Columbia, I taught history at a high school in the Bronx and worked for General Assembly, managing software engineering programs for adult learners. While I had a strong foundation in learning and pedagogy, I wanted to push myself to learn the skills to better under the business landscape.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I only applied to Columbia.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? There wasn’t much I was able to do to prepare ahead of time. After I was accepted to Columbia, I continued to work at General Assembly. I left my job on a Friday and started classes the following Monday.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? While there was not one specific moment; my experience as a classroom teacher prepared me with the right mindset to succeed in business school. After working with hundreds of students, it became clear that it was not people’s intelligence or the amount of experience they had in a topic, but their determination, desire to learn from their mistakes, and their growth mindset that allowed them to succeed. I take that lesson with me into every challenging assignment, assessment, and new concept that I encounter in business school.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Khan Academy. As a student and teacher, I have found so much value in the resources and content the company makes available. Their videos and practice problems break down concepts so they are accessible to all students. I am also really inspired by Sal Khan’s mission for the company, to provide free, world-class education to everyone.