Hometown: New York, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and I speak Wolof.
Undergraduate School and Major: Johns Hopkins University – Biology and Planetary Sciences
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Co-founder and CEO at Bokk Baby, a sustainable children’s clothing brand.
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? CBS has a strong reputation for finance and investing courses, and I knew I’d be able to learn from the best of the best in these areas, both in terms of my professors and my peers. I hope to begin a career in Venture Capital after earning my MBA, so I wanted to be sure I was choosing a school that would push me to build a really strong foundation in the fundamentals of my industry.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Bright. Even on a computer screen during COVID, my classmates all really shine. I’m constantly impressed by how intelligent, witty, and uplifting my cluster mates and classmates are, even under the circumstances.
What is the best part of coming to New York City for your MBA? Moving home and being closer to my family again. I had been living in Denver for five years before starting my MBA.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Columbia Business School? What makes you most nervous about your MBA?
Most Excited: That CBS will open doors for me that I couldn’t have foreseen, and that the people I meet here will become important colleagues and confidantes for the rest of my career.
Most Nervous: That I’ll miss out on meeting a lot of my classmates and getting to know my professors because of COVID.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far. Starting my own business.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having a small, e-commerce retail brand and wearing a ton of hats as a founder really made me want to learn everything I realized I didn’t know. I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to pursue something creative and something that I was passionate about. I was led to an MBA so I can build a base of knowledge in management that will serve me throughout my career no matter what my capacity, be it a founder, investor, or team player.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? None. It was CBS or bust for me.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Why do you want an MBA? It’s the fundamental question.
What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? I moved my company from Denver to Brooklyn and was working up until close to when I started.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? When I knew I needed a change in my life and was able to think through what I wanted that to be. That was ultimately a decision to get my MBA. This moment prepared me for learning about the role that decision-making plays in facing challenges and problems.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is probably Apple based on the number of products I own and how integrated they are into my life. I think business school students can learn plenty from them about great product design and visionary thinking, and I know some even work for them after graduation.