2021 Best & Brightest MBAs: Kate Morales, Ohio State (Fisher)

Kate Morales

Ohio State, Fisher College of Business

Kind. Empathetic. Strategic. Open-Minded. Curious. Animal lover. Invested in the success of others.”

Hometown: Denton, TX

Fun fact about yourself: When I was a child I had a pet peacock.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Undergraduate: University of North Texas, B.A. Communication Studies, Minor: Marketing

Graduate: Florida State University, M.S. Higher Education

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Delta Gamma Foundation, Program Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? JP Morgan Chase, Columbus, Ohio

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company, Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Fisher Involvement

  • Fisher Board Fellows: Chair (president)
  • Fisher Consulting and Strategy Club: President
  • Forté Fellows Ambassador
  • Board Fellow: Wild Goose Creative
  • First Place National Black MBA Association Case Competition – 2019
  • Deloitte Supply Chain Challenge Case Competition: Best Presenter – 2019
  • First Place The Ohio State University Internal Case Competition – 2019
  • Global Business Association: Member
  • Fisher Graduate Women in Business: Member
  • Fisher Graduate Latino Association: Member
  • Graduate Assistantship: Career Consultant, Undergraduate Career Consultation & Programs

Outside of Fisher Involvement

  • Serving as an advisor for two student organizations at Ohio State University (Delta Gamma and Beta Theta Pi)
  • Serving as an officer for the Delta Gamma Columbus Alumnae chapter
  • Serving as a facilitator for the Alcohol Skills and Training Program, which educates students on the impact of drinking, and benefit of strategizing safer alcohol practices
  • Volunteering at the Mid-Ohio foodbank and with Wild Goose Creative
  • Volunteering at four national leadership academies including: Delta Tau Delta Presidents Leadership Academy, Shonk Undergraduate Leadership School, Tri Delta Collegiate Leadership Conference, Phi Sigma Kappa Officer Academy

Merit Based Awards

  • Catherine Stuart Schmoker Principled Leadership Award Fellowship
  • Prospanica Foundation Scholarship
  • Carole Jurenko Jones Scholarship
  • Balfour Fellowship
  • Ohio State University Graduate Enrichment Scholarship
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of winning the National Black MBA Case Competition. Being selected for this team before I even started the MBA program fed an already-present feeling of imposter syndrome. I was on a team with two other phenomenal females solving a business problem for Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA). We put a lot of effort into our recommendations and presentation. After winning the case competition, I felt like there was truly nothing I could not do. It was really influential in developing a confidence in myself that has translated into every area of my life.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Creating a strategic plan for the Delta Gamma Foundation. The organization was fairly disjointed in its operations. Employees were doing great work, but there was no common goal for the work being done. Because the plan would impact a broad scope of stakeholders, it was important to consider and integrate input from staff, volunteers and the Board of Trustees. I organized meetings with targeted questions such as, “If Delta Gamma’s motto is ‘Do Good’, how do you think we accomplish this motto? What tangible achievements would affirm this?” “Where do we want the Foundation to be in 5 years… 10 years…100 years?” This action was extremely useful and provided the strategic plan, which the organization continues to use today.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Fisher because the Ohio State brand is so expansive, but the cohort is relatively small. I knew I wanted to attend a program where I would have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships but also have access to phenomenal instructors and resources. Ohio State has not disappointed on that. Even during a global pandemic, I have been impressed with the caliber of professors and the close bond with classmates that have transpired from this experience.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Wow. What a question. I have been blessed with too many incredible professors. As someone going into strategy, I believe Jay Dial has been one of the most influential professors during my MBA program. He taught our core Strategy class along with a business simulation elective called Intopia. Both courses are very discussion-based and empowering for students to think for themselves. He always provides a space for students to grow and contribute as they learned. I have learned so much from his instruction, and would advise any student to take his courses.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Since COVID was a significant portion of our MBA experience, I think one of the most memorable events was being able to take part in our Fisher Follies auction. The auction is hosted to raise money for the Fisher student emergency fund. Students and professors are encouraged to provide items or experiences to be a part of the silent auction, Then on a Friday evening, students and professors get together at an events center to bid on the silent and live auction items. As a part of the auction, I bid on a cookbook, and cooking lessons to learn how to make Indian food from one of classmates. Learning to make curry was on my bucket list, so being able to share this with one of my classmates will be something I remember forever.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? One thing I would have liked to do differently is to be more engaged in campus activities outside of Fisher. I would have liked to participate in more recreation activities, and take classes outside of the school of business. In such a strange year because of the pandemic, there are things I would have liked to happen differently, but I feel confident about how I invested my time over the last two years to gain the most valuable experience I could.

What is the biggest myth about your school? There aren’t any myths I heard about Fisher or Ohio State University before attending. I heard that everyone in Columbus is crazy about Buckeye football, and that continues to be true. Columbus has so much more to offer, but people do love their football.

What surprised you the most about business school? I think I was most surprised by the diverse experiences of my classmates. I thought I would be an anomaly since I came from a background working in higher education and non-profit. I was surprised by the number of individuals with different backgrounds, and particularly the amount of insight everyone was able to provide because of their experiences.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? One thing I try to do in all of my applications is answer the question, “Why me?”. I think this is a helpful question to answer as it allows you to think about what value you can add to the space you are entering. As someone who has been told they are overly humble, I find this helpful to put you in a mind space to be able to “brag” about how great you are.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I have been thinking about this question since I received the prompt, and I honestly don’t think I can provide an answer. I have such high admiration for all my classmates. The discernment, perseverance, kindness, and knowledge they have exhibited over the last two years has impacted me in indescribable way. I would not be the woman I am today without the relationships I have built during my MBA, and feel it would be a disservice to choose one classmate to highlight.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? I felt like the transition to online and hybrid learning was relatively smooth. The professors have put in an immense amount of effort to ensure that students are still receiving a quality education and benefits of being in an MBA program. Continuing to build relationships from a distance required additional effort, but I believe it showed the resiliency and commitment of students.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents have always raised me with an entrepreneurial spirit. In general, my family has worked extremely hard in their careers. After coming to the United States from Mexico, my grandfather was the first open-heart surgeon in the town he lived in in Texas. My parents worked hard as local business owners, and always taught me the importance of hard work and education. They have always encouraged me to work hard, and have continued to support me as I pursue my passions.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’ve want to spend time working internationally. Additionally, I’ve always wanted to start my own non-profit or significantly invest in a current non-profit that promotes financial literacy for high school students.

What made Kate such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“In the words of multiple faculty and staff, Kate is a rock star. In the classroom she has been one of the most engaged and conscientious students to have come through the program.  Beyond the classroom, her success has been manifold. From victorious case competitions, to leadership positions in multiple student organizations, to her consistently helpful approach to teamwork and her fellow students, Kate has been an asset to Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. We are fortunate to have had her in our program, and we’re excited to see her many successes continue to grow at McKinsey & Company.”

Roger Bailey
FTMBA Academic Director



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