Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Katherine Crosby, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Katherine Crosby

Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business

“Driven, passionate leader striving to make meaningful connections and create positive change in her community.”

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I almost pursued a career in musical theater but decided against it. I still love musicals, though.

Undergraduate School and Major: Harvard University, Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Community Programming 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?

The Jones Career Center was definitely a major factor for me. As someone making a big career pivot with my MBA, I knew that I wanted to be at a school where I could have a close relationship with career advisors and ask them any question that was on my mind. I found a staff that is extremely willing to help you put my best foot forward in interviews.

Additionally, I loved the school’s focus on hands-on learning – with so many practicums to choose from, I knew that I would be getting a chance to put what I was learning in the classroom to work in real-world scenarios. Given my non-traditional background, this was a critical factor for me.

The Scheller MBA ranks among the best for instilling innovation and creativity according to alumni and students surveyed by Bloomberg Businessweek. How have you seen this in the programming so far? Scheller’s focus on innovation and creativity absolutely drew me to the program. I wanted to be exposed to areas like technology management, analytics, and digital transformation. In my first semester, I’ve had the opportunity to delve deep into these subjects through our core classes. There are so many unique courses at Scheller that focus on different forms of innovation, and this definitely makes the program special. There are also ample opportunities outside the classroom through clubs, speaker events, and more, so innovation is central to the program as a whole.

At Scheller, you are literally across the street from Tech Square and living in one of the dynamic business environments in the world. What makes Atlanta such a great place to live and learn for you? As an Atlanta native, I’m probably biased. Having lived in many other cities for eight years, I can confidently say that Atlanta has the best of all worlds. It is a large city but feels like a small town – it’s easy to make new connections and feel like you’re building a community. Additionally, there are several major corporations with headquarters or major offices nearby, and the tech scene is booming, so there are many opportunities professionally. Lastly, there is plenty to explore in Atlanta and Georgia as a whole – amazing museums, plenty of parks, and you’re just a short drive away from both lakes and mountains. Atlanta has so much to offer and is a great place to go to school.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Supportive. I am thrilled to be part of a class that thrives on lifting each other up. We all want to see each other succeed, and we do our best to make that happen. The community at Scheller is unmatched, and it is definitely one of the things that drew me to the school.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: For the 20th anniversary of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, where I previously worked, we were presenting the world premiere of a timely film about the fight for racial justice, specifically the partnership between the African-American and Jewish communities during the Civil Rights movement. Since it was a momentous anniversary for the festival and an impactful film, we wanted to make the evening’s program particularly special. I formulated an 11-person panel featuring historic figures such as Martin Luther King III. Additionally, I organized a 20-person joint choir of singers from the Ebenezer Baptist Church, an iconic church in Atlanta, and The Temple, a historic Jewish synagogue. The joint choir performed a beautiful Civil Rights song during the event. To top it off, I secured Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary to join in this special pre-film performance. I even got to embrace my love of music and sing with the choir. Despite a challenging workload and numerous details to manage, my efforts were well worth it. The 2,500 audience members were wowed by the film, pre-film performance and post-film panel, as noted through a standing ovation and emails from audience and Board members calling the night “simply spectacular,” “perfect,” and “Best Opening Night ever!”. I will never forget that incredible night and the impact I was able to make.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? As an MBA student having taken no prior business courses, I expected my first semester to be difficult. I did not expect the additional challenge of a worldwide pandemic to struggle through as well. I am proud of my ability to not only survive my first semester, but to thrive. Pivoting to a hybrid format of both virtual and in-person classes has definitely been taxing, and it has at times been difficult to get back in the routine of “school” after six years working professionally. That said, I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a supportive community that has encouraged me to make the most out of our first few months even in our constantly changing world.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? An MBA has been on my mind since college, and I knew I wanted to pursue the degree at some point. After six years working professionally, I decided to make a career pivot, so an MBA was an ideal way to gain business acumen and help smooth the transition.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? After college, I worked at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for nearly three-and-a-half years, starting as an intern and moving through the ranks to eventually become an Agent Trainee. As part of the promotion process, Trainees are sent to the Mailroom in Los Angeles for three months, where they work 15-hour days doing what many people would consider “grunt work” – moving chairs, setting up meetings, delivering packages, etc. This experience was pivotal for me – I learned the value of humility and hard work. I also discovered how important it is to stay true to your values and find (and use!) your voice. Additionally, going through that program reinforced the importance of understanding all aspects of how an organization works, from the bottom up. I now feel incredibly fortunate to be in business school where I comprehend the value of knowing all different sides of a business. I additionally know that my ability to dive in and get things done – no matter how long, challenging, or tiring – is serving me well in school.


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