2021 MBAs To Watch: Simone Bayfield, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Simone Bayfield

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

Institution: Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:

  • Compassionate leader, driven by purpose, forward thinking, creative, innovative, change maker, caring, savvy, insightful.
  • I’m a progressive leader who’s driven by creativity and the desire to make impactful change.

Hometown: Castro Valley, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I love to dance and have acquired an affinity for golf since moving to AZ.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Johnson C. Smith University: Charlotte, NC

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I owned my own business: Simone Bayfield Beauty

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? OH Partners: Phoenix, AZ

Where will you be working after graduation? Still accepting offers

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: 2021 Martin Luther King Student Servant Leader Award, Director of Marketing for Graduate and Professional Student’s Association (Graduate Student Government), President of the Strategic Marketing Association (MBA Club), Cofounder and Co-President of ALUM: Accelerated Leadership for Underrepresented Minorities (MBA Club), Recipient of the NBMBAA and John Deere Scholarship 2020.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of cofounding ALUM with my colleague Daniel Valdez. The purpose of the club is to create a community of inclusion, build a pipeline for diverse hiring and opportunities within the business world, and foster a network between MBA students from underrepresented populations at universities across the country. Representation at all levels of business and education is a key step toward an inclusive and equitable society. My hope is that ALUM will foster future change-makers in C-Suite positions who can incorporate diversity and inclusion into their organizations core values and as a part of their competitive advantage. This achievement means the most to me because it will leave a legacy of lasting and impactful positive change for all future cohorts at W.P. Carey.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of having my work published multiple times during my career, including a spread in People Magazine, as well as a domestic and international magazine cover. Cover shoots allow me to flex a range of muscles from concept building, to implementation planning, and cross functional collaboration. This achievement meant the most to me because I was able to build off an initial concept idea, and then use that to bring my own creative vision to life in a holistic and artistic manner. In the beauty and fashion industry, becoming a published artist is true validation as an industry leader, and something I will always be grateful for.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose W.P. Carey because of the personalized attention that every student receives. The motto “Business is Personal” isn’t just a slogan you see on shirts, but a value that is lived and exercised daily.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite tradition was Indian Dinner! It was an amazing experience where I learned about Indian culture, experienced authentic Indian cuisine, dressed in a sari, and go to dance the night away with all my classmates. I think Indian Dinner is also a great representation of the international diversity that W.P. Carey is known for.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing I would do differently would be to slow down more frequently to reflect on my personal and educational growth. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of being an MBA student. When I truly stop to appreciate the experience, I not only feel more grounded but inspired to keep working hard and striving for success.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is that W.P. Carey is only a supply chain school. As someone who chose to pursue my passion of marketing as an area of emphasis, I have had amazing professors and opportunities at ASU. The Strategic Marketing Association has been a great resource from day one, which I am lucky enough to now lead. Also, the career management team is well versed in marketing trends and hiring opportunities.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was most surprised by the amount of teamwork that is incorporated into the curriculum. Most assignments are team-based, which really help in developing your personal leadership style, as well as how to be a good team member. The two require very different skills but are essential to post-MBA careers.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During the application process, I highlighted my life-long love of business and entrepreneurship and how that played into my success as a small business owner. Being your true authentic self is what sets you apart and aids in having a diversified and unique class. My background was very different from many of my peers which I think underscored my unique skill sets and how that would be an asset to my cohort.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate, Chloe Beazer. Beazer always has a positive attitude, stands up for what she believes in, and is willing to do whatever she can to help her fellow students. This year, Beazer took an active role as V.P. of Diversity in MBAA and made sure that everyone’s voice was heard. She is an extremely hard worker who cares about helping her cohort while being her best self.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? The adjustment to hybrid was relatively smooth and the university offered many resources to aid in the process. Our classes were still very active, and they implemented new tools for collaboration and opportunities for relationship building. While the experience wasn’t what anyone expected, W.P. Carey took our feedback into consideration and made the necessary accommodations for us to have a dynamic and interactive learning environment.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother was my biggest supporter and influencer when I decided to pursue business in college. She witnessed all my childhood business ventures, from a car wash that operated as an assembly line to my previous business in the beauty industry. Business is full of great leaders and she instilled in me from an early age the importance of leadership and how it can change the world.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are to manage a billion-dollar brand and create a nonprofit for women transitioning back into society after domestic violence, incarceration, and substance abuse recovery.

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

“I am nominating Simone Bayfield for this recognition for her willingness to step into the vital space of diversity and inclusion at W. P. Carey. As founder of ALUM (Accelerated Leadership for Underrepresented Minorities), a primary goal is to build relationships with companies that celebrate diversity in order to facilitate employment opportunities for all W. P. Carey MBA students. Companies like Amazon and GoDaddy have already been extremely interested in partnering with ALUM to accomplish this. In addition to ALUM, Simone served on a W. P. Carey-wide diversity and inclusion committee, where she advocated for a D&I representative at every level of W. P. Carey, an initiative now coming to fruition. Simone has also offered valuable case and interview prep to her MBA peers through her role as president of the Marketing Club, and interest in this club has skyrocketed since last year. I believe Simone is deserving of this honor.”

Erica Day
Assistant Director, Program Operations
Full-time MBA, W. P. Carey School of Business  


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