Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Pacesetters With A Purpose

A CHANGE IN LIFESTYLE

In past years, business school often acted as a refuge. It was a place for reflection, to test new roles and push old boundaries. Thanks to COVID, many first-years have already finished their soul searching. This time apart has sped up the transformation process for the Class of 2023, particularly with how they now spend their time. That was certainly true for Wharton’s Grace Eun Ko. An analyst for the U.S. government, Ko traveled heavily for work, leaving her downtime to napping and Netflix. After COVID hit, she found a different path to reach the same destination.

“Through spending a lot of time at home, with loved ones, and developing new hobbies, I have come to prioritize the things in life that matter to me and identify what rejuvenates me. While I still have the same career goals, I want to become better at balancing so that I can spend the time I have with the people I love before it’s too late, rather than pushing things off until after the next job or the next promotion.”

Liz Plooster, a digital strategy manager at Best Buy, was among those who migrated from a plush headquarters to a home office in response to COVID. Rather than turning Plooster into a hermit, this distance made her more attuned to the peers she sometimes took for granted.

TAKING THE REINS

Minnie Lahoti, University of Virgina (Darden)

“Work shouldn’t just be about the bottom line, but rather it should be focused on putting people first and making sure everyone feels safe and supported,“ writes the Harvard Business School first-year. “Working remote this year gave me – quite literally – a personal window of the lives of my colleagues (e.g., children running through the background, dogs barking at package delivery, spouses popping in to deliver a water refill). I recognize how fortunate I am to have worked for an employer who encouraged these personal connections amongst its employees.”

For some, 2020 became a lost year — a time to take shelter and wait out the worst. For MBAs, this time involved more than re-connecting. It was also their moment to take charge and gain confidence. Last year started out as a low point for Minnie Lahoti, who personified the maxim that “Bad things always happen in threes.” That started with the passing of Lahoti’s uncle, who was like a father to her, Due to COVID travel restrictions, she was unable to return home to India to be with her parents. Soon after, she was laid off from her consulting job, leaving her with “no job prospects or income.”

Knowing that data analytics were in demand, she spent three months mastering the discipline’s fundamentals, while learning to code in Python on the side. Lahoti’s go-getter attitude enabled her to land an internship as a data scientist. From there, she launched her own tutoring business before earning a spot at Virginia Darden this fall.

“I can honestly say that 2020 was by far the most challenging year of my life,” Lahoti admits. “But I made it through and was able to get my life back on track. Going through these experiences really put things in perspective. My family, mental health, and a healthy work environment are at the top of my priority list. As I head to Darden, I am grateful 2020 is behind me and I am excited to start this new phase of my life.”

Welcome to business school, Class of 2023! We can’t wait to see you’re going to do next!

Meet The MBA Class of 2023

 

MBA Student MBA Program Hometown Undergrad Program Last Employer
Jordan Bell U.C. Berkeley (Haas) Oakland, CA Morehouse College Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Charu Goyal Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) Bathinda, Punjab Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology, GGSIPU Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Emma Lawler University of Chicago (Booth) Denver, CO University of Colorado theSkimm
Alex Karwoski Columbia Business School Moultonborough, NH Cornell University U.S. Rowing
Gabriella Del Río-Dávila Cornell University (Johnson) San Juan, Puerto Rico University of Puerto Rico Nielsen IQ
Kathryn (Kate) Bayeux Dartmouth College (Tuck) Basking Ridge, NJ Villanova University Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Joel Martinez Duke University (Fuqua) Wenham, MA Middlebury College World Justice Project
Siva Prasad Kalimuthu Emory University (Goizueta) Dindigul, India Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Water Sanitation and Hygiene Institute (WASH) Institute
Dazell D. Washington Georgetown University (McDonough) New Orleans, LA Cornell University KIPP Texas
Michael Dantas Harvard Business School Brasilia, Brazil University of Brasilia Brazilian Ministry of Economy
Lan Phuong Nguyen HEC Paris Hai Phong, Vietnam Foreign Trade University L’Oréal
Caroline Burrus IMD Business School Lausanne, Switzerland École Hôtelière de Lausanne Groupe Burrus
Aditi Sodhani Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Delhi, India Delhi University Alohomora Education Foundation
Akua Obenewaa Donkor Indiana University (Kelley) Adjemesu, Ghana Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology DecoKraft Limited
Maria Geagea INSEAD Beirut, Lebanon Universite Saint Joseph (USJ) Strategy&
Vishaal Narkedamalli Western University (Ivey) Toronto, Canada University of Cape Town Restaurant Brands International
Julia Hamilton London Business School New York City, NY American University Goldman Sachs
Foster Langsdorf University of Michigan (Ross) Vancouver, WA Stanford University Minnesota United Football Club / Capital Pacific
Justin Mueller MIT (Sloan) Missoula, MT U.S. Naval Academy U.S. Navy
Katelyn Leal North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) Bradenton, FL University of South Florida U.S. Department of Defense
Yesuto Shaw Northwestern University (Kellogg) Stone Mountain, GA Dartmouth College Capital One
Javier Araujo O’Neill New York University (Stern) Miami, FL Florida International University J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Addie Olsen Rasche University of Texas (McCombs) Atlanta, GA Tulane University C3 Presents
Judy Wang UCLA (Anderson) Rockville, MD UC Berkeley Google
Hilary Clark USC (Marshall) Columbus, OH New York University Bloomberg TV
Minnie Lahoti University of Virginia (Darden) Mumbai, India University of Alabama Inveniam Research Inc.
Anthony Wnuk University of Washington (Foster) North Branford, CT Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute U.S. Navy
Chauneice Davis Yeagley Wharton School Colorado Springs, CO Spelman College United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania for Honorable Petrese B. Tucker
Roshni Walia Yale SOM Nairobi, Kenya Sewanee: The University of the South Maisha Meds

Editor’s Note: This year, Poets&Quants will be profiling some of the most promising MBA students at over four dozen top business schools, including the programs featured above. Please note that Stanford GSB submits Class of 2023 candidates in the spring.

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