Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Ba’Carri Johnson, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Ba’Carri Johnson

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

“Creating paths, leaving legacies.”

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve always been passionate about education and giving back. In high school, I started an education program that applied mathematics through gaming and expanded the program in South Florida and the Bahamas.

Undergraduate School and Major: Duke University, BS in Computer Science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Pilot Company, Digital Product Manager II

What has been your favorite part of Nashville so far? Why? The way to my heart is food, and Nashville has won. Growing up in Miami, the cultural melting pot, diverse food options are a must-have. There is never a shortage of amazing restaurants to try in Nashville. In fact, for every new restaurant I experience, three more are recommended. The Nashville food scene continues to exceed my expectations.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Vanderbilt Owen’s “personal scale” is truly one-of-a-kind. Since my first introduction to Owen as a prospective student, I’ve felt at home. Vanderbilt Owen’s program size fosters a close-knit, collaborative community, provides mentorship from Owen alumni and professors, and offers a tailored MBA experience through unique opportunities both in and outside of the classroom.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Vanderbilt Owen? It’s honestly hard to pick just one. Learning from professors who are passionate about their fields will have you ready to switch your concentration and take more classes with them. In terms of student clubs, I’ve enjoyed being a part of 100% Owen, where I’ve learned more about Nashville and supported great local community causes alongside my classmates.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far was leading one of the Pilot Company’s key initiatives at the age of 25. As product manager, I led an amazing team in the redesign and launch of the company’s mobile app, which saw record-breaking numbers and provided a unique digital experience (e.g., mobile fueling, digital shower reservations, personalization, and geofencing) for guests while in stores and traveling across the country. That same year, Pilot’s myRewards Plus app was awarded Mobile Web Awards’ “Best Retail Mobile App” and “Best Transportation App” and Effective Mobile Marketing Awards’ Highly Commended “Most Effective App” and “Most Effective Mobile-first Service.”

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Being selected as one of Owen’s Board Fellows. Serving as a fellow has allowed me to connect with many community leaders and support Nashville non-profits in advancing their missions.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Reflection and self-awareness have always played a major role in my decision-making. As my work experiences and career goals evolved, I realized pursuing an MBA would complement my technical knowledge and experience leading teams and was the perfect opportunity to enhance my business skillset (e.g., learn finance and strategy). Ultimately, I hope to serve as a thought leader in the tech industry. I aspire to solve complex challenges, improve the lives of others through technology, and create opportunities in tech and education.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA program? The first barrier as an individual is what you think you can do. What makes you unique is that there is no other like you. Be true to yourself, understand your why, and don’t be afraid to tell your story.


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