2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Taylor Facen, MIT (Sloan)

Taylor Facen

MIT, Sloan School of Management

Also part of the MIT School of Engineering

Tech enthusiast who loves to explore the intersection of product and data.”

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: I am currently curating a personal art collection filled with paintings of women from every country I’ve visited

Undergraduate School and Degree: Howard University B.S. in Mathematics and B.A. in Economics (2016)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? AllianceBernstein – Data Strategy Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Boston Scientific – Remote

Where will you be working after graduation? AngelList Venture – Product Data Analyst

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Founder of the Leaders for Global Operations Active Allyship committee
  • Member of 2021 MIT FinTech Conference planning team
  • Member of MIT Black Business Student Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of setting up my program’s Active Allyship committee. When I started my program in the summer of 2020, there was heightened racial tension in the U.S. Being the only Black person that was in my dual degree program at the time, I felt that it was important to advocate and push for tangible changes in the program to make it more inclusive. I am proud to say that after only one year, we made significant progress in increasing the number of underrepresented minority representation in student acceptances, class speakers, and class content.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Before coming to Sloan, I was CTO of a fintech startup called Freeman Capital. Being the first CTO of a startup meant that I had to create systems and processes from scratch. Also, I was the first person to relieve the CEO of all tech responsibilities so that he could focus more on fundraising and team-building. This was a major accomplishment, and I’m proud to see how the current tech team has built upon this foundation to make the company even better.

Why did you choose this business school? MIT was my top choice because I valued its emphasis on technology and innovation. I appreciated how many of the classes reinforce discussed topics by incorporating projects with partner companies as a way to get hands-on experience. I knew early on in the recruitment process that I wanted to get both an MBA and Master’s of Engineering. With MIT being a top choice for both programs, this was the best decision I could have made.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Professor Pierre Azoulay who teaches Organizing for Innovation. When in his class, you can deeply feel how passionate he is about the topic, and his way of teaching almost forces you to think more deeply and critically about how organizations think, plan, and try to achieve innovation.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? MIT Treks are trips students can take across the world to explore different cultures and regions. Later in the spring, I will be joining my classmates on the Africa Trek to visit Morocco. I’ve always wanted to visit Casablanca and Marrakech and look forward to getting some time to relax and make new friends.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? One thing I would do differently is focus more on socializing and making connections with my classmates. Going to school during a global pandemic was hard, and being mostly virtual for an entire year provided even more obstacles. However, looking back on my experience, I wish I would have put myself out there a little more to compensate for these roadblocks.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I originally assumed that everybody at MIT would be a techie. I am so happy this assumption was not completely true because I appreciate the diverse experiences and ways of thinking of my classmates. Because of this, I’ve learned to appreciate the non-technical aspects of business and leadership.

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 made it a point to visit the campus and interact with current and previous students as much as possible. I wanted to learn about aspects of the program that can’t easily be found on the website like alumni engagement, campus culture, and class expectations. I believe my edge came from the fact that I could answer “Why Sloan specifically?” based on what I learned.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I truly admire Sravani Yajamanam Kidambi. She knows how to connect with people and make them feel appreciated and welcomed. Since our first day, she has been consistently reliable and supportive, and I try to model myself after her.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother, Gladys Facen, was my primary influence to pursue business school. Starting early in my childhood, she has always emphasized the power and importance of education and how it can help you find your passion and purpose in life.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My top goal is to spend at least one year working internationally. I enjoy meeting and learning from people from different cultures and backgrounds and would love to do so in my professional life. My second goal is to become an angel investor and serve as an advisor to early-stage companies looking to improve how they handle data and analytics.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic put things into perspective. It showed me the importance of slowing down and prioritizing self over work. It also taught me that work + life balance isn’t just some aspirational dream, only to be achieved later on in life. Instead, every moment is precious, and I should be intentional about how I spend my energy and time even as someone early in their career.

What made Taylor such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Taylor Facen drove the formation of the MIT Leaders for Global Operation’s first Active Allyship committee in her first semester in the program. She has led this group to implement inspiring and concrete change with regard to the representation of underrepresented groups at MIT. Her efforts have impacted academics by collaborating with faculty to increase the diversity of protagonists of cases and class materials and LGO admissions to provide guidance and support to marginalized groups during the application process. With the Machine Intelligence for Manufacturing & Operations (MIMO) group, Taylor created and implemented a “use case” input tool to enhance a new robust system for sharing LGO research across our academic and industry community partners.”

Thomas Roemer
Director of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations

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