Michigan Ross is losing one of its most familiar faces — and one of the main players responsible for its success as a top business school.
Soojin Kwon, who has been director of admissions at the Ross School of Business for nearly two decades, announced Thursday (May 26) that she is leaving the B-school for a role with consulting giant McKinsey.
“It feels strange to be one of the many people these days posting, ‘I’m excited to share that I’m starting a new position at…’ but it’s happening. In July,” Kwon posted on LinkedIn. “And I’m excited! I wasn’t sure that a career change would be possible for someone in their 50s who’s worked in one organization for nearly 20 years. But now, I’m my own living proof that it is.”
A RECORD OF SUCCESS
Kwon, who joined Michigan Ross in 2004 from Deloitte, broke the news of her departure late Thursday. She had long been considered a likely candidate to become one of the rare admissions directors to become dean of a top business school. The Ross School is currently ranked 12th by Poets&Quants and 10th by U.S. News.
“When I left Deloitte in 2004 to work at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, I didn’t know how much I would come to love recruiting MBA students, building a class, developing onboarding and co-curricular programs, and creating initiatives to foster community and inclusion,” Kwon wrote. “I’ve been passionate about doing everything I can to ensure the success of the program since it’s where I got my own MBA.”
Poets&Quants named Michigan Ross the 2021 MBA Program of the Year. In her announcement, Kwon, who earned her MBA from Michigan in 1999, pointed to many of the reasons why: In its most recent class the Ross MBA program had achieved 46% women, 36% students of color, 42 countries represented, almost two dozen veterans, and over 50 MBAs who were the first in their families to go to college. Additionally, the latest Ross class boasts a record GMAT average of 722 and consecutive No. 1 rankings for Best-Administered MBA Program (2020 and 2021) in Princeton Review.
LEAVING ‘A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BECOME LIFELONG FRIENDS’
Kwon leaves Michigan Ross to become McKinsey’s Senior Manager of People Initiatives.
“I am grateful to the many people at Ross and the MBA industry who gave me professional opportunities beyond admissions including overseeing the MBA program, teaching business communication to BBAs and as part of Executive Education, coaching MAP teams, creating blogs and vlogs, developing and delivering industry training programs for new admissions professionals, and serving on the boards of the Forte Foundation and Graduate Management Admission Council.”
Kwon says she stayed at Ross for so many years because of the people — “the best admissions team in the MBA industry, the dedicated colleagues at Ross and peer schools who collaborated (and commiserated) with me over the years, the 18 classes of MBA students who inspired me with their aspirations and engagement, and the passionate alumni around the world who gave their time and energy to help recruit great students.
“Ross didn’t just give me a network, it gave me a community of people who have become lifelong friends.”