Felicia A. Lamothe
“I am a high-energy, optimistic problem-solver who shreds at cheesy jokes.”
Hometown: I was born in Germany but as an Air Force dependent, I moved several times between the U.S. and Europe. I haven’t lived anywhere longer than four years since the age of seven.
Fun Fact About Yourself: My friend invited me on a big hiking trip, and it was an idea I originally laughed at considering my fitness level at the time. When I got chuckles from a few people I shared it with, my passive interest converted to serious motivation. Two months later, I successfully summitted Mount Kilimanjaro. The time I spent preparing is when I discovered a love of hiking.
Undergraduate School and Major: Florida State University, Hospitality Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Marriott International, Revenue Manager
When you think of Georgia Tech, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Scheller MBA and the larger university thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? Community and technology are two words that immediately come to mind. When I think about community as it relates to Georgia Tech, I’m reminded of my initial impressions of the school which came through my interactions with current students, alumni, and the admissions team. The support I received while exploring MBA programs and through the admissions process has continued and is reinforced even now with the caliber of students in the MBA program, faculty, program managers, and career services team. I love how all these individuals and teams push me outside my comfort zone while providing the support to help me push through the discomfort. I’m amazed at my growth in just the short few months I’ve been here.
Observing the changes technology drove at my last company led me to place greater value in a business school curriculum that incorporated a focus on how industries were changing or being disrupted. My thoughts on what that might look like at Georgia Tech specifically has been consistent with my experience in the classroom through case discussions and the availability of programs like TI:GER.
What has been your favorite part of Atlanta so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? While I’ve traveled to a lot of the neighborhoods and cities in the greater Atlanta area, I love Midtown. As a student, I enjoy being conveniently located to Scheller, grocery stores, great restaurants, Piedmont Park, and those classmates who also chose to live in Midtown. I highly recommend the fried goat cheese balls at Ecco, one of my favorite appetizers in the city. The variety of businesses, from start-ups to Fortune 500s, located in the Midtown area have been steadily increasing year over year which translates into richer experiences withing the program (practicums, fellowships, TI:GER) and even greater post-MBA employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the Scheller MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I knew I wanted to be somewhere that provided classroom learning with real world applications. Two ways Georgia Tech does this is by bringing in faculty who have industry experience and practicum elective courses. Professors can provide richer classroom experiences as they are able to discuss how they saw concepts applied at their previous companies and stay current with industry trends to increase the relevancy of what we’re learning each week. Next semester, I’ll have the opportunity to take a practicum course where I’ll work on a team to solve a real client’s problem that will culminate with a presentation with my team’s recommendations. I’ll be taking the non-profit consulting (also called Pro Bono) practicum next semester and am additionally excited by the course because it will provide engagement within the Atlanta community which is important.
What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Georgia Tech Scheller? I am a Sustainability Fellow through the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business. In early November, I was placed on a team to help a client solve a specific recycling problem they are experiencing in their county. We’re still in the research phase for this project with the presentation due in March, but the work already has been super interesting and challenging. The opportunity to gain additional consulting experience while working on a problem with real world impact is exciting and why I chose to come to Scheller.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: What drew me to the hospitality industry was a desire to help people within the business space. I find it immensely rewarding to help others overcome challenges, discover better ways of doing things, and find joy in a moment or in a job. What I’m most proud of is the Employee Engagement Survey (EES) score my hotel received while I was an assistant general manager. The EES is an opinion survey completed anonymously by hotel associates who rank their satisfaction on several metrics including their direct supervisor, on-property and above-property leadership, pay, growth opportunities, and desire to stay or leave. It was the highest score the hotel had seen in more than 10 years and the score was 12 points over the national benchmark for that year. It was fulfilling to see how my efforts translated into how my team felt about the workplace.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: I had the opportunity to join a case team for the 2021 National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Graduate Case Competition. We worked on a really interesting marketing strategy problem for Stellantis over the course of a month and then presented our recommendations to a panel of Fortune 500 executives in two rounds. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work considering this also was happening over my first two months in the MBA program. At the NBMBAA Annual Conference and Career Expo, which is well attended by Georgia Tech students and a number of other schools, we were announced the second-place case team winners out of 33 schools! In addition to feeling good about bringing that recognition to Georgia Tech, the $15,000 prize was an awesome reward for our efforts.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Scheller MBA program? Be yourself. I think too many of us feel a need to present ourselves in a particular way, but the best way to match with the right program is to be as authentically yourself as you can. For me, I worked through what I wanted out of b-school and what I thought I could contribute by writing multiple drafts of admissions essays. I moved away from what I “thought” an admissions team wanted to what I knew and wanted to share about myself, my ambitions, and my contributions. While I recommend applying in the early rounds, what’s more important is that you’re happy with your application. Again, what that meant for me was delaying my submission until I was happy with my essays. Considering where I am now, I would say that was the right decision for me.