2022 MBA To Watch: Adina Allen, Ohio State (Fisher)

Adina Allen

Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business

“Ambitious and goal oriented, perceptive and passionate, loyal and thoughtful.”

Hometown: St. Paul, MN

Fun fact about yourself: I was featured in a Sara Bareilles promo video.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Washington University in St. Louis, BA in Political Science and Public Health

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Assistant Director at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Cigna, Bloomfield, CT

Where will you be working after graduation? Senior Human Capital Consultant at Deloitte

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Co-founder and VP of Membership, Fisher Human Capital Club

Forte Ambassador and Fellow

Fisher Board Fellow, Healthy Life Stars

Fisher Graduate Women in Business, Member

Graduate Assistant in Office of Career Management

Teaching Assistant for Entrepreneurship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As part of our Social Impact class, I worked on developing a sustainable business model for an organization looking to create an independent housing program for their participants with Down Syndrome. I spent the semester exploring other programs and learning about the specific funding considerations in Franklin County. In truly getting to know the vision and dreams of the organization, we were able to recommend and lay out funding models and considerations to better orient and transition them into a new venture and prepare them for the future. In addition to working with the CEO of the organization, we worked most closely with two volunteer parents who would be directly impacted by our recommendations. To be able to take a problem so personal and pressing to local families and deliver compelling recommendations and a roadmap was such a rewarding experience and it makes me proud to see the impact that it has had on the organization.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While I’m really proud of the community building and strategic development I did at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, I’m especially proud of the timely and relevant work I did at Cigna this summer on the future of work. As the company looked to transition their 70,000 employees to a hybrid work environment, I developed a strategic roadmap focusing on ensuring that company culture and employee connectivity would remain a priority. Through utilizing data from employee engagement surveys and conducting focus groups, I developed a three-pronged recommendation that focused on leadership upskilling, network analysis, and developing and articulating an individual’s sense of purpose in the day-to-day work. I continue to see articles about the work that Cigna is doing in this space stemming from my recommendation and I know that it will have a lasting impact for them navigating the next chapter in the employee experience.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Fisher because of all the benefits that come with being a student in a smaller program with all of the resources and high quality faculty of a large university. I did not come from a business background and I wanted to immerse myself in the learning opportunities, as well as really get to know the people in my cohort. Because I was interested in human capital, I wanted an MBA program that also offered a specific master’s program in Human Resources so that I could benefit from taking the electives in this program while pursuing my degree. Ohio State did not disappoint in either of these aspects.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Xue Wang taught our core accounting class. She was well aware that it was a new subject for myself and many of my classmates, and she made the content incredibly accessible. She had high expectations, but taught in a way that allowed students to meet those expectations – and always had a smile on her face (and she brought in donuts on exam day!). Her positive attitude, love for accounting, and genuine excitement to be teaching students made her my favorite professor.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Unfortunately, COVID interrupted many of the classic MBA events at Fisher. However, I enjoyed the Fisher Fall Fest that was put together for the entire community. This was a lovely opportunity to gather and socialize together with families and pets, and many of our faculty joined with their families as well. I felt the joy in coming together as a community and being a part of a program that saw the importance of us coming together as individuals. It gave us the opportunity to get to know our faculty in a more casual setting outside of class, and I appreciated that many faculty members cared enough to take the opportunity to get to know students in this way too.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I love hosting and entertaining, and two of my favorite memories from Fisher were having my first core team over for drinks and for a holiday meal. I wish that I had done more to bring people together during my time in the program, including inviting others into my home for Shabbat meals and more. On a related note, going to school during the pandemic disrupted a lot of social gathering and time spent with classmates, and I wish our class had been able to gather more, formally and informally, throughout my experience.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I didn’t hear too many things about Fisher before starting outside of the fact that football is important to the school (which it is) and that it’s a good program if you plan on staying in Columbus. While I ultimately decided to stay in Columbus after graduation, I believe the OSU brand is strong far beyond Ohio, and many of my classmates are relocating to many different cities to work at top tier companies across the country as well.

What surprised you the most about business school? I thought coming from a non-profit background would make me unique in business school, and so I was shocked at how many other students came from “untraditional” professional experiences as well. These experiences and diverse backgrounds enriched our class conversations and I enjoyed learning alongside people who had both specific industry experience as well as with those learning accounting and finance for the first time.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? It was important for me to meet with faculty at Fisher and hear their perspective on the school and students. It’s really helpful to work your network and connect in any way you can to create more touchpoints with the university and program. Sitting down for coffee with a professor (who would become one of my favorites!) gave me a chance to start to build a relationship and hear about how they spoke about the program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? While I admire many of my classmates and feel that I have learned so much from many of them, I am so grateful that I met Alyssa Bonneau. Alyssa and I actually lived around the corner from each other in Chicago without knowing each other! Alyssa made an impression on me during our first semester because I appreciated her ability to both ask clarifying questions and advance our discussions in the classroom. She is a natural leader as our council president and a positive influence on our classmates. I can tell she’s passionate and dedicated to ensuring excellence at Fisher. I enjoyed working on group projects with Alyssa and benefited so much from her guidance and perspective when practicing case interviews together as well.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? From an early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of questioning, learning, and pursuing your dreams and passions. My father led a congregation in Minnesota as the sole rabbi for 32 years. He often spoke from the pulpit about the pursuit of knowledge and living a life of meaning and purpose. My parents encouraged me when I left the healthcare consulting industry to pursue my passion for camping and work as the assistant director of the camp where I had spent my foundational years. After five years of visioning and leadership, I knew I wanted to continue my own pursuit of knowledge, and they cheered me on and supported me from the very beginning.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Develop a strong mentor/mentee relationship (benefit from both being mentored and being a mentor)

Chair of board of an organization I care about

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic has definitely changed the way I think about work, collaboration, team building, and balance. It has opened up possibilities for new work environments and allowed me to rethink the kinds of careers I could pursue. I’ve adjusted my priorities to be shaped by not simply the work itself, but more importantly the people you’re working alongside of and the impact that you can have on those people. At the same time, I went back to school to learn, gain new skills, and pursue new career opportunities – and the pandemic hasn’t changed my desire to work for a company with a shared mission I am passionate about in a team-oriented environment, which is why I am really excited to work at Deloitte after graduating.

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

“Adina Allen has been a powerhouse at Fisher.  Though she excelled across her courses, her thoughtful leadership earned Adina an especially strong reputation for success in projects and other experiential coursework.  However, her success was not limited to the classroom.  Adina’s passion for human capital led her to co-found the Fisher Human Capital Club, connecting with similar clubs from top-ranked universities to outline goals and unite students from Fisher’s MBA and MHRM programs.  Beyond this, in her work with the Office of Career Management, Adina met with over a thousand undergraduate students to assist them with resumes and interview preparation.  Her passion, professionalism, and work ethic have certainly left a legacy at Fisher, and as one of our best and brightest MBA students we look forward to seeing her continued success.”

Roger Bailey
FTMBA Academic Director


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