2022 MBA To Watch: Lily Ramos, Michigan State (Broad)

Lily Ramos

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

“I am a driven and compassionate advocate for empowerment, learning, growth, and change.”

Hometown: East Lansing, MI

Fun fact about yourself: I escaped quicksand as a child while on a family vacation.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Augustana College (Illinois); Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Credit Acceptance Corporation as an Instructional Designer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Dell Technologies as a Human Resources Graduate Intern (virtual)

Where will you be working after graduation? Dell Technologies in Round Rock, TX as a Senior Human Resources Analyst in the HR Rotation Program

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • MBA Association VP of First Year Relations
  • MBA Association VP of Fundraising (raised $7k in 2021 for local charities)
  • MBA Human Resources Association SHRM Liaison
  • Peer Coach for MBA HR students in the class of 2023
  • Presentation Coach
  • Awards: Professionalism Award, Dragonslayer Pitch Award
  • 2022 Commencement Speaker

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am incredibly proud of the hard work I have put into my role as VP of Fundraising for the past school year. Through the events I have led, our program has raised over $7,000 for different charities in the local community. I am proud of the impact these funds will have to make others’ lives better. I am proud that I was able to educate my classmates about these charities and demonstrate the importance they can have on those they serve. This is an achievement that will have an ongoing effect, and I am proud that my energy and effort went into something that will positively impact the lives of others.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of creating and executing a unique training program, a Spanish language education program for customer-facing employees. This program empowered employees of all Spanish language backgrounds to improve their ability to assist our customers. As a result, we saw a 70% decrease in call wait times for Spanish speaking customers within 4 months. It also built an incredible camaraderie among the three cohorts of learners (divided up based on proficiency and learning objectives). As a result of this experience, I earned invaluable leadership and adult learning skills like program management and language learning andragogy.

Why did you choose this business school? I choose Broad for the flexible curriculum and the opportunity to take Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations classes while completing an MBA. While I’ve wanted to build my business acumen, I really looked forward to diving deeper into HR and management topics after specializing in learning and development. Through this unique opportunity to simultaneously take classes in both programs, I got the best of both worlds in one degree!

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Dr. Jennifer Dunn. I had the pleasure of taking three of her management classes. Her classes are remarkably well thought out and push students to think deeply about sticky subjects like negotiations and ethics in a multi-dimensional way. She’s also an incredible support to women within our MBA program and takes a proactive approach to constantly improve the programming at Broad. Professor Dunn also has a warm and welcoming attitude and being in her classroom is a pleasant, comfortable and engaging environment.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I was so proud to continue with the traditional charity gala events hosted by the MBA Association. Our 2020 events were cancelled due to the pandemic, so hosting the events in 2021 were a unique opportunity for me to bring back something so sorely missed. Each formal event has reignited student excitement, gave us space to rethink traditions, and created a fun evening for us to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have been a little more careful with my time and made sure to make time for connecting with folks on a personal level. While I made incredible, lifelong friends in this program, I feel like I couldn’t fully make up for lost time during my second year when we finally got to meet each other in person. It was difficult to enter into a program fully virtually without having met any of your classmates or teammates before. While I am proud of my engagement and resilience through the first year, I do wish I had made even greater effort to reach out to classmates and gotten to know them.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Living down the street from campus as a teenager, I thought that I would be drowning in a sea of students at MSU. Broad offers a smaller MBA cohort of about 60 students each year, meaning that class sizes are small. I appreciate the smaller community as it’s empowered me to be vocal in class, make lasting connections, and engage consistently. Some classes have been as small as 8 students, which gives a unique opportunity to dive in and get to know my classmates and professors really well.

What surprised you the most about business school? I genuinely thought we’d be wearing suits most days! More seriously, the exposure to different case studies is extensive and has helped me build a comprehensive foundation of real-world business knowledge in a short period of time.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I had a very clear purpose with why I wanted to work towards an MBA and how MSU would help me achieve my goals. I also made sure to share how I believed I could contribute to a small cohort of learners like ours and the unique perspective I would bring through my experiences.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire Louise DuRussel. She’s the most earnest worker I think I’ve ever met. She is incredibly driven, but always humble and accessible to all. She’s an excellent advocate and keen on learning and evolving as a leader.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad influenced me the most to pursue this path, as he’s a Michigan Ross MBA. He always takes on an analytical perspective to issues he faces yet can make big decisions quickly by gathering information efficiently. I admire this trait, and after a few years in my career post-college, I started to notice where I was lacking some of those same analytical skills and realized I could gain these skills by pursuing an MBA.

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

1) Become a people leader.

2) Launch a unique and cutting-edge project that pushes my skillsets to a new level.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? I certainly never would have considered working from home before, and now I prefer it! I have learned quite a bit on how to make teams work well in remote and hybrid layouts, and I’m looking forward to rejoining the workforce and putting those skills to work. The pandemic has also given me the perspective that there is no time like the present. I always told myself I’d apply to graduate school “next year” when I was more “ready.” This meant there was never a “good” time to stop my career and start school again. The pandemic pushed me to take a chance and make a change, and I have no regrets.

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

“The MBA experience at Broad is best exemplified by student leaders that make impacts in and out of the classroom.  From early in her program experience, Lily created opportunities to impact the student experience for her classmates, understanding the synergistic impacts of service and community. Her singular efforts in the 2021-2022 academic year brought back signature engagement opportunities for the MBA program that had been dormant for years.  Notably, she improved these legacy events into even better engagement points for students. These co-curricular efforts connect seamlessly into her other leadership roles as both a presentation and a peer coach. Amazingly, Lily balances all these roles while still being a great student and a shining example of success for other students to follow.  When one considers the challenges all Class of 2022 students had with remote learning and isolation, Lily’s willingness to tirelessly work to improve the student experience is even more significant, because she created value without a playbook. Lily’s efforts as a student leader have the MBA program primed and poised for future successes. We are tremendously thankful for her efforts and are excited to follow her professional journey!”

Wayne Hutchison, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Full-Time MBA




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