Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Jaye Aster Broder, Harvard Business School

Jaye Aster Broder

Harvard Business School

“Guided by my values, tendency to question, and desire to serve others, I am a quiet force.”

Hometown: I’m from Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was in undergrad, my university sponsored a trip to Las Vegas so I could compete in a food trivia competition. My team won.

Undergraduate School and Major: I graduated from Penn State where I double majored in Spanish and Food Science.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked at Mondelez International as an Oreo product developer.

What has been your first impression of the Harvard Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Harvard Business School story so far. The community’s diverse perspectives, level of accomplishment across a breadth of industries, and willingness to help among MBA students/alumni has left an extremely positive, lasting first impression. It’s difficult to choose one story because there are so many. Some examples that come to mind are the inquiries in the student Slack that immediately receive answers from classmates to conversations that end with an open door message along the lines of, “I’d like to help you in any way.”

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method requires students to not only learn the course subject matter within the context of a relevant situation, but also incorporate insights of peers. As a result, students are equipped to be better managers with strong communication skills who can solve real-world problems in teams.

Aside from your classmates and cases, what was the key part of Harvard Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? If the section experience can be treated separately from classmates and classes, the section experience was a key factor in choosing HBS. I sought the resources of a larger program and smaller intimate community that would include people beyond those in the same recruiting pathway or affinity groups. Aside from the section experience, the FIELD Global Immersion capstone in the second half of the first year was a key factor in choosing HBS. It provides a unique but shared opportunity among the entire class to apply what we’ve learned during the year to a company, while expanding our global perspective.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Harvard Business School? I look forward to the student club conferences that bring in thought leaders in industry and would like to plan a conference in my second year.

When you think of Harvard Business School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Possibility. The MBA program is a brief 2-year development in general management that alumni value throughout their personal and professional opportunities after school.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I played a critical role in qualification of manufacturing lines to produce Oreos that delivered a cost savings and improved product quality.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I decided early in my life that I wanted to work in consumer goods as a food scientist to develop new and better food options for people around the globe. After working in research and development for a few years in a number of different roles, I learned about other significant functions and aspects of the food industry that interested me along with respective career paths that often required an MBA. I hope to pivot to corporate development within the food industry.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I found the Clear Admit podcast, available on Spotify and Apple podcast app, to be helpful during the application process with its guests from business schools and tips on applications.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I also applied to Cornell-Johnson, Michigan-Ross, MIT-Sloan, Northwestern-Kellogg, and Wharton.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Harvard Business School’s MBA program? Apply and have confidence in your unique story! I would also remind potential applicants that, while the application process is deeply introspective and individualized, it is not completely insular. Along with the advocacy of recommenders – two for Harvard Business School – potential applicants can consider leveraging or expanding their support network. For me, someone with a less stereotypical pre-MBA background and fewer connections with MBAs, the guidance and support from the Forté Foundation were instrumental to my success. There are other formal organizations like Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and Access as well as certain school affinity clubs and organic online communities that potential applicants can explore if they have questions.


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