Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Carla Michelle Suarez, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Carla Michelle Suarez

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“I am a creative and driven individual excited to drive change.”

Hometown: Buford, GA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I hiked Rainbow Mountain in Peru at an altitude of 17,060 ft.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Georgia, BBA Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, Aftermarket Credit Analyst

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Carnegie Mellon’s MBA curriculum and programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I attended many fall recruiting events at various programs and put in a lot of effort in doing so. In comparison, the CMU faculty were wonderful people to work with. By attending Tepper’s mini-series, I was able to participate in four courses with engaging professors that made us feel included in their session. The experience was invaluable to me because I felt included and a part of the conversation, even in these mock classes.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Carnegie Mellon? I am elated to be a part of the LABC club and to get involved in student government and hopefully work with admissions to recruit more LATINX and more women into our program.

The Tepper MBA is known for intensive one-on-one coaching and personal development. What area do you hope to strengthen during your two years in business school and why? Strengthening my presentation skills is something I am most looking forward to building upon. I have the highest confidence that the faculty at the Masters Career Center and Accelerate Leadership Center will develop me to excel in my professional career.

The Tepper MBA is also known for being highly data-driven Why does the program’s focus on quantitative analysis and decision-making appeal to you? How have been able to leverage this approach in your career so far? I believe anyone who wants to be a future business leader needs to lean into data and tech now. The pandemic proved how vulnerable certain business models were and they needed leaders who could pivot and make educated decisions with the tools they had. They also need leaders with soft skills and the Tepper MBA prepares you to be a well-rounded leader.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of my proudest accomplishments has been getting involved in extra-curriculars, in and outside of my previous workplace. During my time in Caterpillar, I was heavily involved in the Latin-American affinity club. I was able to plan many events to drive employee engagement and collaborate with other affinity groups.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program? Put in the extra time and effort and attend as many fall recruiting events as possible. If you truly take the time to learn about the program, the resources available to you, and make meaningful relationships, you will put yourself ahead of the curve. In doing so, the insights and the connections that I gained made my overall recruiting experience very rewarding. At the end of the day, selecting Tepper became the absolute choice for me.


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