Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Liem Kadas, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Liem Kadas

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“Driven by data. Leading with empathy.”

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m passionate about queer athletics.

Undergraduate School and Major: California State University, Sacramento

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Forge Trust Co., Operations Lead

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? Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program promotes interdisciplinary studies; it doesn’t believe innovation and ideas fit into one mold. This is especially important to me because business and performance can be positively influenced by utilizing technology and data.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Carnegie Mellon? It’s hard to choose one! Both the Out&Allied and Data Analytics Clubs excite me the most. Besides the mission of both of these clubs, what excites me is how intimate they seemed when I spoke to the members during Welcome Weekend, giving members more time and attention to foster meaningful relationships compared to what you get in a program with hundreds of more students.

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?  I hope to improve my negotiation skills through Tepper’s coaching and personal development programs. Often in the business landscape, employers will ask candidates for their salary and total compensation expectations. This pivotal question can dramatically change a person’s earnings trajectory. Learning how to tactfully negotiate while understanding the labor market will, without a doubt, place me in an advantageous position.

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 you leveraged this approach in your career so far? Technology is advancing, which means data can be found in almost every facet of business. To not utilize data means you are opting out of meaningful insight. To remain competitive, companies must adapt and tap into how data can transform into vivid stories. Tepper’s MBA program emphasizes an intelligent future where students will gain valuable data and technology skills to keep pace with the evolving future. I’ve leveraged this approach by building productivity matrixes that entice colleagues to improve performances by personalizing the metrics, ensuring each colleague is on their own path and timeline.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Honestly, my biggest accomplishment is taking the plunge to apply to MBA school and coming out of the application process knowing this will indefinitely change my future for the better.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? This is not recent, but one of my favorite shows is Orange is the New Black on Netflix. The show does an excellent job of highlighting disparities in different communities. Seeing and listening to stories from other communities will enhance your empathy, a critical trait needed to lead teams and organizations.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program?  Engage with current students and faculties! There is a huge reason why Carnegie Mellon’s MBA is one of the top STEM business school programs in the country. Current students are already immersed in the program, so they can tell you what it takes to gain admissions: follow your passion and let your passion shine in your application.


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