Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hana Tomozawa, University of Michigan (Ross)

Hana Tomozawa

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability – University of Michigan

“Waste nerd & retired college soccer player who speaks Spanish with an Argentine accent.”

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I can read and write random bar food items in Korean from my experience as a waitress at a Korean karaoke bar in college (it’s called Café Duck Butt in Honolulu – highly recommend)

Undergraduate School and Major: Williams College, Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: frog Strategy Intern

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ross’s emphasis on multidisciplinary learning was a big draw for me. Coming from a background in emerging markets and sustainability, I was excited to discover the Erb dual-degree program between Ross and the School for Environment and Sustainability. It was important to me to join a cohort that appreciates the role of business from many different angles. I just completed my first year at SEAS and am excited to join the Ross community this Fall.

What has been your first impression of the Ross MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Ross story so far. Invested. I received an extremely thoughtful hand-written congratulatory note from an MBA2 while I was making my business school decision – the letter made it to me all the way in Argentina! That gave me a solid sense of the care with which Rossers invest in their community.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? I’m particularly excited to take the +Impact Studio course. I’m a graduate facilitator for the Center for Socially Engaged Design. After having spent an amazing summer internship with frog, applying design thinking to a project in the women’s health space, I’m looking forward to continuing to hone my design skillset by taking advantage of the resources Ross offers at the intersection of business and design. On the non-academic side, maybe this will be the year that I come out of my soccer retirement…

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Bamboo. It grows fast, and while its roots may be shallow, they are long-lasting and form a fibrous underground network that holds the soil steady in place on a solid foundation, much like Ross’s community values and expansive alumni network.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I love coaching, so my proudest moments in my career have been ones in which colleagues I’ve trained or mentored don’t need my support anymore. Prior to grad school, I worked on a recycling project in Argentina. My team hired three incredible women from the informal settlement community where we were introducing a recycling service. I set up weekly professional development training for them – it was amazing to watch their confidence snowball and to see them shine, presenting in front of our corporate sponsors after a few months.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire by Luke Burgis. Grad school is a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection and exploration, but it requires you to be vulnerable, which can also steer you into the comfort of adopting a herd mentality (maybe I do want to be a management consultant?). I found this book to be highly relevant for both helping me accept that my desires are mimetic and helping me check myself on the authenticity of my goals.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?
I had an incredible experience working on the waste crisis in Argentina. As I adopted more sustainable behavior changes in my own life, I found myself being drawn to solutions further upstream in the waste value chain, which inspired me to apply to the Erb dual-degree. Post-graduation, I hope to go into design & innovation consulting to do just that, but with a broader sustainability focus beyond waste.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? GSB, Kellogg (MMM)

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? Use the application process as a moment to be real with yourself – the best version of your application narrative will be the one that speaks your truth. My essays became much stronger once I stopped writing what I thought admissions teams wanted to hear and started writing my genuine story.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.