Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Robin F. Baker, University of Michigan (Ross)

Robin F. Baker

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“An audacious leader anchored by faith and with a passion for service.”

Hometown: Bethel, North Carolina

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have mastered the art of speed reading while enjoying my favorite Korean Dramas (K-Dramas) on Netflix.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Major: Kinesiology

Howard University | Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:

Employer: GoTHERAPY, Inc. (Part time & remote due to the pandemic)

Title: Director, Business Development and Strategy

I am the co-founder of GoTHERAPY, Inc, a nonprofit organization providing grassroots occupational, physical and speech therapy services to children with disabilities and adults living with chronic diseases (i.e.: stroke, hypertension and diabetes) in Ghana.

Employer: Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital

Job Title: Occupational Therapist

During the height of the COVID19 pandemic, I returned to the bedside to work as a frontline occupational therapist in the neurology and COVID recovery unit in West Baltimore.

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? As a career switcher, I was attracted to the multitude of action-based learning opportunities at Michigan Ross. The Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP) was the differentiator when comparing Michigan Ross to other MBA programs. I wanted a program that would allow me to use my didactic training to problem solve, think critically, and “learn business by doing business”. Michigan Ross has done a phenomenal job of curating experiential learning opportunities for students to take a deep dive into the world of business, whether through MAP, student led funds or leadership roles.

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. During a Ross Consortium webinar, an alumni (Tony Rice II) offered to schedule 30-minute chats with applicants to review their resumes and essays ahead of round two deadlines. I took him up on his offer and was blown away by his sincerity and willingness to assist me with my application process. Our 30-minute chat easily turned into a 90-minute discussion, where he helped me master my elevator pitch, brainstorm career aspirations and prepare for interviews. Time and time again, the Ross community has proved to be eager to help and gracious with their time and resources. This is simply the Ross way!

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? I am most excited about working on the Africa Innovation Hub (AIH) project. AIH is new startup accelerator to support Africa-focused companies working in healthcare, sustainability and education to grow and scale their companies. I am looking forward to leveraging my healthcare background and experience working in West Africa to contribute to the success of this student-led initiative.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Culture. The Ross community has a legacy of “paying it forward”. Deeply engraved in the culture of Michigan Ross is generosity and the deep desire to uplift prospective and current students.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As the leader of GoTHERAPY, I spearheaded the establishment of the first community occupational therapy center in Ghana during the start of the pandemic. Since then, the center has provided over $150K in pro-bono therapy and community health services to children and adults living with disabilities.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Tools for Maximizing Your Success by Carla Harris from the Talent Connect Conference (2018) on Youtube.

During this Ted-style talk, Carla spoke about strategies to “maximize success in the seat you’re sitting in, or the one you aspire to”. She also discussed the importance of perceptions in the workplace, relationship building as a vehicle to success, and the power of authentic leadership. As a prospective MBA, introspection is essential during the application process. This talk allowed me to think intentionally about the skills I hope to acquire during business school and brainstorm avenues to grow as a leader during my experience. Based on this insight, I was able to more objectively research programs that would aid me in achieving my goals.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? As an occupational therapist and the founder of GoTHERAPY, Inc, I have witnessed first-hand how poverty and the ability to access care – whether due to convenience, availability, or affordability affects health outcomes.  I also understand the real-world implications of how unmanaged chronic conditions, such as uncontrolled blood pressure, can lead to a stroke or untreated diabetes can cause a limb amputation. I would like to build upon my work as a healthcare provider and as a founder to reduce health disparities among marginalized communities at the systemic level. After graduation, I plan to pursue a role in health equity providing strategic plans to improve the overall health of communities and execute initiatives to support equitable access to quality, affordable healthcare services.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I used my Consortium application to apply only to Ross. I was committed to Going Blue!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program?

You are more than enough!
Read this affirmation, recite it and internalize it.
You are more than enough!

The MBA journey is filled with many emotions including doubt, imposter syndrome and fear. It is important that you remain anchored in the simple truth that you are more than enough, and you lack nothing. Your background is enough, the university you attended for undergrad is enough and your career aspirations are indeed enough. Confidence and authenticity are key ingredients to gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program.


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