Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Mackenzie (Mack) Murray, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Mackenzie (Mack) Murray

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

“Kenz, Mack Attack, Mack-aroni, Big Mack: girl of many nicknames, hopes, and dreams.”

Hometown: Amesbury, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a Pure Barre instructor! Pre-Owen, I was an extreme early morning person, waking up pre-dawn to teach classes before heading to my full-time job. Thankfully, I’ve been able to remain a part of the PB community during business school by teaching here in Nashville as well!

Undergraduate School and Major: Elon University. Major: Strategic Communications

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: MERGE; Senior Client Financial Analyst

What has been your favorite part of Nashville so far? Why? My favorite thing about Nashville is the energy that comes from the vibrant music, the growing business scene, and Vanderbilt’s campus. It seems like everyone around me is trying to better themselves as professionals, students, or both – and it’s exciting to be part of such a motivated and motivating community.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Owen’s small size and ‘personal scale’ really appealed to me in choosing a business school. The moment I stepped onto campus, I felt uniquely and individually supported by the faculty, staff, and second years, which I don’t think I would have felt as quickly in a larger program. I also feel lucky to get to know so many of my classmates on a personal level due to the small size of our classes and clubs. Owen truly feels like home.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Vanderbilt Owen? The club I’ve enjoyed the most so far at Owen has been the Women’s Business Association. It is empowering to be surrounded by so many accomplished and inspiring female classmates. The WBA puts on incredible community-building events including WBA-sponsored ‘Closing Bells’, review sessions and 1st/2nd year mentorship programs. Through the WBA, I’ve been able to build deeper relationships with my female classmates by sharing our experiences and supporting each other as we navigate the challenges of business school. Being a member of the WBA has truly enriched my MBA experience and I look forward to participating more in my second year!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest professional accomplishment has been creating my own unique career path, in part because I never lost the courage to ask questions and shoot for a new or advanced opportunity.

I came out of undergrad excited to take on the world and build a career without knowing exactly what that would look like. I started out at an advertising agency where I soon figured out that I really loved the finance side of the business. Although I didn’t have a business degree, I took a leap of faith, jumping into finance-focused roles moving forward. On top of the incredible mentorship and support I received from those around me, I am proud of my fearlessness to try something new and the initiative it took to learn on the job. I’ve continued this journey by coming back to school in pursuit of my MBA, using what I’ve learned through my work experience to propel myself further into my business education.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? My biggest accomplishment at Owen so far is being elected President of Owen’s Strategy & Consulting Club. I utilized the OSCC so much during my recruiting journey in the fall. From learning to case, to being connected with networking opportunities, to receiving mentorship from OSCC 2nd year leaders, my time as a member of the club has been invaluable. I would not be where I am tAll Postsoday if it weren’t for the support and guidance of the OSCC. It is a wonderful, full-circle moment for me to now step in as President to guide the next class of students aspiring towards careers in strategy and consulting.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Literally every Poets & Quants article (and I’m not just saying that because of where we are right now!) I think the abundance of articles featuring current students’ true experiences at school is a great way to learn about the community and culture of the programs you’re considering. Your fellow classmates will be such a significant part of your MBA experience, and hearing from current students is a great way to gauge what your future class might feel like.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA program? It may be cliché but… be yourself! Owen has shorter essays compared to other business school applications, so I believe it’s even more important to come across as your authentic self in so few words. I would give yourself time to really sit with the prompts and make sure that whatever you submit is uniquely ‘you’.


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