2023 MBA To Watch: Claire Wixted, Michigan State (Broad)

Claire Wixted

Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

“Creative and strategic thinker with a passion for cooking.”

Hometown: Northville, MI

Fun fact about yourself: Once performed five minutes of standup comedy.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Michigan State University. Bachelor of Arts, Advertising

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? PHD Media, Strategy and Investment Director

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Domino’s. Ann Arbor, MI

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, MBA Marketing Association
  • VP of Membership, MBA Association
  • Member, Broad Women’s MBA Association
  • Graduate Assistant, Broad Full-Time MBA Program
  • Broad MBA Business Presentation Coach
  • Ohio State University Fisher Invitational Big 10 Case Competition Winner
  • Two-time Broad vs. Broad Case Competition Winner

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?

My most proud academic achievement during business school was winning the Fisher Big Ten MBA Case Competition. My teammates and I dedicated ourselves to the case, spending hours researching, analyzing, and brainstorming various recommendations. When we finally made some breakthroughs, our confidence grew and solutions fell into place. We worked incredibly hard and presented well, but above all, we were happy and confident with our final product.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was part of a small group selected to work closely with clients to aid in a brand relaunch campaign, working quickly with key internal and external executives to create something impactful. I had a lot of visibility to higher up leaders and got the opportunity to present to executives!

Why did you choose this business school? Broad highlighted the small program (class size) and a culture focused on collaboration and teamwork versus individualistic and competitive. It became important for me to find a program that not only boasted about its academics, but its social life and culture. In addition to already being an MSU alumna, these attributes put the Eli Broad College of Business at the top of my list.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor had to be Professor Judy Whipple. I had a very limited understanding of supply chain prior to starting this program, and Professor Whipple is flawlessly able to communicate not just the main strategies and concepts, but effectively relate core concepts to real world examples. She makes complex information easily digestible. Above all, she sees her students as more than just students, she sees us as individuals.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite MBA course was actually my Introduction to finance class, Corporate Investment Decisions. I didn’t realize this was my favorite class until it was over. The heavy workload and tough content cloud your sense during the class, but the information and knowledge is so incredibly beneficial and useful across classes and industries.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? One of my favorite traditions we have in the MBA program are the MBA Association hosted tailgates during football season. It’s a fun way for classmates to socialize and take part in one of the many traditional college experiences.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Something I wish I could do differently is take advantage of all of programs and offerings that MSU extends to students. From the Wharton Center to the Broad Art Museum to the plethora of sporting events, there’s always something going on at the university. However, it’s hard take advantage of these with a rigorous course load!

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Broad is that just because it’s a small program it’s subpar to other Full-Time MBA programs. The professors are award-winning and classes are small. If anything, this allows students to create deeper and more meaningful connections.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? East Lansing is the home of Michigan State University, not just its location. The campus is nestled in the city, with students and employees woven into the fabric of the community. We’re close-knit. Almost all residents of East Lansing are tied to Michigan State University in some way, and the support and love for the institution permeates throughout the city.

What surprised you the most about business school? Something that surprised me about business school was how much I learned from my peers. Heading back to school, I knew I’d be learning from my professors, but I was pleasantly surprised by varying backgrounds and professional experience of my immediate peers and teammates.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During my research and application process, I connected with many current students and recent grads to learn about the program and set my expectations. This allowed me to come in prepared for the challenges ahead and helped me manage my time effectively from the onset.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is really tough. There are so many students I admire from the program, from those who left their home country to those who have lost a loved, but the student(s) who I admire most are the ones who welcomed a baby while here at Broad. I’m unable to comprehend how these students managed the stress of an MBA program with all the changes and stresses of a new baby. Spartans Will!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? One item on my professional bucket list is to find myself in a role that allows for international travel and work. Travel is so important to expand your business and social culture and I hope to be able to use my career as a way to see the world. The second item on my professional bucket list is less tangible. As I look into my future, it’s filled with more than just my profession. It’s filled with relationships: friends, family, colleagues. My hope is to be able to strike a balance between my personal and professional life.

What made Claire such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023? Claire is a superstar that has mastered the balance of being both a leader and an outstanding technician.  While there are many examples of this in her academic career, the most notable is being a key component of the case competition team that won the Big Ten Case Competition, 2022, the first victory in this event in over a decade.  For many students, this singular achievement would be the guidepost of a successful MBA career. For Claire, it was one of many individual and collective achievements that will not only fuel her own trajectory, it will make our MBA program stronger for years to come.

Claire’s work as a graduate assistant was highly significant in building the Full-Time MBA program’s alumni engagement program, which resulted in nearly 15 graduating classes being represented on campus annually at MSU homecoming.  Now in it’s third year, this program is serving as a best practice for alumni engagement at MSU.

Finally, Claire’s work at the President, MBA Marketing Student Resource Group, set her membership up for future success by fully rebuilding the academic/professional/social framework that existed in all student groups before the pandemic began. Offering professional treks and development, mentorship, and the right mix of social activities made the Marketing Club one of the best student organizations in the Broad College in the 2022-2023 Academic Year.  Through it all, Claire has displayed a resilience and empathy for her fellow peers that is one of the best examples of servant leadership I have been a part of in my time at the college.  If you want difficult things done, you want Claire Wixted leading your team.”

Wayne Hutchison
Managing Director
Full-Time MBA
STEM MBA

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