Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Kenza Bouarroudj, Cornell University (Johnson)

Kenza Bouarroudj

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

“I am a ball of fire who enjoys connecting with people and traveling.”

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have lived in six different countries and always have a suitcase packed and ready for a new adventure.

Undergraduate School and Major: McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management, Commerce Bachelor’s); University of Nevada, Las Vegas William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, Hotel Administration (Master’s)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Assistant Front Desk Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Cornell’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The key aspect that led me to choose Cornell Johnson’s MBA program was the immersion learning track, which allows me to customize my program and develop skills that align with my career goal of opening an eco-friendly boutique hotel. Being in a program that will enable me to follow my passion and become who I aspire to be is very important.

What excites you the most about living in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region?  I am excited about living in Ithaca for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing and golfing. I cannot wait to experience the picturesque landscapes, peaceful environment, and stunning sunsets.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Cornell? I am most excited about participating in the Ski & Snowboard Club and exploring the beautiful Ithaca region and enhancing my skiing skills while creating lasting connections. Having skied in various parts of the world (French Alps, Utah, Japan), I am excited to hit the slopes with the club to discover the hidden gems of Ithaca.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is opening a family business with my brother. In 2017, we launched MyPoki, the first-ever poke restaurant in Paris. People queued around the block to try our affordable, sustainable, and healthy food. Bringing this new concept to the French market and witnessing the smiles on our customers’ faces after enjoying our bowls brought us an immense sense of satisfaction.

What do you hope to do after graduation at this point? I want to work in real estate investment consulting for a luxury hotel group. This opportunity can allow me to acquire the skills and knowledge to realize my dream of opening an eco-friendly boutique hotel someday.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Cornell’s MBA program? I highly recommend attending admission events, connecting with current students, and reaching out to alumni to gain insights into the application process, campus life, and life in Ithaca. Being curious is key for evaluating its alignment with your goals and aspirations.

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