Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Maya Ambady, University of Michigan (Ross)

Maya Ambady

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Grandma in the body of a 28-year-old woman, avid reader, healthcare nerd, pragmatic optimist.”

Hometown: Winchester, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: My first concert was the Harry Potter Yule Ball, where Harry & the Potters played!

Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, Human Biology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Albright Stonebridge Group, Health Senior Associate

Michigan Ross is best known for experiential learning programming like MAP, Living Business Leadership Experience, and the Leadership Crisis Challenge. What experiential program interests you the most? As someone who sees ample opportunities to improve the healthcare system – but isn’t quite sure how to begin tackling these challenges – I can’t wait to get involved with the Pinkertt Healthcare Accelerator programming. Pinkertt is a unique accelerator that “supports student entrepreneurs with big ideas to change healthcare” by helping them to turn their vision into a venture with the support of an advisory board and subject matter experts, and of course, some funding!

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? When applying to business schools, I looked for programs that would help me do the following: 1) Identify opportunities to facilitate better communication between doctors and patients, 2) explore career functions within the healthcare industry, and 3) contribute to the local community.

Michigan hit all three criteria. First, there are many people at U of M working on healthcare communication – such as in the Medical School, School of Public Health, and Ross. There are ample opportunities to connect across schools and disciplines through coursework and extracurriculars such as Sling Health, the Pinkertt Healthcare Accelerator, and Interdisciplinary Problem Solving. Second, I knew that opportunities like MAP, the Living Business Leadership Experience, the Applebaum Design Fellowship, and the Venture Funds would give me a plethora of opportunities to explore different functional roles and reflect on what I want to commit to post-graduation. Lastly, Ross has so many opportunities to engage with the Ann Arbor and Detroit communities – through Board Fellows, the Detroit Initiative and classes like Citizen Interaction Design.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? Throughout my career, I’ve been passionate about improving access to and equity within healthcare. When I learned that Ross’s Healthcare and Life Science club hosts an annual Henrietta Lacks Health Equity Case Competition, I knew I’d need to get involved.

I’m excited for the opportunity to encourage future healthcare leaders to think critically about historical traumas that the medical system has imposed on communities of color, and challenge them to find innovative ways to improve healthcare for underserved populations.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Limitless. During Go Blue Rendezvous (Admit Weekend), I was incredibly inspired by the students who accomplished the goals they had never thought were possible or were too scared to articulate before joining Ross. They talked about how their Ross community rallied around them to convince them their goals were, in fact, possible. From there, they helped them to reach their goals – from starting a startup to getting a competitive job after choosing to recruit last minute to becoming a mom during their MBA program. I knew I wanted to join a program that could also make me feel limitless.

As I began meeting the community and learning more about the school and my future classmates, I realized they believed in me more than I believed in myself. They’ve already given me the confidence I need to articulate and strive for goals I was too scared to even set for myself before joining the community.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment is knowing when to leave a job, having the confidence to do so, and believing that I’d land on my feet afterward.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? 

After graduation, I hope to gain the operational experience I need to position myself to lead a startup or a team within a larger organization that is addressing systemic barriers that prevent individuals from being able to live healthy lives.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Michigan Ross’s MBA program? There are three phases to the business school applications:

  1. Making a list of schools to apply to
  2. The written application
  3. The interview

For items 1 & 3, I have the following advice:

Make a list of the top three things you want from an MBA program. Then, chat with current students and alumni to learn about whether Ross will meet these criteria. Once I realized Ross met – and surpassed – the criteria, it was a no-brainer to apply, and it was super easy to answer questions like “Why Ross?” during the interview!

For the written portion of the application:

Do a lot of self-reflection and write something that is authentic to you. Get your family’s, mentors’, and friends’ opinions and edits, but listen to your gut when deciding which advice to take. Prepare your family and friends to read 15+ drafts of the same five essays.


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