Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Rachel Hain, University of Michigan (Ross)

Rachel Hain

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability

“Former arts and culture fundraiser eager to solve waste issues for the future of our planet.”

Hometown: Dayton, OH

Fun Fact About Yourself: Growing up in a small family hardware store business, I know more about random hardware than most people in a room.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Evansville (IN), Theatre Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Chicago Children’s Museum, Director of Annual & Individual Giving

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 a career shifter planning to move from the nonprofit to the corporate sector, I’m eager to participate in MAP to gain experience through a real business problem before a summer internship. I look forward to utilizing the skills I have gained through my previous career while learning new skills that will help me during the Ross MBA and beyond.

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? A huge selling point for me is Ross’ emphasis on multidisciplinary learning. As a career shifter from a non-traditional background and a dual-degree student, it is reassuring to know that I’ll be learning and developing new skills while being able to provide a unique perspective to classes, projects, and teams.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross? As a Forté Fellow, I’m excited to engage with the Forté Foundation and get involved in the Michigan Business Women Club. During my years in the nonprofit sector, I had the pleasure of reporting to and working with many exceptional women leaders and I look forward to sharing the skills I learned from them with future women leaders. Additionally, I have joined the MoMBA group in anticipation of my husband and I welcoming our first baby this fall. I already know that this community will help motivate me to achieve my academic and professional goals during the MBA experience, and I hope to do the same for future MoMBAs.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Impact. Ross is committed to educating purpose-driven leaders who seek to leverage business-minded approaches to make a positive difference in the world. This is one of my main motivations in pursuing a dual MBA/MS degree through the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan. I believe the business community can and should take purposeful action to mitigate or eliminate behaviors that contribute to global and local environmental crises.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was securing the critical financial support necessary to sustain a nonprofit museum organization through the COVID-19 pandemic while all other revenue streams were halted. I joined the organization of over 100 staff members in December 2019 and by June 2020, I was just one of 20 remaining staff members following a significant downsizing of operations in order to weather the pandemic.

During the 16-month closure of the physical site, I worked in collaboration with the VP of Development to raise $3.25M in contributed income. This effort included a successful pivot to a virtual fundraising gala that was free to the public and netted 130% of the income goal.

Working on this small team amid mounting uncertainty was one of the most challenging periods of my career but the collaboration and support we provided one another in the toughest of times made the day that the museum reopened to the public one of the most rewarding moments of my career.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? Immediately following graduation, I hope to work in brand management at a sustainability-driven company. I am eager to participate in and lead positive, meaningful change for the future of sustainable business.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? As a reapplicant, my biggest piece of advice would be not to get discouraged because waitlists are not a rejection. Ensure that your application is a true reflection of yourself and not who you think the admissions team wants you to be. Attend events, talk to alums and current students, and take the time to figure out how your MBA goals align with what the Ross MBA program has to offer and how you might be able to contribute back to the community. If you’re not admitted in your application round, take a breath and look at where your application could use improvement and share any meaningful career updates with admissions.


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