2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Dorian J. Allen, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Dorian J. Allen

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

“The liberal arts major turned data-driven strategist.”

Hometown: Maplewood, New Jersey

Fun fact about yourself: Right before business school, I was offered a job at an alpaca farm.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Dartmouth College, BA (Major: French, Minor: Sociology)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? English Teaching Fellow at Lycée François Rabelais in Dardilly, France (professional high school that focuses on food and hospitality)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? Summer Associate, JPMorgan Chase, Chicago, IL

Where will you be working after graduation? JPMorgan Chase, Chase Associate Program (general management and leadership rotational development program)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Kellogg Nonprofit Board Fellow for The Roycemore School

Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Fellow

VP of Allyship and External Relations, Black Management Association

Director of Careers, Kellogg Marketing Club

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of my marketing field study because I could apply my newly developed business skills as a marketer for a real company. Kellogg allows students to complete a “field study,” which is essential an internship for course credit to complement our work in the classroom. I worked as a growth marketer for the edtech startup Beepboop.

Kellogg’s curriculum enabled me to hit the ground running during this internship. On Day 1, I leveraged the Enhanced Ansoff Matrix and collaborated with the CEO to identify growth opportunities. By Week 2, I ran leveraged R to run regressions and conduct cluster analyses to examine the firm’s most profitable customers. And throughout the term, I employed the management skills that I learned in every Kellogg course, as I worked directly with the cofounder high impact projects.

By the end of the internship, I not only felt more confident in my business abilities, but also made measurable impact on Beepboop, which achieved record sales growth and exceeded its target by 1.5x.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m proud of my implementation and management of the competitive intelligence function at my former company, Collibra (B2B enterprise SaaS firm). My analysis and recommendations coming out of this program contributed to a 27% increase in revenue in just 6 months and increased sales KPIs by 7% year-over-year.

With just a year of product marketing experience, I was tapped to launch and lead Collibra firm’s competitive intelligence initiative. I was managing a team of directors and VPs across marketing, product management, and sales to align cross-functional priorities and synthesize siloed institutional knowledge. I collaborated with consulting firms and industry experts to understand market trends. I presented my findings to hundreds of colleagues across the globe and led quarterly readouts with Collibra’s C-suite executives. My competitive intelligence work led to Collibra’s second acquisition, record sales growth, and a series of high return investments.

I’m proud of my management of competitive intelligence at Collibra because it pushed me as a business leader and drove incremental value for the firm.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Kellogg because it’s always been my dream business school as an aspiring Chief Marketing Officer. A common misconception is that marketing means advertising and pretty logos. Kellogg is the renowned business school for marketing because it recognizes that marketing is the cornerstone to a firm’s strategy. Kellogg understands that best-in-class marketers leverage data and cross-functional expertise to deliver value to customers.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Kevin McTigue has been my most impactful professor at Kellogg. I took Advertising Strategy with Professor McTigue, and he was my faculty sponsor for my marketing field study. Three things make Professor McTigue the paragon of a Kellogg professor:

1) His approach to advertising strategy reflects exactly why I chose Kellogg to study marketing. Professor McTigue’s Advertising Strategy course rejects the conventional wisdom that marketers just make flashy campaigns; rather, McTigue asserts that good marketers are strategists who leverage advertising as a mechanism for business growth.

2) He innovates class content to reflect market trends. In addition to teaching the fundamentals, Professor McTigue demonstrated technology’s impact on advertising, explained how privacy regulations complicate advertising, and dissected his favorite new ads each week.

3) He’s dedicated to our success beyond the classroom. Countless alums reach out to Professor McTigue because he is eager to support his students’ career growth and share his insights. I was particularly impressed when one of his former students, Mauricio O’Connell ’08, visited our class to talk about his award-winning campaigns for Old Spice at P&G (O’Connell’s work has turned into a marketing case studied at many MBA programs).

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Marketing Research and Analytics with Professor Chethana Achar made a tremendous impact on my Kellogg experience. This course transformed me from a French major unsure of his place in an MBA program to a confident data-driven strategist. Professor Achar is an outstanding teacher; she explained complicated analytics concepts in layperson’s terms, making the content digestible for students. In a few weeks, I learned new analytics techniques, applied these techniques using technology, and could think critically about the results.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite Kellogg tradition is KWEST, which are pre-orientation trips of ~20-25 first-year students (and led by five second-year students). Many schools do pre-orientation trips, but KWEST is one-of-a-kind. For the first two days, students don’t share their hometown, previous work experience, and recruiting goals. This encourages students to skip over superficial conversation starters, discover commonalties, and form deeper relationships. On day three is the Big Reveal, a special dinner where we guess (often incorrectly) our classmates’ backgrounds. Before my first year, I went to Norway for KWEST, and I enjoyed the experience so much that I led a KWEST to Ecuador my second year. My classmates had some wild guesses for me… ranging from sommelier to CIA agent to investment banker.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would say yes to more invitations in my first year. Business school is short and there are so many amazing people at Kellogg, so I wish I had stepped out of my comfort zone earlier and tried new experiences with more classmates.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Kellogg is “just” a marketing school. Kellogg houses and produces some of the world’s finest marketers, but most Kellogg students go into consulting and tech, and more and more are pursuing private equity, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Kellogg builds strategists, who can lead in any business function and industry.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? The beach. As someone who grew up on the east coast, the idea of Lake Michigan being a beach was difficult to wrap around my head, but it’s grown on me! Our campus is walking distance from sandy beaches where we can swim, play volleyball, go sailing, and so much more (weather permitting of course).

What surprised you the most about business school? I was thrilled to learn that Kellogg encourages students to pursue entrepreneurship. One of my highlights at Kellogg was pursuing the Levy Inspiration Grant, which allowed me to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Europe. Karel Chromy (my Kellogg classmate) and I have goals of creating an edtech firm focused on both music and language learning; Kellogg’s Levy Inspiration Grant sponsored us to conduct market research in Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Karel Chromy is my most inspiring classmate and represents the exemplary Kellogg leader. He’s intellectually curious, asking thought-provoking questions in class and pursuing extracurricular opportunities that get him out of his comfort zone. He’s dedicated to making meaningful change (he helped launch a new Kellogg course that informs MBA students how we can impact climate change).

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Lead a product launch overseas
  2. Manage/mentor someone who eventually becomes a C-suite executive

What made Dorian such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Dorian is a great example of the kind of student that makes Kellogg special. A French major in undergrad, he pursued a diverse set of challenges after college from working in CPG at Unilever, to tackling analytics for a B2B SaaS company to teaching English in France. At Kellogg, he was a standout in my Advertising Strategy class, but his work in an independent study project was most impressive. For someone with no formal education in business prior to Kellogg he tackled a very difficult start-up growth issue with remarkable skill.

These independent study projects can be incredibly challenging, particularly for start-ups. In ten weeks, Dorian was expected to help guide a faltering business back onto the rails. He approached this by blending his Kellogg education with his varied experiences to tackle the issues. It showcased a mixture of hard skills in using advanced analytics, decomposing problems with issue trees, and leveraging frameworks – plus soft skills in having tough conversations with the founder and creatively thinking about paths to growth.

That’s what I love to see. It wasn’t just using a new set of tools, but Dorian showcasing how he can take all the interesting experience and attributes that makes him unique as a person to create unique success for a business.”

Kevin McTigue
Clinical Professor of Marketing


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