“Driven and disciplined. Passionate about tech, financial education and women’s empowerment.”
Hometown: Lynbrook, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: I lived in 5 different neighborhoods in Manhattan within 4 years.
Undergraduate School and Major: Florida Atlantic University, Finance
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Harbor Group International, Senior Associate
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? What originally sparked my interest in pursuing an MBA at Kellogg was the strong history of women in leadership positions and representation of women in a top MBA program. I knew I’d thrive in an environment where women are naturally included at the center of the conversation.
As I learned more about the program and networked with alumni, it became clear that the culture at Kellogg was unlike anything I had seen before. The students are driven but still collaborative and dream to do better for others. It quickly became obvious that this was a culture in which I could not only achieve my professional goals but also develop into the leader I know I can be.
Both of these insights have already manifested and had a meaningful impact on my MBA experience. As a member of the Drake Scholar Network here at Kellogg, I’ve received invaluable opportunities to connect with women across the school, from students and alumni to faculty and administrators. I’ve been provided unrivaled leadership, mentorship, and networking opportunities that will impact the rest of my career.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at Northwestern Kellogg? I’m really looking forward to taking the course “Selling Yourself and Your Ideas” taught by Professors Suzanne Muchin and Craig Wortmann. Coming to Kellogg, I knew I wanted to prioritize developing communication, persuasion, and situational awareness skills. The impact these skills will have extend beyond just my next professional position — they will remain applicable to any industry, future role, non-profit or volunteer work, and even perhaps valuable to my personal life (don’t tell my fiancé). I’m grateful that Kellogg acknowledges we’re in a world where career paths are not as linear as they used to be and offers courses like this that extend beyond short-term professional goals.
What word best describes the Kellogg MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Approachable. They are some of the most accomplished people I have met, but still exhibit a humility and kindness that makes them easy to talk to, bounce ideas off of, brainstorm with, or grab a coffee with. A key component of obtaining your MBA is developing relationships and learning from each other as much as you’re learning in the classroom. At Kellogg, the fact that students exhibit this approachability gives us each the opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences and develop strong relationships.
What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA? Kellogg really has the best of both worlds. Evanston is a great college town and there’s a real camaraderie built around campus. From football game tailgates to grabbing lunch with a new friend at the Marketplace or unwinding with all our classmates at TG (our standing Friday happy hour at the Hub), we have the opportunity to develop lasting relationships through campus-centric social events. Being just outside Chicago means we also have access to a major city with no shortage of companies, culture, nightlife and restaurants to explore. And best of all is the midwestern attitude: people are welcoming and kind, and generally just great neighbors.
Kellogg is known for a team-driven culture. What quality do you bring as a teammate and why is it so important to success? Organization and structure. There’s no shortage of things to do in business school and it often feels like you don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish it all. I always show up to a group meeting with a specific outline or detailed objective so we can make the most of the sometimes limited time we have to ensure we’re moving in the right direction given the project or assignment. Being structured and efficient not only helps us achieve success on that specific task but also allows my teammates to go forward and address their other assignments, commitments and goals that make their MBA experience an overall success.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Prior to Kellogg, I worked at a Real Estate Private Equity firm and was selected to join the “Project Management Office” and launch a new financial product offering. This was a very non-traditional role at that firm, where teams were historically very siloed. However, in this role, I was the “spoke of the wheel” and worked collaboratively with colleagues from different functional areas to build out the strategy, infrastructure, and scalable processes to ultimately bring the product to market. It was a high-stakes, high-pressure, high-visibility project that pushed me way outside my comfort zone. It was a tall mountain to climb. In hindsight, I’m really proud that the launch was successful, and the offering was well received by the market.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? Autonomy and work from home are great, and can certainly help with productivity, but so much of enjoying what you do is impacted by who you do it with. While there will always be a focus on “What I’ll be doing”, the relative weight I give to “Who I’ll be doing it with” is much higher post-COVID. It certainly came into the decision-making process when evaluating MBA programs and is a bit part of the reason why I chose Kellogg.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?
Rather than continue to move further into the Real Estate industry, I want to pivot my career back toward Tech in a product management or strategic finance capacity. This transition will require I dive more deeply into data analytics, leadership development, and strategy in an academic (and experiential) setting. At Kellogg, the opportunities to do so are endless; between the Technology Management pathway, KTech and FinTech clubs, and the Product Management Challenge, Kellogg sets itself apart by offering endless opportunities to hone these skills across a variety of formats.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford, Booth, Ross
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA program? Start early and don’t make business school an afterthought. Do a lot of reflection before you put pen to paper on your essays and application materials. Think about what fuels you, what your defining moments (however small) are, and what life you picture for yourself down the road. If you can gain clarity on those aspects, your essays and responses will come from a far more authentic place. And speaking from a place of authenticity, using words and stories only you could have spoken, will certainly set you apart. Only you have your story.
DON’T MISS: MEET NORTHWESTERN KELLOGG’S MBA CLASS OF 2023