“A Midwestern community-builder who finds value in rich experiences and quality relationships.”
Hometown: Rockford, IL
Fun Fact About Yourself: I ran for state representative for the 67th district of Illinois when I was 21.
Undergraduate School and Major: Cornell University, Applied Economics and Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Employer: AEG Partners Title: Senior Restructuring Associate
What word best describes the Chicago Booth MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Supportive. We as Boothies often say that we have a “pay-it-forward” culture, but I believe that Boothies frequently go above-and-beyond to assist others and that there is truly no question or problem too big or too small to ask a Boothie for help with. From apartment suggestions to dinner recommendations to recruiting advice and more, everyone I have interacted with has been extremely willing to share their perspective and experience.
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Chicago Booth’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The flexible curriculum was a big factor in my decision. I studied business in undergrad and my career was in financial services before coming to Booth, so I appreciate the ability to take more advanced courses within areas where I already have a strong knowledge base.
Also, because Booth has Evening and Weekend MBA Programs, students can take classes at night, on the weekends, or even attend the evening and weekend sessions of their class if they have schedule conflicts during the week with personal obligations or recruiting. The additional flexibility in class timing will allow me to have internships during the school year, giving me an advantage during recruitment.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at Chicago Booth? I’m extremely excited to join the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA). Due to being based in the Chicago area for the entirety of my career, I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of members (across different classes) through my professional and personal networks. These members have always been very encouraging of me obtaining an MBA even before I applied, throughout the application process, and in making the decision of which school to attend.
Even though my first year has just begun, I have already received an outpouring of support with suggestions on coursework, recruiting, and many other topics related to my school transition from the second years and recent graduates of the group. The members of AAMBAA have always made me feel that I had a place at Booth, and I look forward to making sure those that come after me feel that same sense of belonging.
When you think of the Booth philosophy, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Intentional. Because we have to bid for classes, Booth students have to be very thoughtful about course planning for their entire MBA career from the very first quarter. Students here need to think through how to properly allocate course bid points to the classes that they desire in the current quarter, while still saving points for those “must have” classes in future quarters. This aspect of the program forces students to put decisive action into determining what classes matter most for their experience.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my previous role, I served as a member of the senior management team on an engagement to stabilize a distressed manufacturing company that was weeks away from shutting down. We were able to obtain additional funding to operate and stabilize the company to sustain operations for an additional two years, while creating enough value for the company to be acquired by a larger manufacturer.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? Interestingly enough, COVID-19 hasn’t changed my career perspective very much. In my previous role, my team was very lean so I actually had a fair amount of flexibility. However, I do plan to ensure that my next role will give me the ability to spend time with my family and friends outside of work as well as pursue my personal interests and hobbies. , have relatives who are no longer with us due to COVID-19 related complications. These losses have taught me to become more mindful of living in the present and not to overthink so much.
Additionally, I have embraced the idea of ”giving people their flowers while they’re still here”. We never know what people may be dealing with behind closed doors, so I believe even a small act of kindness or appreciation can go a long way in improving the wellbeing of others.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Earlier in my career, I was typically able to solve most work problems by using my business knowledge. However, over time I began to notice I relied far more on my emotional intelligence in order to complete tasks, solve problems, and lead teams. I felt that by obtaining an MBA, I could hone my leadership style and gain more confidence as not only a business leader but also a people manager. Additionally, I viewed pursuing an MBA as an opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge of corporate finance and understanding of different industries and business models in order to obtain the investment judgment needed to transition to private equity.
After graduation, I hope to leverage my experience in the restructuring industry to transition into private equity, where I hope to invest in minority- and women-owned businesses in the Midwest, a region of the US with comparatively little deal flow compared to the other parts of the country.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Chicago Booth’s MBA program? The most important advice I would give to anyone considering Booth is self-reflection and authenticity. It is important for applicants to take the time to think about their strengths, developmental areas, as well as what and how specific aspects of the Booth MBA would contribute to their professional and personal development.
Just because two applicants may have similar work experience or career goals does not mean that they will both gain the same value from attending Booth. Because of the “choose your adventure” nature of the program, it is imperative that applicants understand which classes, activities, and experiences to partake in to develop the knowledge, skills and competencies that they seek to gain for their chosen career path.
DON’T MISS: MEET CHICAGO BOOTH’S MBA CLASS OF 2023