Why did you choose to come to CBS?
I knew that I wanted an MBA and an MPH (Master’s in Public Health) in order to pursue a career in global health strategy and public private partnerships. Columbia is one of the only schools in the country that offers a top notch program for both and allows you to do them together.
What motivated you to pursue a joint degree program?
In college I studied abroad in Senegal, and I did an independent study there on USAID’s public health clinics and whether they were successful. After that I knew I wanted to work more in the health care access space. Then after college I worked with entrepreneurs and small businesses on behalf of the New York City government, and I got excited about the idea of applying a business management skill set to traditionally public sector problems. The MBA/MPH felt like a unique combination of degrees that could open doors in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
What has been your favorite class or program in either of your programs so far?
At CBS I loved Organizational Change and Launching Social Ventures, and I feel like I learned a lot in Accounting and Corp Fin. At Mailman I am loving a course called Global Health Governance taught by Chelsea Clinton, and a Mailman Core class I took last term on the environmental and biological determinants of health.
What has been your favorite moment at CBS so far?
I sing in Juranimal, and standing at the front of that stage in Uris Deli with a super talented group of friends and musicians jamming out with me is pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever done. It makes me feel like a rock star.
What woman (CBS or not) inspires you?
So many women inspire me – where to start?! Malala Yousafzai (the Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner) amazes me with her calm fortitude, and makes me think about how to achieve my goals without needing to be the loudest person in the room. I’m also in awe of Michelle Obama, who manages to creatively advance causes that are important to her in a diplomatic and inclusive way.
What has been most surprising about your CBS experience thus far?
My background is a little non-traditional for business school, and I wasn’t sure I would click with the vibe of any business school community. But I have been completely blown away by how kind and open–minded people are at CBS, by how much help and support I’ve been offered by classmates, and how much fun this entire experience has been.
What advice do you have for someone who is starting an MBA or joint degree program?
I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to reflect on what you want. The more focused you can be on your main objectives—whatever they are in terms of a career or a grad school experience—the easier it is when inevitably there isn’t time for everything and you have to make trade-offs.
What’s something most of your CBS classmates would be surprised to know about you?
I have a secret love of bad TV. I was super into MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge for years, and bought into a Bachelor pool for a few seasons with my then roommates (including Lauren Gentry, B’16!).