This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a bit about your background? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite flavor ice cream?
Teri: My background is Puerto Rican and Mexican-Irish and I grew up in Kensington, MD, just outside of Washington, D.C. I studied psychology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Go Big Green! My favorite flavor of ice cream is Dulce de Leche.
Accepted: What events or experiences in your life led you to pursue an MBA?
Teri: I chose to pursue an MBA to build a strong general management foundation. After undergrad, I joined an education start-up to teach high school students and design AP curriculum, but discovered my passion for marketing when the start-up’s founder asked me to support the growth of the company by managing the company’s marketing campaigns and sponsorships. Focused on advancing my marketing career, I spent the next 5 years with the Advisory Board Company, a healthcare research, technology, and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., where I pioneered the firm’s first product marketing role and grew the strategic marketing team over the physician performance technology and consulting divisions. Partnering with product development and sales teams, I launched 5 new technology products and designed a strategic plan for the firm’s physician-focused solutions. This experience working across cross-functional teams to advance corporate strategy and drive both top-line sales and bottom-line growth helped me build a strong marketing foundation, but also motivated me to deepen my knowledge of other business functions. Through conversations with mentors at work and other professional women that I met through the Forte Foundation, I knew that getting my MBA was the best next step for me.
Accepted: Can you talk about your experience with the Forte Foundation? What are some of the benefits of being involved with this organization?
Teri: As a Forte Fellow, I have access to many great benefits, including networking events, webinars, and the annual Forte Conference. Even before school started, I was welcomed by my second-year Forte mentor from Georgetown who helped me navigate the first weeks of school. Through my Forte participation, I contribute to the Forte Fellow blog and have been empowered to lead the first-year women’s mentoring program as the VP, Mentorship for the Georgetown Women in Business club. Forte sponsored events helped me evaluate pursuing an MBA early on and I am thrilled that I can share my experience and help other women strategically consider this decision as well.
Accepted: I see you’re also an NSHMBA Fellow and a Toyota Fellow. Can you tell us a little about these programs?
Teri: Through Georgetown, I received a National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Scholarship and a Toyota Fellowship.
NSHMBA is committed to increasing the number of Hispanics with graduate business degrees and is a premier networking and skill development organization for Hispanic professionals. As a NSHMBA Scholar, I have received a financial scholarship, access to exclusive networking events and skill-building workshops, and admission to the annual NSHMBA career conference where I secured my summer internship offer. I also have volunteered for NSHMBA and participated in the annual Brillante Awards gala where McDonough’s full-time program was honored for Education Excellence.
The Toyota Fellowship recognizes successful undergraduate academic performance and at least four years of professional achievement for MBA candidates concentrating in marketing, strategy, or finance. As a Fellow, I have been invited to exclusive networking events with Toyota.
Accepted: What is your favorite thing about the MBA program at Georgetown McDonough? Least favorite?
Teri: McDonough has empowered me to apply my leadership skills in both global and local contexts. My favorite part of the experience has been building relationships with students and the community as a Marketing Club Leader and as a Board Fellow where I helped an international non-profit with brand building and digital platform development. My least favorite thing about Georgetown is probably the limited dining options on campus, but I heard that they are planning to renovate the food court this year!
Accepted: Which other b-schools had you considered? Why did you think Georgetown was the best fit?
Teri: I was accepted at NYU Stern and Duke as well but chose Georgetown because I felt a strong connection to the people and the place. The Georgetown culture is collegial and grounded in service to others. I can honestly say that the people I have met are committed to solving the world’s challenges and serving the local community- we have partnerships with over 40+ community service organizations and non-profits in D.C. Georgetown’s general management and international focus was a great fit for my career goals. Being close to home and family was a great bonus!
Accepted: What are you doing for your summer internship? What role did Georgetown play in helping you secure that position?
Teri: This summer, I have a brand management internship with Johnson & Johnson’s OTC Global Franchise Organization in Fort Washington, PA. As a member of the Global Franchise team, I am focused on identifying and sizing pain care growth opportunities for key brands (TYLENOL® and MOTRIN®) across 16 global markets to inform the 2013 global strategic plan. Georgetown’s Career Services team and the Graduate Marketing Club peer advisors (second-year MBA students) were invaluable in helping me prepare for my interviews at the NSHMBA career conference. I felt confident going into internship recruiting because of the time that Career Services and my marketing peers invested in me to help me prepare for company conference calls, mock interviews, and case interviews.
Accepted: How would you rate Georgetown and Washington, D.C. as a setting for business school?
Teri: Georgetown is a fun and unique setting for business school. Georgetown’s D.C. location gives students unparalleled access to government, business, and cultural leaders. Some of the highlights of my first year have been campus events with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Muhammad Yunus founder of Grameen Bank, and Bono.
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