Previous University: Vassar College
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Q: As a veteran working in cancer research, why did you choose to pursue an MBA?
A: While on active duty, I completed my undergraduate degree in biology. Once I graduated, I began a job at Brigham and Women's Hospital as a pancreatic cancer lab manager and researcher. After two years, I knew I wanted to be in the business world and build the skills to become an entrepreneur. Earning an Full-Time MBA felt like a natural step for me to gain the education, network, and foundational business acumen to succeed in my career as an entrepreneur.
Q: What made the D'Amore-McKim MBA the right MBA for you?
A: I was drawn to Northeastern because of the MBA program's successful alumni and their careers. I valued this because I want to be successful and see the fruits of my labor following graduation. I was also looking for a strong entrepreneurial community. I ultimately chose D'Amore-McKim because it is renowned for entrepreneurship and the resources available to students and alumni.
Q: Tell us about your experience as a Posse Veteran Scholar.
A: I am a Posse Veteran Scholar and carry this title with immense pride. I'm a Posse Veteran Scholar alumnus of Vassar College and a current Posse Veteran Scholar of Northeastern. I will be eternally grateful to those at the Posse Foundation who believed in me early in my career and to D'Amore-McKim for affording me the Posse MBA scholarship. I was awarded this scholarship due to my leadership abilities, professional and academic potential, and service to this country. I benefitted from the Posse MBA scholarship as it has helped me find my place at a top-tier institution and provided me with an incredible support system once there. I am grateful to D'Amore-McKim for valuing someone like me and recognizing me as an emerging leader.
Q: How has your veteran identity benefited you as an MBA student?
A: I knew that my background as a military service member would help me pursue an MBA because I have an essential set of skills, including leadership and teamwork, plus the work ethic and adaptability that you need to achieve this degree. I have leveraged these skills in order to succeed in this program. They have prepared me for the ever-present collaborative work environment at Northeastern and have allowed me to either take charge of a project or work as a team member in this program. These skills solidified through my time in the program, partnered with the business knowledge from my coursework, will surely prepare me for my career as an entrepreneur.
Q: Where did you do your corporate residency, and what was your position? How did this experience benefit you?
A: I custom-designed my corporate residency experience to align with my goal of becoming an entrepreneur through the Sherman Center at Northeastern. My position was CEO of my own venture, and during this time, I was given the opportunity to freely pursue enterprises of my creation. This formative experience gave me the confidence to believe that I could pursue another venture in the future. This glimpse into the life of an entrepreneur helped me understand in a new way the importance of communicating my vision to others, including investors, collaborators, or potential customers. One of the most critical lessons I learned during my corporate residency was how to trust myself and my ideas. I pursued a myriad of ideas risk-free, all within a few months, and will carry lessons learned with me.
Q: You earned an MBA x concentration in experience design. Can you share your experience with interdisciplinary learning?
A: Because of the flexibility and nature of the MBA x concentration, I've been able to take a wider breadth of interdisciplinary classes, which has had a huge impact on me by triggering new ways of thinking that I will apply in my career. For example, when starting a new venture, I focus not only on the business model and financial projections but also on the user experience. By incorporating experience design principles into entrepreneurial ventures, I can create products and services that exceed expectations. I am thankful that Northeastern has this offering because, in the long run, by incorporating what I've learned, I can build better products, create stronger relationships with customers, and differentiate myself from competitors.
Q: What advice do you have for future students?
A: If you are keen to become an entrepreneur, I would say to dive in. Don't be scared to take a chance on yourself. Going through different projects and classes has challenged me. Still, there are so many resources available at D'Amore-McKim and Northeastern University that I put myself out there and learn a lot, all while feeling like I have a true support system
“Working towards my MBA has helped me realize that I can solve problems, meet deadlines, provide insights, and work with others. This program has allowed me to realize my potential.” Says Tyler Walker, MBA'22
“If you're going into a new industry like I am, don't be afraid of being uncomfortable because that's a part of the process.” says Irina Zolotnitskaya, MBA'21
“Work consistently towards achieving the goals that you set for yourself. Sometimes you'll feel lost, but you have to believe in yourself. You need to realize that if you've made it to Northeastern University, you definitely have what it takes to succeed in business.” says Sanjay Lote, MBA'21