About Rachel

Hometown: Houston, TX
Previous University: University of Oklahoma
Undergraduate Major: BFA in Stage Management

Q: What was your background before coming to Northeastern?  

A: My undergraduate degree was non-traditional in that I didn't have a classic business education or degree. After college, my passion for theater led me to start my career in stage management. I apprenticed at The Julliard School and became a professional stage manager with multiple opera companies, including the Boston Lyric Opera. After four years, I wanted more stability and sought opportunities in operational and project management roles in Massachusetts. I earned a project management professional (PMP) certification and began a new career in the pharmaceutical industry. I now lead a team at Sage Therapeutics, where I oversee all preclinical operational activities and have financial and budget responsibilities.

Q: What inspired you to pursue your MBA?   

A: I feel very strongly about enhancing and honing my business knowledge. I want to gain a more solid foundation so that I can lead more effectively As an MBA student, I want to improve my ability to manage and motivate high-performing teams by immersing myself in the principles of effective leadership and exposing myself to a spectrum of business disciplines. By doing so, I will grow as a leader and be prepared to take on more challenging roles and responsibilities.

Q: Why was the Part-Time MBA at D'Amore-McKim the right fit for you?  

A: The Part-Time MBA's balance between flexibility and rigor produces well-rounded business leaders. One of the best parts of studying part-time is directly applying what I'm learning in class to my full-time job. For example, my accounting class helped me build critical skills for essential financial practices, positioning me to approach our recent budget cycle with a different mindset. This allowed me to see business problems clearly, identify the strategic implications of potential solutions, and develop innovative ways to achieve organizational goals.

Q: How will you apply what you're learning as a student to your professional career?  

A: I had ten years of work experience coming in, but I am still learning things as a student that are helpful in my current role. The MBA program sets you up to think from different perspectives and approach projects in new ways. I've built a network of professionals and mentors that have supported me throughout.  The MBA program covers a wide range of business disciplines, including finance, marketing, operations, and strategy that have made me more effective in my current role. It has helped me propel my career, improve strategic agility, and become an effective communicator. It's hard to say what the future will look like, but I feel that the foundation that I'm getting at D'Amore McKim will set me up for whatever that next step might be.

Q: Would you recommend the part-time program to others? If so, why?  

A: I would absolutely recommend the part-time program to others. The level of material and diverse perspectives that you're getting from professors and students is invaluable. As a student, you are propelled into thinking in new and different ways. Most importantly, you can immediately apply what you learn in class to your job. This real-time application is so beneficial in that it helps reinforce concepts and fosters practical learning.

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