Poets&Quants Features 12 Members of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2023 and Explains Why Students Should Attend Michigan Ross
Poets&Quants featured 12 talented and diverse members of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2023 from the Ross School of Business. Coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, P&Q highlighted each student’s individual story, including their career before business school and why they chose the top-ranked MBA program at Michigan Ross.
Among the Michigan Ross Full-Time MBA students featured by P&Q are a Mexican DJ, a former Major League Soccer player, a Navy veteran turned nonprofit founder, a financial literacy instructor who committed to improving economic and educational equity, and a handful of other nonprofit leaders who have already made a difference in countless people's lives.
P&Q described Michigan Ross as having “something for everyone.” The publication emphasized the school’s action-based learning focus, touching on the 100+ projects for MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) that students can choose to participate in as well as the many conferences and leadership opportunities offered to bolster their experience. As P&Q put it, “MBAs work in teams to reinforce what they learn. In the process, they build a network of influencers and a resume filled with brand name, high-stakes projects.”
The feature also includes a Q&A with Soojin Kwon, managing director of Full-Time MBA Admissions and Program at Michigan Ross. Kwon discussed new developments at Michigan Ross for MBA students, including the Pinkert Healthcare Accelerator and the Impact Advantage Program, which provides educational loan repayment assistance to Full-Time MBA graduates who obtain jobs at nonprofit, education, and public sector organizations.
Learn about the outstanding Ross Full-Time MBAs featured in P&Q’s “Meet the Class of 2023” in their own words:
Yasmin Abdulhadi - Memphis, Tennessee
“A Black first-generation Eritrean American woman who is committed to improving economic and educational equity.”
When Abulhadi thinks of Michigan Ross, what is the first word that comes to mind?
“Innovation. I recently learned that Ann Arbor, where Michigan Ross is located, is the most educated and smartest city in America. With so many people gathering from different backgrounds and areas of expertise at Ross and across the university, there are many opportunities to cross paths with people and create/do something impactful in different fields.”
Gabriela Alvarez-Estades - San Juan, Puerto Rico
“Proud Puerto Rican, passionate nonprofit professional, and advocate for inclusive growth and social impact.”
What has been Alvarez-Estades’ biggest accomplishment in her career so far?
“I think my greatest achievement is a collection of moments over the past several years in my career. Until recently, I was strategic development manager at Grupo Guayacán, Puerto Rico’s leading entrepreneurship development and small business support nonprofit organization. During my tenure, the island experienced a series of back-to-back crises and natural disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, bankruptcy, political upheaval, and (of course) COVID-19. These experiences tested me, both professionally and personally, but also taught me to be resilient and to maintain a sense of hopeful optimism for the future, even when things seem bleak.”
Eden Berdugo - San Diego, California
“Fervent community leader excited about leveraging entrepreneurship to advance social and economic justice.”
What led Berdugo to pursue an MBA at this point, and what does she hope to do after graduation?
“After a challenging year supporting small businesses, I came to a turning point in my career in which I want to scale my impact. I want to use my MBA to consult companies on how they can funnel more private sector dollars to small- to mid-sized, minority- and women-owned businesses. Ultimately, I want to design and implement end-to-end strategic processes for private and public entities that create pipelines of diverse and sustainable suppliers and drive inclusive growth. I felt that the best way to pursue these goals was by going to business school, specifically to gain the academic foundation, industry experience, and an amazing network that will support me along the way.”
Janet Genser - Richmond, California
“An extroverted, active, and outdoorsy Californian who loves pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.”
What course, club, or activity excites Genser the most at Michigan Ross?
“I am on the founding team of a new student-led initiative called Michigan Climate Venture , which is focused on accelerating the development of solutions to the world’s climate crisis. Our mission is to catalyze decarbonization efforts in the Great Lakes region by the following: 1) investing in startups in the region through a student climate-tech focused fund and 2) establishing an ecosystem of organizations capable of unlocking technological progress and entrepreneurial talent. As a dual-degree student, MCV is the perfect blend of the financial and business acumen I’m getting from Ross and the environmental science I’m learning at the School for Environment and Sustainability. One of the many appeals of studying at Ross is the emphasis on action-based learning and applying your new-found business skills to tackle the issues you’re most eager to solve. That’s exactly what I’m getting to do through MCV, and by the time I leave I’ll have made a real difference to a few promising startups and will have learned a lot about investing, entrepreneurship, and climate tech.”
Karnica Gupta - Dehradun, India
“An enthusiastic planner and nature-lover, with a passion for inclusion.”
What was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led Gupta to choose this business school and why was it so important to her?
“The emphasis on learning by doing was key in my decision. Having spent the bulk of my career in finance, the opportunity to learn about different functions and industries in a way that’s hands-on, collaborative, and permits experimentation was an incredible way for me to maximize my professional growth over the next two years. Michigan Ross has a number of such opportunities including the Multidisciplinary Action Projects, student investment funds, the Integrated Product Development elective, and Leadership Crisis Challenge to name a few — all of which I look forward to participating in!”
Foster Langsdorf - Vancouver, Washington
“My parents decided I would play soccer growing up because it was cheaper than therapy.”
What led Foster to pursue an MBA at this point and what does he hope to do after graduation?
“I want to earn an MBA so that I can bolster my technical skills to support a career change. It was difficult reaching my dream playing professional soccer, but it was more difficult deciding to retire mid-season (imagine playing the same game six days a week since the day you started kindergarten). With four years of professional soccer playing experience and little work experience, I felt unprepared to begin a career in a demanding and highly technical job right after playing. My hope is that with a MBA from Ross, I can gain real work experience through MAP to explore careers in both real estate and sports to find out what I want to do without the long-term commitment while gaining valuable work experience.”
Rebecca Leder - Washington, D.C.
“Proud Washingtonian and aspiring green thumb with a penchant for women’s sports and solving problems.”
How did COVID-19 change Leder’s perspective on her career and her life in general?
“COVID-19 made me think critically about priorities, both personal and professional. The pandemic exposed and aggravated horrifying healthcare and economic disparities within the U.S. and internationally. Also commanding our attention these last 18 months have been an attack on voting rights, the devastating consequences of climate change, and the country’s urgent need to address systemic racism. The intense focus on these and other problems has strengthened my commitment to work for social justice.”
Christopher Meyer - New Canaan, Connecticut
“Passionate about fighting injustice, lifelong learning, and finding beauty in the world.”
What led Meyer to pursue an MBA at this point, and what does he hope to do after graduation?
"I joined the Sunrise Movement, a national climate justice organization, in 2018 about the same time as when I started my job at Wealth Insight Partners. I loved the passion and energy I felt at Sunrise meetings as we pushed for government responses to climate change. At work, I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of constructing portfolios and analyzing different investments. I wanted to find a career that would allow me to continue to use my quantitative finance skills in a role focused on impact; I decided that an MBA would offer me a chance to pivot into impact investing. I plan to recruit for climate tech VC. I’m excited to meet with different companies that share my passion for sustainability and help them grow to maximize their impact!”
Vu Nguyen - Virginia Beach, Virginia
“A curious explorer who loves to experience as much as possible.”
What was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led Nguyen to choose this business school, and why was it so important to him?
“The idea that I would be a part of 25 to 30 teams over two years quickly sparked my interest and is a key part of why I chose Michigan Ross’ MBA program. In my jobs and all the organizations I’ve been a part of, success was measured by what teams can accomplish. Of course, there are individual contributions, but teams accomplish more than any individual. Working in multiple teams is important to me because the bonds, experiences, and stories that I will gain from being on those teams will be very valuable after graduation.”
Juan Rogelio Lemarroy Montanaro - Coatzacoalcos, Mexico
“I’m a creative and fearless individual, a natural leader who loves a challenge.”
What course, club, or activity excites Lemarroy Montanaro the most at Michigan Ross?
“As a self-employed entrepreneur and leader, I am eager to be a part of the Sanger Leadership Center, working on projects that could nurture my leadership skills further. Also, I look forward to becoming an active member of the Latin community at Ross to proudly represent my cultural background.”
Chisom Uche - Houston, Texas
“I am passionate about innovation and using new technologies to solve complex problems.”
What was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led Uche to choose this business school, and why was it so important to him?
“Ross really appealed to me because of their focus on action-based learning. For me personally, learning through experience is the best way for me to absorb information and to learn new skills. One specific resource is the myriad of student-led venture funds that Ross offers. While highly competitive, these funds present me with the opportunity to strengthen my skills as an investor while also learning about ideas and problems in novel industries.”
Abhimanyu Vashistha - New Delhi, India
“A motorsports nerd who wants to democratize technology for the greater social good.”
What led Vashistha to pursue an MBA at this point and what does he hope to do after graduation?
“My long-term dream job is to build the world’s leading consulting practice, advising governments and policy-makers to improve learning outcomes in public school systems. I intend to leverage technology to provide state-of-the-art educational materials and frameworks to millions of students with limited learning resources.
“Right after my MBA, I envision returning to BCG’s social impact practice in the U.S. or joining similar practices with firms such as Dalberg and the Bridgespan Group as a Consultant. I hope to work on structural transformation projects for leading private and public education institutions focused on technology transformation, differentiation strategy, and resource organization.”