Why I Chose to Attend Ross Women’s Weekend
I was born and raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City (the very tip of the island, right before you reach The Bronx). My family emigrated from the Dominican Republic in the 1970s and have been there ever since.
From an early age, I was exposed to New York’s vibrant and rich culture, but also the city’s stark inequalities. My interest in exploring city life led me to pursue a degree in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where I focused on community development for historically marginalized populations.
After graduating, I spent seven years working in the nonprofit sector. About four years ago, I joined The Bridgespan Group’s Leadership Practice, where I helped grow a B2B, an ed-tech startup focused on helping executives (primarily leaders of color) become stronger leaders and strategists. I loved the work but felt that there were some gaps in my understanding of business, so I ultimately decided to pursue my MBA.
The Ross School of Business quickly became my top choice due to its focus on action-based learning, its strong track record for tech recruiting, and its robust alumni network. I had also heard wonderful things about the vibrant student community at Michigan Ross, but I wanted to experience it for myself. I was curious to know if I would feel a sense of belonging with the women’s community and the students of color at Ross. I knew that experiencing it for myself would also help me better articulate my “Why Ross?” during the application process.
The first events I attended were the Ross Women's Weekend and the UpClose Diversity Weekend. I remember meeting many prospective students and first-year students, and feeling invigorated – these were the kind of people I wanted as friends, colleagues, and mentors. They were smart, kind, authentic people, and I got the sense that Ross was a place that fostered a sense of collectivity and community – if one of us “wins,” then we all “win.” Rossers were not just invested in their own growth and success, but also that of their peers.
From the small group dinners at students’ homes to the inspirational speeches led by second-year students, I left Ross feeling like, “this is where I need to be.” I remember seeing the MBA2s on stage, sharing about their time at Ross, and I thought, wow, this is a place where I can experience tremendous professional and personal growth - all while being supported by a community of fun-loving, passionate people.
I know it is not always easy to take time off of work or even allocate the funds to bring yourself to Michigan for a weekend. However, if you are able, I highly encourage prospective students to attend Ross Women’s Weekend and the UpClose Diversity Weekend. It’s so powerful to see others who share your identity growing their skills and network, investing in their careers - and thriving while doing it. Ross does a wonderful job at promoting its differentiating qualities, but in order to really understand what makes the program unique, I really think there’s no better way than visiting in person and seeing the Ross community up close!