Take a Listen: Ross MBA Students and Alumni Sound Off on the Value of an MBA and More in MBA Summit Podcasts

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Six podcasts from current full-time MBA students and alumni of the Ross School of Business talking about the MBA experience are now available. 

Each podcast tackles important issues related to life as an MBA student and future career opportunities after graduation, including managing mental health and well-being in business school, leveraging an MBA education as a stepping stone into the social impact sector, and why pursuing an MBA is worth it. 

The podcasts were produced as part of this year’s MBA Summit, held in partnership with Poets&Quants. In addition to the podcasts, this year’s MBA Summit features a livestream event during which admissions directors from top-ranked MBA programs will share insider tips on how to get into business school, including Soojin Kwon, managing director of Full-Time MBA admissions and program at Ross. The event takes place at 11 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 25. 

MBA Summit podcast episodes were recorded in person at Ross earlier this year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Real Students, Real Issues 

Is the MBA Worth It? 

Real students discuss how they decided investing in a full-time MBA program was the right decision, how they’re paying for it, and what they think about their decision now that they’re here. This episode features:

  • Souvik Bhattachara, MBA '20: Bhattachara is an engineer with half a decade of experience working in education and ed-tech. During his time at Ross, he was a part of the Social Venture Fund and EdTech investments, and was a product management intern at Apple. Post MBA, he is joining Amazon Web Services as a senior technical product manager.
  • Alexandra “Lexx” Mills, MBA '21: Mills previously served as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Malaysia and taught elementary school in Washington, D.C. She did community and economic development work in Baltimore and currently serves as a managing director for the Michigan Ross Real Estate Fund.  
  • Marcus Tenenbaum, MBA '21: Tenenbaum led an elite team responsible for White House technology operations, support, and security; he also served as an operations flight commander in the United States Air Force. He most recently worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as the technical operations and logistics manager. 

How to Manage Mental Health & Wellness in B-School 

MBAs talk about how to take mental health and wellness seriously in business school, why you should, and what resources are available to prioritize both. This episode features:

  • Rachel Becker, MBA '20: Becker is a co-founder of The Comfort Zone, a well-being initiative at Ross focused on helping students build healthy and balanced lives. She is also a founding team member of the Ross health and fitness industry club, FitX, and interned with Johnson & Johnson's global health services division.
  • Angad Banga, MBA '20: Banga previously worked as a lead analyst at Major League Soccer, providing strategic and marketing leadership to existing and newly developed commercial growth opportunities. During his time at Ross, he's actively pursued his entrepreneurial endeavors while also sourcing and investing in early-stage startups as a Venture Capital Fellow with the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund.
  • Nadia Ogene, MBA '21: Before applying to B-school, Ogene worked at Hulu, where she leveraged data-driven insights to improve the customer experience. Following her MAP project with Amazon's Smart Home business, Ogene will be interning at Nike to focus on creating innovative digital experiences. 

What DE&I Means to MBAs (And Why You Should Care)

Students take a deep dive into the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion in B-school, sharing their viewpoints on why it matters and how to pick a school that cares. This episode features:

  • Allie Morbitzer, MBA '20: Morbitzer was the vice president of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council at Ross and the UpClose Diversity Weekend Co-Chair. She is also the founder of wellness brand FitLatina and will be working in human capital consulting at Deloitte this fall.
  • Billy Grant, MBA '20: Grant earned both an MBA and a master of science in information through a dual degree with the U-M School of Information. His focus on human-computer interaction and business led him to an internship with Twitter, where he worked on improving information integrity. 

Beyond the Classroom: The Real ROI

Impact with an MBA 

The MBA was a stepping stone for successful careers in entrepreneurship and philanthropy for these grads, and they’re discussing how to leverage the right program to follow in their footsteps. This episode features:

  • Samir Malviya, MBA '13: Malviya is a general manager at One Concern, a startup whose artificial intelligence platform helps save lives in catastrophic natural hazard scenarios. He previously worked at Goldman Sachs and on global financial and impact-related advising projects in India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
  • Eshanthi Ranasinghe, MBA/MS '12: Ranasignhe serves as head of exploration and future sensing at Omidyar Network, which uses foresight and signal scanning to identify emerging opportunities, blind spots, and areas for impact for the firm. She holds a dual MBA/MS degree from the Erb Institute at Ross.

The MBA Payoff in Consulting & Tech 

MBA grads representing the biggest names in consulting and tech explore the ROI of the MBA and strategies for setting yourself up for success after graduation. This episode features:

  • Elizabeth Mills Murthy, MBA '14: Murthy is an associate partner at McKinsey & Co., where she interned while at Ross. Prior to earning her MBA, she worked at Google as an analytical lead in large customer sales.
  • Aaron Mass, MBA '11: Mass currently serves as head of strategy in platforms and ecosystems marketing at Google for their Android, Chrome browser, Chromebooks, and Google Play products. Prior to Google and upon graduation from Ross, he worked at BCG as a principal.
  • Bruno Antunes, MBA '11: Antunes worked from consultant to principal at the Boston Consulting Group in São Paulo after earning his MBA. He transitioned into private equity as part of the value creation team of Patria, the largest Latin American alternative investments manager, and recently returned to BCG in Washington, D.C., focused on transformations in the consumer space.  

The Alumni Advantage 

Business leaders who have reaped the benefits of an extensive alumni network discuss how to make the most of the alumni advantage during your program and beyond. This episode features:

  • Nicole Smith, MBA '11: Smith is the owner of consulting and coaching business Smitn. Upon graduating from Ross, she served as chief marketing officer for the Dallas Wings (WNBA), senior director of growth marketing for NASCAR, and director of brand development for the San Diego Padres. 
  • Shane Kelly, MBA '13: Kelly is the Founder of Wolverine Angels, which leverages the U-M alumni community to support early-stage investors and startups. He also founded Cinematica Labs, a venture studio supporting mission-driven media technology ventures. He was previously head of investments at CrowdSmart, an AI-powered investment platform. 
  • Barbara Calixto, MBA '11: Calixto serves as chief marketing officer at Wallbox Chargers, a developer of smart electric vehicle chargers in Barcelona. Previously, she was director of product marketing at Microsoft Corp. and vice president of marketing at Cabify, a Spanish ridesharing company. 

In addition to the MBA Summit podcasts, Business Beyond Usual hosts Jeff Church, MBA '21, and Stephanie Simpson, MBA '20, talked with guests Scott DeRue, Edward J. Frey Dean at Michigan Ross, and John Byrne, founder of the B-school website Poets&Quants. The special episode features a wide-ranging discussion on the long-term outlook for MBA programs and covers such topics as the impact of technology on business education, the importance of experiential learning, and the role of STEM programs.

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