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Tell us about yourself and take us along your journey to Chicago Booth.

I graduated with a BS in Industrial & Systems Engineering and followed that path pretty traditionally. I joined GE Energy’s Operations Management Leadership Program and subsequently worked in six factories across the United States over the course of six years until I found my calling in people and organizational development. Switching careers from manufacturing operations to people strategy, and from heavy industrials to software tech, felt impossible but exciting. It was a bumpy road, but three years after graduating, I finally landed in a people tech role at Meta!

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What were some of the ways you got involved while at Booth and how did that impact your overall MBA experience?

The most fun and rewarding experience I had at Booth was getting to be a LEAD Facilitator during my second year. I got to dig deeper into my understanding of the leadership development curriculum that I experienced as a first-year student, plus I had coaching and practice in leading facilitation and teamwork. Most of all, the relationships I developed with my first-year students and the friendships with peers – that I hadn’t and likely wouldn’t have met otherwise – were the highlight of my MBA experience.

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What’s your favorite Booth memory?

Performing in front of an audience of 1,000 Booth and Kellogg students at the 2019 Battle of the Bands. I was the lead singer of one of the two Booth bands, Ida Noise, and we became the first band to beat Kellogg in the Battle’s nine-year history (or so we were told)!

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How was Chicago Booth able to assist you in meeting your career goals?

As a career switcher, Booth’s flexible curriculum was critical in helping me pursue my aspirations from day one. I’m pretty sure by the end of my first year I already had the credits for my concentration in Managerial and Organizational Behavior, which certainly wouldn’t have been possible in a traditional cohort-based curriculum. Courses like Professor Ann McGill’s Managing in Orgs and Professor Ron Burt’s Strategic Leadership were life-changing and were exactly what I was hoping for in taking a quantitative lens to the messy world of people and orgs. Their research lit up my brain and reaffirmed that I was in the right place and on the right path for myself.

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In what ways do you still feel connected to the Booth community today as an alum?

I stayed connected with Booth since graduation through my involvement with the Seattle Booth Alumni Club. I led the club board for two years and still remain on the board today. Of course, the greatest #WhyBooth are the lifelong friends, who I have leaned on through hard personal times, for career advice, and for daily dumb memes. Among those friends, probably noteworthy to mention is my Booth best friend, Dallas Cullen (‘19),  who became my husband and father to our baby boy James.

Pursuing an MBA at Chicago Booth offers a transformative experience geared towards providing students with the resources to build upon their professional network, explore different career opportunities, and more. We encourage you to learn more about our Full-Time MBA Program to see how you can join Michelle and our community of Boothies to achieve career growth and long-term success in today’s competitive business landscape.