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Stephanie Folkens

What are your career aspirations?

Food and education have the power to strengthen the health of an individual, family, and community. This belief has shaped my aspiration to be a leader in the food and education sectors.

I aspire to be a leader that ensures an organization is sustainable for the sake of those it serves. This emphasis will require me to mature into a leader that raises new leaders from within, has the acumen to ensure financial stability, and possesses a knowledge of impact measurement to satisfy both funders and contribute to improved services.

While I have been able to contribute to my organization’s sustainability, the next level of leadership will require continued innovation and the ability to inspire others to do the same. An MBA will accelerate my growth and impact by further developing my management skills and business acumen.

What skills are you looking to develop at Booth and implement into your sector?

I am looking to hone my management skills to address the top priorities in my organization and sector. Specifically, I am eager to develop my skills to build sustainable growth models in the social sector. I believe the Booth will develop my knowledge of corporate finance, organizational leadership, and an entrepreneurial mindset.  The Booth coursework will have immediate benefits in my current role, and deepening my understanding of building sustainable growth models will serve as a strong foundation for further impact in my sector.

Why Booth?

To achieve my goals, I wanted to find a program based on a multidisciplinary approach, data-driven problem-solving, and freedom to select coursework that is most relevant to my goals. Ultimately I decided that an MBA would accelerate my growth and impact by further developing my management skills and business acumen. I selected a Booth MBA based on the faculty. Prior to joining Booth, I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Elevate Fellowship, a collaboration between Teach for America and Chicago Booth focused on leadership development. The fellowship afforded me the opportunity to learn from Booth faculty and I appreciated how they presented tools and frameworks to open up the discussion for richer exploration as each person brought their perspectives to the conversation ensuring a multidirectional and multidisciplinary educational experience.