Educational background: Rensselaer, Electrical Engineering
Prior work experience: Delta Air Lines, Managing Director, Consumer Marketing
Current or most recent position: Homebanc Mortgage Corporation, Chief Marketing Officer/EVP
I've always tended to lead. My leadership first began to take off while I was an officer in the Air Force. Later, at the Boston Consulting Group, I became the connection between my partner group and the consultants. At Delta Air Lines, I led the creation of the Song brand and customer experience and marshaled senior management through a major overhaul of its Sky Miles frequent flier program. Today, I lead a 55+ person integrated marketing organization for Homebanc Mortgage, a growing regional lending institution. I'm also the co-leader of three children, ages 11, 8, and 5.
When I was in my first year at MIT Sloan, we had a 15 month-old son, and balancing things was a bit of a challenge. My second year, during finals, I had my second child. Of course, that didn't stop me from taking every class I could possibly squeeze in and from being the head teaching assistant for a core class. The entire MIT Sloan community was very supportive. I had to arrange to take one final a few days later than my classmates, and the professor couldn't have been more accommodating. It was a four-hour test, and he encouraged me to take my time, but I did it in two hours because I had to get back to that baby!
While I was in the Air Force, I planned on getting a PhD in engineering at MIT, but when I was at home on maternity leave, it dawned on me that it was the orchestration of complex activities that I loved. I simply didn't want to be in a lab. But I wasn't sure business school was right either — until I spent time at MIT Sloan. It was a clear fit for me. My training at the Boston Consulting Group, the US Air Force, Delta Air Lines, and HomeBanc is a blend of the skills I learned on the job and the ones I honed at MIT Sloan.
As a grad student, I loved having connections to MIT — the classes in innovation and future technology and the entire buzz about Internet businesses. I recall discussing DVD and HDTV technology when they were in their infancy and debating the merits and pitfalls of each. At MIT, the administration wants students to keep the place humming — they actively seek student input and ideas through various student-led groups and initiatives.
I can honestly say that I loved being at MIT Sloan. It was the right place for me, and the only place I applied. If I were to give prospective students one piece of advice about applying to business school, I would tell them, “Go to business school for yourself — to start on the career YOU want — instead of where you think everyone else is going.” I can't tell you the number of MBAs I've encountered who end up with great jobs on the Street, only to turn around and ask themselves, “What am I doing here?”