After working for over three years in international compensation consulting, I was definitely interested in getting deeper knowledge of the Human Resources function through a graduate degree. I was very interested in Michigan State University as the Broad MBA program is one of the top MBA programs with a primary concentration in Human Resources. In addition, when I visited the school during the Broad Women MBA Conference and the Admitted Student event, I met several alums with an HR focus, working at companies such as Microsoft, General Electric, Deloitte Consulting, etc. I was very impressed with the companies that recruit Broad HR MBAs and the type of work that the alums were involved in. During my visits to the Broad School, I also learned about the strong focus on leadership and teamwork through the team-based assignments that are an important component of every class. I liked the small class size that would help me get personalized attention from faculty and staff as well as the collaborative culture of the Broad MBA Program. All the above factors convinced me that the Broad MBA Program was a perfect fit for my career aspirations.
I have to say that I was able to accomplish everything that I wanted to achieve during the two years in the MBA Program and the skills and experiences I gained have been very valuable to me in my current job. After graduating in 2008, I joined the HR Trax rotational program at Microsoft Corporation. Currently, I am in my first rotation in the Mergers & Acquisitions-HR group. The cross-group collaboration and interpersonal awareness that I developed as a result of working in teams during my MBA experience have been very helpful to me as I work across the HR, Finance, Integration Management, and other teams at Microsoft. During my MBA, I specialized in Human Resources and Finance. This combined skill set puts me at an advantage with respect to the business acumen that I bring to the table when compared to other HR professionals at my career stage. I would strongly recommend HR students to either concentrate in Finance or at least take a few elective courses in it. The analytical skills developed through these classes are valuable transferrable skills to have. A few other classes that I would strongly recommend are Strategic Change Management, Employment Law, and Compensation.
There were several other experiences during the MBA Program that really stand out for me. During my second year, as VP of Fundraising for the MBA Association, I ran the Charity Auction event where the Broad MBA community raised over $15,000 for CureSearch (National Childhood Cancer Foundation) in one evening. Running this event gave me great experience in leadership and project/event management, and the best part of it was that it was all for such a great cause! In addition, I was frequently involved in recruiting candidates for the MBA program and representing the program at various events. This helped me understand the selection criteria and profile of candidates that we are looking to accept into the Broad MBA Program. As an HR professional, this experience in talent acquisition is very critical. Lastly, I participated in several case competitions and was on the team that won the first prize in the Broad vs. Broad annual internal case competition. Participating in these competitions enhanced my confidence and presentation abilities by applying the frameworks and skills taught in the classroom to real business problems, similar to what I am often challenged with at Microsoft. There is no doubt in my mind that these professional experiences that I gained during the Broad MBA Program have been invaluable to me in my career at Microsoft.