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Robin Hannum

Robin Hannum
Robin Hannum, MBA ’14

When Robin Hannum arrived at Michigan State University for a job with its Office of Study Abroad, she knew her career goals were global. Once she added business to her focus, the Eli Broad College of Business became a natural choice.

“I was thinking about going abroad for a graduate degree and realized the program was really good right here,” says Hannum, a Massachusetts native who enrolled in Broad in fall 2012. “I really like business operations—knowing how one piece of the puzzle affects the next and how one change can affect the whole system—so I was drawn to the supply chain program.”

Hannum says she’s been struck by Broad’s emphasis on team-based learning.

“The MBA program is very collaborative,” she says. “We’re known for that with companies. More and more, with solving corporate problems, you need to be able to work between departments and disciplines. Having the experience of working in a group with someone from marketing, from finance, from supply chain, all coming at the same problem, it sets you up for the real world.”

Hannum has participated in several of Broad’s extracurricular opportunities. She is president of the Broad Women MBA Association, which she says has been a great professional support network, including at the national level. She is also a Forte Fellow. The Forte Foundation, a national organization for women in business, offers scholarships, leadership conferences, and networking and job search opportunities. As a fellow, Hannum helps conduct outreach and connects other students to the organization.

MBA Robin Hannum wins Greenlight Biz comp
Hannum and her fiancé/business partner, Jonathan DeLauter, won first place in the Greenlight Business Model Competition.

In December, Hannum and her fiancé, Jonathon Delauter, won the Graduate Business Plan Competition. The annual competition gives students the opportunity to land funding and support for a business venture. And in late March, they placed first in the Greenlight Business Model Competition, taking home the top prize of $25,000. Hannum and Delauter’s startup, Nordhouse Medical Solutions, involves licensing intellectual property to manufacture a new medical device.

“When I first came to business school, I didn’t know I’d be interested in entrepreneurship,” Hannum says. “The competition was really good exposure. Getting feedback from judges really helped you refine your pitch.”

Hannum’s fiancé will run the business full-time after she graduates in May and begins a position in purchasing with Mars Chocolate in New Jersey. She has long been interested in food and food distribution, an interest she developed while working at Spartan Innovations, an on-campus center that works with students and professors to turn technologies and processes they’ve developed into commercially viable businesses. Hannum has worked with a professor of agriculture to create a specialty food company focused on chestnuts.

“In general, when I came here for the small size and team atmosphere, I didn’t realize how many doors [being a student at Broad] would open,” Hannum says. “I’ve had a lot of exposure to different companies. The program gets you thinking about your style of leadership, your role, how you influence your team. It’s been a really good opportunity for my own personal growth over these last two years. I’m thinking even bigger now than I was when I came in.”




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