Step into Your Greatness! by Natalia Suarez
“MBA PD helped me prepare to start school with a strategy for how I could leverage my MBA to start my dream career”
MBA PD 2015
Duke Fuqua School of Business (c/o 2017)
University of Georgia (c/o 2008)
Natalia Suarez completed MLT’s MBA Prep Program and transitioned into the MBA Professional Development (MBAPD) Program. She is a member of the Duke Fuqua School of Business’ MBA Class of 2017. After participating in the MBAPD 2015 class kick off seminar on March 27-29, Natalia wrote the following recap from her own perspective on seminar highlights and key takeaways:
Our MBA Professional Development Core Skills Seminar hosted by Target in Minneapolis began with a powerful message from Target’s VP of Enterprise Strategy, Jamil Ghani, a Harvard graduate and the first in his family to go to business school. He shared three key lessons: 1) Be curious your whole life; 2) crush it wherever you are; and 3) keep your passion humming.
The MBAPD kick off helped transition my MBA Prep mindset out of applying to business school and into actually preparing to start school with a strategy for how I could leverage my MBA to start my dream career. I admit I felt stressed. I thought the marathon was over; I already got into b-school! Our coaches came to the rescue by providing tips on how to maximize the MBAPD program and seminars – from keeping an open mind to how to engage with the corporate partners.
Speaking of corporate partners, Target introduced all 250 of us MBAPD Fellows to the world of buyers and financial analysts that afternoon. We participated in case studies and won awards such as “Most Innovative” and “Guest Centric.” We wrapped up the day with a networking event at Mill City Museum, overlooking this beautiful view of Minneapolis.
Saturday’s agenda was packed with valuable time with our coaches and MLT corporate partners such as Boston Consulting Group, Google, and Goldman Sachs. The Procter & Gamble team prepared us for an afternoon of behavioral mock interviews, and Ihsan Leggett from P&G received a well-deserved standing ovation for challenging us to “step into our greatness.” I had goosebumps during his entire speech. His encouragement was just what we needed to calm our nerves before mock interviewing with our dream companies. During the mock interviews, our corporate partner representatives provided valuable feedback to polish our responses. The experience also gave us an opportunity to ask questions about the company. Afterwards, I sat in Deloitte’s functional interview skills session and quickly realized I would need to work on preparing for case study analysis interviews as soon as I returned to Miami. Soon after, we headed to the evening reception at the Target Plaza Commons to continue to build relationships with potential employers. The room was full of energy and buzzing with conversations. I cannot believe I am going to b-school and have these kinds of opportunities to align my passion with my career!
Back at the hotel, groups met to finalize case presentations. I could hear groups discussing financial models, tech ideas, and presentation strategies. The next day Johnson & Johnson’s Vice President of Sales gave a lively talk on leveraging visuals, understanding your audience, and being mindful of nonverbal communication while delivering a presentation. We presented to our corporate partners and received valuable feedback we can apply during b-school and beyond!
The weekend was packed with exercises to develop personal clarity, knowing the bar, roadmap planning, one-on-one coaching, and building a strong support network. Thank you to Target, MLT staff, and corporate partners for believing in us and investing in us! I am confident that with MLT’s recipe for success, I will crush it at Duke Fuqua and step into my greatness!