The Future of Business is Bright – and More Female than Ever

Three business women
Liz Bender

by Liz Bender, Duke MBA and Managing Director at The MBA Exchange

Despite the continuing decline in overall application volume for full-time MBA programs, one group of MBA hopefuls is not shrinking: women. In fact, more women than ever are pursuing and attending elite business schools. MBA programs have been striving for years to improve their gender balance and these efforts are paying off as confirmed by major media such as The Wall Street Journal.

So, if you’ve ever considered earning an MBA, especially if you’re also female, the time to apply is now.

Why should women attend business school?

It’s no secret that women face unique challenges – earning challenges, leadership challenges, access challenges – in business today. Merely accepting this fate or playing the victim doesn’t change a thing. If you’re the kind of person who wants to solve problems, formulate a vision, and implement innovative, inclusive solutions and earn a leadership position in a career that you love, then an MBA education is the ideal path to:

• Expand your opportunities – Business school can help you prepare for positions you may not have even considered. The “MBA” credential alone opens new doors; your energy, passion and perspective determine how far you can take your career beyond each threshold.

• Build confidence – Your voice can’t be heard if you don’t claim your seat at the table. B-school is the perfect “laboratory” where you can take risks and challenge norms with little fear of judgment or failure. This exploration and discovery will serve you well when the stakes rise throughout your career.

• Diversify and sharpen your skillset and thought processes – Data analysis, decision models, negotiations, financial forecasts, market trends, economic forecasts, resource allocation – leaders must be adept in these areas. MBA courses will arm you with the skills you’ll need.

• Grow your network and cultivate mentors – No one succeeds in business without others. A professional network of accomplished peers, world-class professors and caring champions can help support you as your career grows. You can expand and elevate such a life-long network at a top business school.

If you intend to apply for MBA admission, The MBA Exchange can help you maximize your chances of success. We’ve worked with over 5,000 applicants across three decades. Our consulting team features successful women business leaders. In fact, more than half of the team is female. In addition to their deep admissions experience, the women of The MBA Exchange have diverse professional backgrounds and knowledge you may tap into. Here’s just a sample:

• Dr. Pauline Jennett, Wharton MBA and former associate director of admissions at Harvard Business School – experience includes director of recruitment and admissions for a non-profit career development organization, and sales and marketing management roles with Coca-Cola, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, and IBM. In addition, she has a doctorate in education and master of divinity degree cum laude.

• Jessica Burlingame, Columbia MBA – recognized as one of the world’s top MBA admissions consultants by industry expert Poets & Quants in 2017, 2018, and 2019; professional experience includes healthcare consulting, private and investment banking, as well as editorial and business development roles with The Condé Nast Publications and Vault.com.

• Stephanie Horn, Kellogg MBA – rated by industry expert Poets & Quants as one of the “Top 10 MBA Admissions Consultants” for 2017, her experience also includes being a senior associate at McKinsey & Co., advising technology and service clients on competitive strategies. She has worked in executive positions for DaVita, a Fortune 500 healthcare company; Viking River Cruises, a global travel firm; and Safety-Kleen, an industrial chemicals company.

• Brooke Wheelan, Kellogg MBA and former associate director of admissions at Harvard Business School – professional experience includes being a case team leader at Bain & Company, focused on retail and consumer goods clients.

• Kara Dyer, MIT Sloan MBA – an undergrad from MIT as well, founded a successful children’s specialty toy company. She was as an alumni mentor in the MIT Community Catalyst Leadership Program and worked in India with women entrepreneurs to start a sustainable energy company providing power to remote villages. Further background also includes working in marketing management and R&D for a consumer electronics startup, and served as a consultant for ZS Associates, which specializes in sales and marketing strategy.

• Maria Spaulding, Harvard MBA – held roles in marketing, strategy and investment banking at corporations such as JPMorgan, Kraft and Bayer. Committed to community service, she has also served as president of a non-profit board and conducted business and professional development seminars.

• Grace Kim, Stanford MBA – background spans the pharmaceutical, education, packaged foods, online commerce and management consulting industries. She developed multi-million advertising campaigns and marketed billion-dollar consumer brands such as Botox Cosmetic, Yahoo! and ConAgra Foods. She also serves as executive director of the Dragon Kim Foundation.

• Alina Liao, Stanford MBA – as former VP of an economic consulting firm, she managed clients including Google, Samsung and AT&T. She also co-founded a tech nonprofit, featured in Forbes and Fast Company, providing mental health coaching to at-risk youth. In addition to her MBA degree, she has a master’s in education from Stanford.

• Marina Glazman, Wharton MBA – founded an online, retail startup company, reinventing the shopping experience for home décor. Additionally, she has worked in corporate strategy, consulting, and competitive intelligence for media, education, and pharma clients; worked in international-revenue strategy at Dow Jones with The Wall Street Journal; and co-founded and led a consulting firm providing marketing strategy for growth stage retail, media, and hospitality businesses.

• Angela Helfrich, Columbia Executive MBA – professional experience includes launching startups, including some in the nutrition and pet care industries. Her background also spans the technology, home décor, and education sectors. She has also held business development and sales leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies and startups.

• Michele Shen, NYU MBA – background includes digital marketing and brand strategy, serving major companies such as Yahoo!, DirecTV, Toyota, Neutrogena, Omnicom and Samsung. She has worked closely with companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter. She has experience in large and small startups, focused on emerging media (i.e., mobile, social, video, connected TV).

These, and the other accomplished women, of The MBA Exchange know first-hand what a woman’s career journey entails, how a b-school education facilitates and accelerates her progress, and how to boost her likelihood of admission.

For a free evaluation of your candidacy, contact us today: https://www.mbaexchange.com/mba-evaluation. We’d love to assess your potential, share our expertise with you – the next, even larger wave of female business leaders!