I was born in a small town in Pennsylvania, USA, and have lived in Philadelphia for around 15 years. I have spent my career focusing on both behavior and policy changes that impact human health. I have dedicated much of my career to helping healthcare executives, advocates and policymakers add rigor and structure to the ways in which they meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. Before studying for the IE Brown Executive MBA, I studied in London and spent significant time in India, where my family lived for five years. I love to travel and discover new cultures; I’ve gone on solo trips to 23 countries. These experiences have deeply influenced my worldview, inspiring empathy and insight. I am currently the director of marketing for a social impact consultancy
"My network has been enriched with smart people with diverse perspectives, job functions and cultural experiences that can champion me and push me forward throughout my career."
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in human stories. During my bachelor’s, I was working to become a broadcasting personality. After interning at the Red Cross, I became more interested in marketing. I quickly realized that branding was exciting. The Red Cross is one of the most recognizable brands around the world! I realized the power of using stories and messaging creatively to influence action.
Curiosity and persuasiveness are vital traits. Insofar as marketing is a business function, you always have to be equal parts interested in and able to influence the lives of your end users and the business that is trying to build a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
I wanted to develop health promotion marketing within the government. At the time, I was in charge of administering the department's funding across several programs and initiatives, so I felt that as a steward of government funds and constituent resources, I needed more vigor around managing them judiciously. I believed that the program could help increase my skills at brokering public and private partnerships and provide the budget and finance experience that I would need.
As someone with ADHD, I often believed it was something I should hide professionally. Navigating a full-time career while being in the program allowed me to come up with new tactics to ensure I was able to perform well professionally, personally and academically. I developed new tactics around focus, problem-solving and innovative thinking that helped me to push through. These are qualities that I still lean into today that help me add value to the teams I work on.
Like any personal or professional development endeavor, you get out of it what you put in. I did not go into the program to land a specific job post-graduation, but I knew that it would help me gain exposure to opportunities that I may not know about or be positioned for otherwise. One of the program’s greatest assets for me was the other members of my cohort. My network has been enriched with smart people with diverse perspectives, job functions and cultural experiences that can champion me and push me forward throughout my career.
The intersection of humanities and business was an aspect of the program that aligned well with my values. I come from a heritage that embraced both education and leaning into doing things differently. My great-great-grandfather, for example, attended college at a time when there were inequalities in acceptance into higher education. They all believed in education as a pathway to not just personal development but a more inclusive and productive society.
Our project was to create a solution that could help early childhood development centers in Langa Township in Cape Town. Read about our group’s experience here.
I learned so much from the women running the early childhood development centers that we got to meet in Cape Town. Township was a life-changing setting to take our work outside of the classroom in such a high-potential and all-hands-on-deck environment.
The in-person experience was a game changer for me in thinking about how to approach community, governmental and corporate arrangements. I’ve worked on every side of these partnerships as a community advocate, a growth-based marketer for Fortune 500 companies, and a civil servant. The work has helped me to be effective in solving problems that involve engaging stakeholders from each group. While everyone wants to reach a positive result, each is incentivized and structured differently. I’ve learned that you have to get to the root of what a best-case scenario is for everyone, then design the messaging and the solution from there.
Don't put off going after your goals. There’s never the best time in life to pursue something that will challenge you. So if you’re willing to be a good team player, and be dedicated to the work, you should apply.