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Fellows of the Month: Joie Bernabe

Joie BernabeStanford University, A.B. Political Science, 1999
UCLA Anderson School of Management, Class of 2014
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Pre-MBA Work Experience: U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer, specializing in work with Special Operations Forces and Navy SEALs

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted a career change and complete shift from the military.  I felt that a full-time MBA program would give me the best possible opportunities for building a new network, and would also help me build my quantitative skills.

What advice do you have for women who are considering business school?
I would tell any woman considering business school to trust her gut, and approach pursuing an MBA as a platform for other opportunities in life.  I think it is important to think not only about applying to school, but also to think critically about where you want to be in 5 to 10 years with an MBA education.

What’s the most surprising you learned about business school during the application process?
I think the most surprising thing about the application process is realizing the stamina you need to get through the GMAT, applications, and interviews.  I was also surprised by the amount of continuing introspection throughout the process.  I am a mid-career switcher, so many I had to think through how getting into school would affect other aspects of my life.

Do you feel prepared for business school?
UCLA Anderson has a great support network that prepares incoming students.  I was able to take multiple preparatory math and excel courses with Anderson before matriculation.  I also feel that my military experience gives me a unique perspective on leadership.  I am looking forward to learning from my classmates and experiencing different work environments.

What do you do in your free time?
I love football!  I am a huge Oakland Raiders fan, but I also watch as much NFL football as my schedule allows.  I hope to turn my passion into my next career and I am exploring both sports management and sports marketing, and high-tech marketing.

Please share something about your experience with Forté.
I attended the Forté Conference in June 2012 at my business school, UCLA Anderson, and I came away impressed by all the women that I met.  I felt that the career panels were especially helpful, and it gave me insights into many of fields that interest me.  It was also great to network with my classmates and other colleagues from other business schools.

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I am so excited to start this journey, and I am very grateful for all my family and friends who have supported me in this endeavor.  I wish for all women who are pursuing their dreams to keep pushing!

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