Nina Patel University of the Pacific, Bioengineering, 2006 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper School of Business), 2015 Hometown: Las Vegas, NV Pre-MBA Work Experience: Six years as an R&D Engineer at Life Technologies (Biotech Industry) Why did you decide to pursue an MBA? I decided to pursue an MBA so that I could further my career. I was working as an engineer in the biotech industry and didn’t really see a way for me to move up the ladder even though I had moved several times horizontally. I also realized that I had a deeper passion for creating environments that were conducive to employees, and building quality products that customers truly wanted. I saw an MBA as a way for me to bridge the gap between science/engineering and business, and figured the opportunities post school would help me get to that dream job! What advice do you have for women who are considering business school? My advice is to speak to as many alumni, current students, school representatives as possible. Even talk to students who go to the school but don’t go to business school to get their perspective on the school. Its amazing what you can learn from students cause they will give you their honest feedback and it will help you decide if you are a good fit for the school in the long run. What's the most surprising you learned about business school during the application process? The most surprising thing I learned about business school during the application process was how introspective the process was. Writing about myself and answering the schools questions was very enlightening to what my true career aspirations were, and I made sure to showcase those aspirations. Do you feel prepared for business school? Yes and no. I worked for 6 years prior to going back to school, so it has definitely been a transition from working for 8 hours a day to be back in a classroom setting. On the same note, because I have worked before school the things we learn in class make more sense to me because I can see how all these topics relate to everyday work life. What do you do in your free time? In my “free” time, I usually try to catch up on current events or hang out with friends. I have joined several social clubs that I try to involve myself with, and have even joined the Volleyball club, a sport I have never played before. What would you tell your younger self about the MBA application process and being an MBA student? I would tell myself that you have to do your due diligence and find the right school for yourself. (Which I did!) I would also say not to worry too much about grades and scores, I stressed a lot about those two things during my application process, and I truly believe the schools that I got into, were able to see my passion and my ability to carry out those passions by obtaining an MBA. Please share something about your experience with Forté. Because of the Forté Forum MBA event in San Francisco, I was able to interact with my schools of interest. It was also where I learned about Tepper, and where I thought I had the most fit amongst my top 5 choices. Being at the Forté conference over the summer, I was so empowered by all the females of the incoming class for 2015. It was amazing to see and hear about everyone’s accomplishments, and to see that we were alike in some ways as well, in terms of our fears and questions about b-school. I came into business school knowing only a few things about myself, I knew I wanted to work in the healthcare/biotech industry and work for a company that truly cared about its consumers and employees. Here I am few months into my first year, and I have further refined my goals and am starting to pursue a career in entrepreneurship with a focus in biotech. The people that I have met in my class have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and I am thankful to have met them as they are helping to shape my future. Business school for me is a great place for me to take on risks that I may not have taken before and to be the person who I would like to become.