As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Hailey Eichner:
Hailey is completing her Full-time MBA and describes herself as “reliable, hardworking, and quick to learn.” The native New Yorker will be heading back to her home city after graduation as she takes on the position of Vice President, Global Relationship Manager at Genpact.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school and undergraduate degree?
I worked as an Associate in Account Management/Product Integration at The Rockport Group in New York. The Rockport Group is a software-as-a-service company specializing in commercial real estate loan origination and asset management. I have a BA in Economics with a minor in Anthropology. from Franklin & Marshall College.
Where did you intern during the summer of 2018?
I was an Equity Strategy Research intern with Bloomberg Intelligence in New York.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
I knew I wanted to leave New York to pursue my MBA, not only for practical reasons, such as cost of living, but also because I wanted the opportunity to meet different people and gain new perspectives. I knew a bit about Scheller at the start of my search, but once I started doing my research, Scheller just seemed like the perfect fit for me. The small class size assured I would really get to know my professors and fellow classmates, while the emphasis on technology would prepare me for a fast-paced career in the ever-changing business environment. The network and resources of Georgia Tech were also a major reason why I chose Scheller. We have the incredible sense of community that comes with a small program, but also the full network of Georgia Tech, giving us the best of both worlds.
Who was your favorite MBA professor (and why)?
My favorite professor throughout the MBA program was my accounting professor, Charles Mulford. I had never taken an accounting course prior to this program and ended up taking two taught by Professor Mulford because of his wonderful teaching style. With his years of experience, deep knowledge, and quirky sense of humor, Professor Mulford manages to make accounting, a dreaded subject for some, extremely fun and exciting. Professor Mulford also contributed to one of my favorite extracurricular activities by hosting the annual MBA Spelling Bee with his wife, Sandy, every Spring.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
I’ve taken a lot of great courses, but one of my favorites was Managing Innovation with Professor Alex Oettl. Throughout the course, we examined business cases in order to understand both successful and unsuccessful strategies related to technological innovation. Carefully examining cases from 3M, Google, and many other companies led to the realization that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for success.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller really takes advantage of its network and location in Tech Square to provide students with the opportunity to see the marriage of business and technology in action. From as early as orientation, I was able to visit the innovation centers for AT&T, The Home Depot, Anthem, and Delta Air Lines, introducing me to experimentation and the application of MBA concepts. Scheller also emphasizes data analytics and training students in analytical programs instead of relying solely on Excel. Additionally, many Scheller electives center on technology for functional applications. For instance, the Managing Innovation class focuses on using strategy to manage technology in companies, while Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity class uses technology as its focus for financial valuations.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Be yourself. Scheller deeply values the uniqueness of its student body, so make sure to be authentic in your essays and interviews. The tight-knit community is one of the most important parts of Scheller, so being genuine goes a long way in helping the admissions committee understand goodness of fit. Displaying an avid interest in academic offerings and extracurricular activities is a great opportunity to highlight your personal interests and how you plan to contribute to the Scheller community.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College and how was it the same or different than what you experienced?
The biggest myth by far is that everyone at Scheller is an engineer. I have never taken an engineering course and do not foresee myself taking one in the future. We certainly have many engineers in our program, whether they be dual-degree students pursuing a Masters or Ph.D. in engineering on the main campus or students who majored in engineering in their undergraduate studies, but we have many students with non-engineering backgrounds as well. There are Scheller MBA students with finance, teaching, marketing, non-profit, HR, and journalism backgrounds—just to name a few!
Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program?
I wish I would have known just how tough it was going to be at first! I feel like there is a misconception that business school is “easy.” I do not know who started that rumor, but the first semester of business school was extremely challenging but very transformative.
MBA alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you?
The MBA program has been extremely transformative for me. I think completely differently, I handle stress differently, and I get excited about things I do not think I would have cared about before.
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here? Is there anything Scheller didn’t offer that you feel would’ve helped you succeed?
I thought the extracurricular offerings through clubs and committees were helpful both professionally and personally. A number of clubs held interesting workshops and connected us with alumni in cool companies. Consulting Club, in particular, provided a lot of case interview help. Clubs and committees also offered opportunities to get to know my classmates better. I moved down to Atlanta (from New York) not knowing anyone, so I really appreciated having the chance to make new friends.
How did the Jones MBA Career Center help you find a job or internship?
The Jones MBA Career Center absolutely helped me find a full-time job. While I had primarily been focusing on finance or consulting roles, my advisor, Kevin Stacia, emailed me a job description for a sales role at a company I had not heard of before. This company had not recruited with Scheller before, so Kevin wasn’t sure what to expect, but thought that the description might align with my interests and goals. After doing some research, I applied for the job, went through the process, and ultimately received an offer. If you haven’t guessed by now, the company was the company I will be joining after graduation -- Genpact! (Big thanks to Kevin for knowing my interests and drawing the role to my attention.)
Did you utilize any of Scheller College’s diversity initiatives? How did they help you during your time at the College?
I was a member of Women in Business throughout my two years. The club provided a number of networking opportunities, workshops, and company visits that helped enrich the business school experience, especially in the first year when we are all still trying to navigate the waters.
Did you participate in a practicum? If yes, which practicum(s) and why?
During my first year, I participated in Pro-Bono Consulting and the core Strategy practicum class. During my second year, I participated in International Practicum and Lean Six Sigma.
While we are required to take the core Strategy class, I would have definitely taken it regardless because of its combination of theory and application. In the core Strategy class, I worked with Flexport, a freight-forwarding startup that has been valued at $1 billion, on an onboarding and human resources project.
I took Pro-Bono Consulting because it seemed like a great opportunity to apply some of my newly acquired MBA skills while also giving back to the local community. In Pro-Bono Consulting, I worked with a local comedy theater, Whole World Improv, on increasing audience attendance by changing their content and social media strategies.
I took Lean Six Sigma because of its emphasis on problem solving and productivity. In Lean Six Sigma, I am working with Car Wash Services of the South East to help improve the first visit resolution for their technicians.
I am currently taking International Practicum because I think international business is extremely important and I am specifically in the China section because of China’s huge role in global trade. I also thought it would be an interesting time to see how Chinese business works, given the political and economic factors at play. For international practicum, I traveled to China working with a hotel. The central focus of the project was to understand what the hotel’s competitive advantage was in comparison to other local hotels as well as US hotels. Service experience as well as management were crucial to the project.
How do you feel your experience with practicums has prepared you for post-graduation?
I think the practicum experiences have not only helped me refine the application of some of the skills I’ve learned in the last two years, but also kept me anchored to the business world. Even though I was in a client-facing role before starting at Scheller, I could easily see myself feeling out of practice in a full-time role if it had not been for the opportunities to work with clients during my MBA experience.
Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
Yes! During my time at Scheller, I participated in a two-week study abroad program at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. This was a great experience to learn about business in Europe and meet MBAs from other schools who also have an avid interest in international business. (It was also a great excuse to travel for an extra week.) I also participated in international practicum in my final semester, where I was paired with a Chinese company and traveled to Beijing. Outside of Scheller-sponsored activities, I also traveled to Mexico City and Lima, Peru, during my time as an MBA. I think experiencing other cultures is extremely important because it helps develop a better sense of understanding and respect between groups, exposes us to new ideas and perspectives, and gives us an opportunity to get outside of our comfort zones. I highly recommend taking advantage of the academic calendar to travel internationally during your time as an MBA!
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…” (Complete sentence)
In New York working for a financial services company.
Reading, traveling, cooking, trying new restaurants.
What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less?
The MBA was definitely worth every penny. I have learned so much that I will carry with me throughout my career.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
I would definitely like to take a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos after graduation. And I want to adopt a dog!