As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we are interviewing a few soon-to-be graduates from our Evening MBA program to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2020 Commencement.
Meet Michelle Lumpkin, Evening MBA
Where did you intern/co-op during school?
I’m an evening MBA, so I did not participate in an internship. I took temp roles at my prior organization, Teach for America.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I will be moving to Seattle to work as a Customer Success Manager for Microsoft!
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
The close-knit family atmosphere coupled with the technology focus was just unmatched. I knew Scheller would best equip me with the skills and knowledge to transition into the technology industry.
Who was your favorite professor (and why)?
It most definitely would have to be Atalay Atasu. Professor Atasu taught the supply chain modeling class not only from an efficiencies and cost-savings perspective, but he also emphasized the importance of sustainability in the supply chain process. He was engaging, passionate, and just flat out brilliant. I enjoyed every moment of his class - even when I was running on 3 hours of sleep. That was a tough semester 😊.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it)?
In the words of Peter Drucker “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. What I took away from the Innovation and Entrepreneurial Behavior course is no matter the talent of your people or the potentially disruptive innovative ideas they hold, an organization will never be able to gain and/or maintain a sustained competitive advantage if they don’t build a supportive and growth mindset type of culture for their people. There are many other insights I gained from the Innovation and Entrepreneurial Behavior class that I will be able to take into my new role, and I’m glad that I was able to participate in it just before Professor Nagao retired.
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Scheller has developed and sustained partnerships with several organizations located in Tech Square and in the surrounding Atlanta area. Given the relationships Scheller has been able to foster, I was provided with the opportunity to work with two major enterprises on a piece of their overall organizational strategy. The key factor to addressing both of the problem cases presented was through technological innovation and implementation. Scheller understands that every company is a technology organization and is providing an opportunity for local businesses and students to explore the massive opportunities that come with pinpointing where that intersection meets.
What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
Be your authentic self and know your “Why”.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I’m not sure that I’ve heard of any myths regarding Scheller, but if I would have to guess, it would probably be that you must be an engineer or a Georgia Tech alum to gain acceptance into the MBA program. I think I serve as evidence that this is definitely not true given that my background is in education and the nonprofit sector.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? (A parent? A teacher? A role model?)
My mom was a major influence in my decision to pursue my MBA. I’d always said I would return to business school, but put it off for years. At one point, I just thought my time had passed. My mom helped me realize that it is never too late to attain a goal. At the young age of 45, she returned to school to obtain her bachelor’s degree, which meant I, without a doubt, had no excuse. So here I am!
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
I served as the Vice President of Events for Net Impact, a Net Impact Investment Fellow, a Scheller Student Ambassador, and I was a member of Blacks in Business. I also participated in Kids Hope USA (off-campus program), which is a mentoring organization for elementary and middle school aged students. When I began courses at Scheller, I thought I understood how our world has been and will continue to be impacted in relation to sustainability (environmental and social justice issues), but I’ve learned so much over the past year and a half that I have been able to pass along to incoming and new students. I appreciate having the opportunity to be able to engage with individuals around ways in which I have grown in my business acumen, and how it has helped me not only in my professional life, but personally as well.
How did the Career Center assist you with your job efforts? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
I can’t say enough about my career counselor, Kristen Pratt. She was truly so helpful and considerate. I also appreciated Patrice Faison, my academic advisor, because I probably wouldn’t be graduating this year if not for her help. I really only had one company on my list, and I will be working for that organization after graduation!
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
I had the opportunity to work with Coca-Cola for my IT practicum and Carter’s Inc. for my supply chain practicum.
What concentration did you pursue and why? How this helped prepare you for your future?
I chose to pursue the Supply Chain and Managing Innovation & Technology tracks. I’m not sure that I was intentional about this before starting the program, but as I took classes, I was able to understand what I wanted to get out of my time and these focus areas seemed aligned with that goal. I mentioned that my two favorite classes were Supply Chain Modeling and Innovation & Entrepreneurial Behavior. During my interview with Microsoft, though I didn’t directly cite this with my interviewers, I was able to pull in concepts from both of these classes that were relevant to the discussion topics at hand. If that’s not preparing you for the future, I don’t know what is.
Fun fact about yourself:
I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…"
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be at Teach for America engaging in thought provoking conversations around what it means to work towards ensuring every student receives an equitable education. Though, I am no longer at Teach for America, it doesn’t mean that eradicating the injustice of inequitable education is not on my mind. I will always actively pursue opportunities to uplift our youth no matter where I work or live; Its just a natural part of who I am.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
I didn’t have a bucket list until this question, but here is my first stab at one. One day, I would love to say my daughter is a social justice activist giving her all to whatever ignites her soul to fight towards. I would also love to start a wellness center that allows people to dig into deep self-reflection and become the best person they can be in this world – with a little hot yoga on the side.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I hope my peers remember me as being dependable and fun-loving.