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An Optimistic Problem-Solver Striving to Better Herself and the World: Meet Felicia Lamothe, Full-time MBA ‘23

To celebrate Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students, we interviewed a few outstanding Full-time MBA students to learn more about their journey at Scheller. Meet Felicia Lamothe.
Felicia Lamothe, Full-time MBA ‘23, stands confidently outside in a blue business jacket with her arms folded

Felicia Lamothe, Full-time MBA ‘23

Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business students come to learn, explore, and build community. As they move forward in their careers, they take everything they've learned and use it to power innovation in industries and businesses across the globe. In celebration of Spring 2023 Commencement, we sat down with a few students to learn about their experiences and the wisdom they've gained in the process. 

Meet Felicia Lamothe, who is graduating from the Full-time MBA program.  

Where are you from?  

I was born in Germany but as an Air Force dependent, moved several times between the U.S. and Europe. Atlanta is growing on me though, and may soon be it. 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  

I am a high-energy, optimistic problem-solver striving to better myself and the world around me.  

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling at Scheller?  

I worked at Marriott International for 10 years before pursuing my MBA full-time. My last role involved pricing and revenue strategy as a revenue manager of 10 full-service and select service hotels. 

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?  

One of my proudest achievements was achieving the highest employee engagement score that my hotel had seen in over a decade and landing 12 points higher than the national benchmark. It’s important to me to help create and maintain a space where people feel valued and can contribute to the success of the larger team/organization. It was fulfilling to see such positive results from a survey on our team’s feelings about their team members, workplace, leaders, and the organization as a whole.  

Why did you choose Scheller?  

One of my key goals in pursuing an MBA was to learn more about sustainability and how I could incorporate that into my career. Georgia Tech was one of the few schools that had a dedicated center to sustainability in business, with the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (ACSB). I was impressed to learn that ACSB was partnering with large organizations to test out ideas developed in academic settings for real world application. It also helped that I was able to find talks online where faculty were engaged in the community and discussed challenges specific to Atlanta, Georgia, such as the energy burden on certain communities.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge when applying to Scheller?

Being authentic. When writing my essays, I found that my first drafts were more about what I thought the admissions team wanted to hear versus what I felt I wanted to say. I rewrote my essays a number times and, with each revision, came to a deeper understanding of my goals for an MBA. That process ultimately allowed me to discover how I wanted to tell my story and I felt I was able to be totally genuine by the time I hit that submit button. 

What community work and leadership roles did you take on at Scheller?   

I was awarded a Forte Fellowship, a merit-based scholarship, and quickly signed up to be an ambassador for the organization. The Forte Foundation seeks to prepare women for career advancement and increase enrollment in MBA schools. As a Forte ambassador, I had the opportunity to plan a couple of Atlanta meetups which brought Georgia Tech and Emory women MBA students together for conversation and networking.  

I also was a graduate research assistant where I supported operations research, leveraging my pre-MBA background, before joining the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business team. I was able to further leverage my background by conducting an assessment of two customer relationship management tools to recommend either staying or switching, and then I provided training and built a resource guide for the tool. Currently, I’ve become more engaged with the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact to help support corporate partners in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

In my first semester at Georgia Tech, I became a sustainability fellow which involved participating in a project for a nonprofit to increase recycling within a local county. Our research helped our partner focus on glass recycling and make connections to key players in their area.  

As current students had a significant impact on my decision to apply to Scheller, I was excited to “pay it forward” as an MBA ambassador where I’ve had the opportunity to sit on panels, join interviews, and have conversations with prospective MBA students. Based on my program participation in my first year, I was selected to join 14 other students as Leadership Fellows which involved exclusive access to C-level speakers, one-on-one coaching with alumni, and participation in other leadership development opportunities.  

I’ve also really enjoyed serving as vice president for Blacks in Business where I’ve had the opportunity to act as liaison between Full-time, Executive, and Evening MBA students, and corporate partners interested in engaging our members. As a member, I also participate in events with the Consulting, Net Impact, Pride, and Women in Business clubs. 

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of from your time at Scheller? 

In my first semester at Georgia Tech, I had the opportunity to join the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) case competition team for our school. It made for a busy start to the MBA program juggling classes, getting to know my classmates and recruiting for an internship, but it was invaluable for the experience in tackling a problem for a real client.  

The challenge question was interesting and allowed us to learn more about a new industry. Our team went on to place second out of 33 schools in the case competition! It was incredibly rewarding to be recognized after the hours of effort and research we put in, and I was proud to have been a part of such a great team. 

Who was your favorite MBA professor?  

I had Dr. Katie Badura for the Leading People and Organizations class and really enjoyed how she facilitated conversation within the classroom. She brought in a lot of content on how personality is reflected in leaders and the impact this has on their employees and organizations. The course added language to experiences and leadership styles I had witnessed in my previous organization and helped me look at these through a new lens. She also leveraged various teaching methods, such as small group discussion and reflections, to help us understand the theories and applications of the material in the corporate world.  

What was your favorite course as an MBA?  

I really enjoyed the International Practicum for Dubai. It gave me the opportunity to work on a smart city project for the Dubai Municipality and I learned about what’s currently possible and exciting with future capabilities. The class was structured in a way that required presentations on sustainability topics, so I also got to expand my knowledge of the subject from talks given by my peers, many of whom highlighted initiatives within their current companies. The practicum also included a weeklong visit to Dubai where we visited The Sustainable City, a model of what a sustainable city could look like, and Expo 2020, which featured 192 country pavilions that highlighted visions and ideas for what a sustainable and mobile future would look like.  

What was your favorite Scheller event or tradition?  

A newer tradition, but now a favorite program, is hobby nights. Each semester, MBA students sign up to host an event, typically centered around a hobby, and other students are then able to sign up for a limited number of slots. This has been such a cool way to get to know classmates and learn some of their favorite hobbies like cocktail making, horseback riding, crocheting, and stuffing dumplings.  

What is the biggest myth about Scheller?  

What was often said about Georgia Tech was how friendly and supportive the people were. It certainly was my experience going through the admissions process, and I was pleased to discover that consistent once on campus as well. There are a lot of high achievers in an MBA program which makes an environment ripe for competition, yet I’ve found that competition to be very healthy. Students competing for the same roles practiced with each other and shared resources to improve their interviewing skills. Job and internship opportunities were regularly shared across our communication channels. I found that classmates would offer friends and family members within their network as new connections when I was navigating the recruiting process. It was so affirming to experience this abundance mindset and really helped make Scheller feel like a special place. 

What did you love most about Scheller’s location in the heart of mid-town Atlanta?  

I was already familiar with Atlanta by the time I started the MBA program, but living in Midtown was a new experience for me. I have loved being able to walk to many places like Piedmont Park, jumping on the Marta to ride to the airport, and visiting the offices of several hundreds of companies located in the area. As a lover of green spaces, living in the city ranked highest in terms of tree canopy is a big appeal. There are so many things happening in Atlanta and it’s constantly evolving so you could never get bored here. I love the park’s festivals, the variety of restaurants found throughout the greater Atlanta area (ask me for my restaurant list), and the availability of walking trails like the Atlanta BeltLine, Stone Mountain Park, and Kennesaw Mountain. 

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022?  

I interned with Accenture Strategy in the Atlanta office. 

Where will you be working after graduation?  

I’ll be returning to Accenture as a senior strategy consultant in the Atlanta office. 

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? 

Not so much differently, but what I would have liked to do more of was one-on-one meetings with alumni and classmates. The time goes so fast, and in the midst of navigating the demands, voluntary and involuntary, from the program, the time for those chats narrows rather quickly. I always leave these conversations learning so much about the impressive things others have done and feeling inspired as I chart my own course. That’s something I’m definitely trying to do more of as I approach the end of my time in the program.

What surprised you the most about business school?  

One of the biggest surprises was the diversity of experiences that my classmates brought to the program! My classmates have served in the military, worked as a financial advisor, played professional volleyball, started businesses, and managed a touring band. This provided a richer MBA experience than I could have imagined. I’ve been so grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow with such an impressive group of professionals. 

Which Scheller classmate do you most admire?  

I truly admire Margaret “Maggie” Joyce! I was initially struck by her high level of confidence in her abilities and consideration of others. I’ve been impressed with her intentionality in getting to know her classmates and making time for people. As leader of the Peer Leadership Committee and President of the Technology Club, she has gone above and beyond to ensure her peers feel support, remain excited, and have the resources they need to be successful in the MBA program and in preparation for after. She’s a joy to be with in the classroom, and she always asks great questions that lead to new insights. Her dedication to her peers is inspiring, and many of them can attest to the impact she’s had on this program. 

What is a fun fact about yourself? 

Though I originally laughed at the idea, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in part because someone else did too.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?  

I spent 14 years of my grade school years overseas but would love to live and work in another country again for 6 -12 months. The perspective and experiences that can be gained living abroad will make me a stronger, more culturally aware leader. 
My second is to explore an entrepreneurial activity, as that experience and mindset can help me be more innovative at my new company. 

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