Real Humans of the Kellogg MBA Class of 2019
Kimberly Moynihan, Kellogg MBA Class of 2019
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Tufts University, American studies major and entrepreneurial studies minor
Pre-MBA Work Experience: My background is in using strategic communications to build new markets and bring high-impact brands and ideas to life. Before Kellogg, I spent almost five years working at the Global Impact Investing Network (an organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing), where I was part of the core team tasked with building a global brand for impact investing.
Prior to the GIIN, I was at Accion International, where I gained invaluable experiences seeking out and sharing the stories of microfinance clients around the world.
Why business school? Why now? Pre-Kellogg, I was working to help build an industry I believed in, at an organization I loved, with brilliant people/friends I respected deeply—leaving was not an easy choice. However, ultimately, I decided to go back to school because I wanted to round out my skillset and expand my personal network, so that I could be more effective and contribute at a more strategic level. To me, business school is a personal bootcamp of sorts—the next two years are a time for me to push myself and accelerate my professional development in an environment where I can take risks and try new things.
As for the “why now,” that was a tough question for me that required weighing a bunch of personal trade-offs. For those who might be struggling to determine if the timing is right, I would suggest focusing less on the now and more on the future. Ask yourself, what do you want to do in the future and then reflect on what skills, people, and/or experiences might help get you there the fastest.
Why Kellogg? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? There’s a lot of emphasis placed on the overall culture of Kellogg being collaborative and innovative—rightfully so.
However, I think Kellogg achieves its unique ethos not just by selecting students who”‘fit” an existing culture, but, rather, by seeking out students who “add” to the culture. When I was deciding on schools, Kellogg stood out in terms of its diversity and inclusiveness.
I loved the prominence of the [email protected] club and other affinity groups. That said, diversity to me wasn’t just about affinity groups, but it was also about being able to explore a variety of interdisciplinary topics and courses.
I was drawn to the fact that Kellogg has a strong core curriculum but no longer requires students to declare a major. It was important to me that the school requires students to learn critical fundamentals, while still allowing for a customizable experience.
Add in Kellogg’s wide range of elective courses and experiential offerings like the PE and Venture Lab, and it was easy for me to see how this particular school prepares students to be effective leaders in an ever-changing and messy world.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? I am a pragmatic idealist who believes that business can and should be used to drive positive social impact in the world.
At Kellogg, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many other students are equally excited by the intersection of business and positive change and how many are interested in hearing about my experiences at the Global Impact Investing Network.
My ultimate contribution is that passion. Whether my classmates want to talk impact investing, vertical farms, or the sustainable retail movement, I am always down to debate or geek out over these kinds of topics.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I absolutely love Batman. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire philanthropist who fights for justice and a better world. That’s pretty awesome.
Post-MBA career interests? Throughout my career, I have been drawn to ambitious organizations that have big visions of disrupting markets and challenging the status quo.
Post-MBA I would love to continue to build innovative brands and companies, either in a marketing or strategy role. I’m looking to end up wherever I can be surrounded by creative and passionate individuals who want to make waves in the world.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? I would absolutely go for long walks. The application process asks some pretty huge life questions. Grabbing my headphones and going for long walks really helped me clear my head and engage in a more honest writing process.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? If I could have skipped something, it probably would have been all the parts where you have to talk about yourself! I really dislike talking about myself (which is ironic because I’m doing it again here).
However, I think what helped/helps me get through that discomfort is thinking about it more as adding your voice to a larger narrative.
Everyone’s favorite business woman, Oprah, once said, “You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.”
Writing your application is an opportunity to write part of your own script—it is a valuable chance to reflect on where you are at in your career and share your passions with others. Enjoy it.
Greatest highlight so far at Kellogg? Participating in and winning the Amazon Strategy Case Competition at the Reaching Out MBA Conference!
Even if our team hadn’t been victorious, the competition itself was a really awesome opportunity to get to apply some of the things we’ve already learned in classes such as finance and strategy.
At the end, it was also a great way to get to know some of my classmates better—I was very proud of my team.
One thing about Kellogg that you didn’t expect before arriving? I didn’t expect to have so much direct access to the administration. There have been a few school-wide opportunities to have lunch with a dean or join the deans for a morning walk along the lake.
These opportunities outside of the classroom have been incredibly valuable and speak to the strength of community that exists at Kellogg.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? The commute. I’ve been biking to school…but winter is coming.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year? I am so excited to see what some of my classmates are going to accomplish! For example, one friend is a JD/MBA who, before Kellogg, was in cybersecurity fighting off hackers, and another friend was in the Navy working on an explosives disposal team—many others also come from fascinating backgrounds, so I can only imagine that their futures are going to be equally as exciting.