Anjelique Parnell, Georgetown McDonough MBA Class of 2019
Hometown: Elmsford, NY
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Cornell University, Industrial and Labor Relations
Pre-MBA Work Experience: A variety of Human Resources roles at JPMorgan Chase & Co., most recently in Global Diversity and Inclusion
Why business school? Why now? I’ve always had an interest in business since high school, but when entering college, I realized I more so liked the social side of business i.e. management leadership, organizational design, and change management. Post-college I felt HR was a good fit and I’ve enjoyed working in such a dynamic and essential function; however, I felt too far removed from core business strategy. I had a desire to not only work on people-related projects, but pure business-related projects on a broader scope. After a two-year rotational program and a year building my leadership skills and leading global projects, I felt ready to take on the rigors of business school and also to pivot to a new function: consulting. Business school was right for me because although my strengths lie in the management leadership pieces of the curriculum, I have a lot to gain from a deeper knowledge of Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Statistics, Strategy, Economics, and Operations. Especially in an industry like consulting where broad knowledge and understanding is crucial, I felt business school was necessary to get me to where I want to be.
Why McDonough? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? I was looking for a program located in or near a city and one that had a very tight-knit, supportive student-body. Coming from a more isolated area undergrad, this time around I wanted to be somewhere more lively and accessible. In DC, there are so many people and events coming in and out of the city making it easier to be present and involved in anything I may be interested in whether it is business related, cultural, policy-related, or just for fun.
McDonough, as a program, was the right fit for me because cultural fit was my most important decision factor. I’m confident I would thrive academically and professionally at any of the other top business programs, but it was important to me to find the program where I would truly enjoy my two year experience and make life-long friends. I found that at McDonough after immersing myself in the community prior to making a decision. I am truly valued here and it is true that everyone cares about the whole person. We are fully integrated into each other’s lives whether it is celebrating the birth of a classmate’s child or helping each other prep for student club election speeches. My goal was to make these two years some of the happiest in my life and I couldn’t be happier so far.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? Anyone who knows me and gets to know me sees that I am a connector. I can connect with all different types of people from various backgrounds and experiences and bring the best out of them. We have so much to gain from pure exposure to others as well as so much to share about our own experiences. I act as a bridge to connect unlikely pairs and foster meaningful interactions and experiences.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I’m obsessed with the Amazing Race and would one day like to appear as a contestant. I love traveling, problem solving, and a good competition.
Post-MBA career interests? Strategy/Management Consulting
Advice to current prospective applicants:
-One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? I would definitely make the time to go visit the school and immerse myself in the culture. There is a subconscious feeling of belonging that you get when you find the right fit and it is something you can’t get from reading the website or reviews.
–One thing you would change or do differently? I wish I went to more events and met more current students. In conjunction with that, I wish I started doing all of this at least 6 months to a year before applying to school. It gets overwhelming to cram in events and meetings with people only a couple months before applying and the short time after.
–Part you would have skipped if you could-and what helped you get through it? I would have skipped waiting for a decision. After a long application process, you wait for a decision that will change the course of the next two years of your life. It can be a very stressful time, but my family and friend support network definitely helped me get through it. I also had a supportive boss at work who reminded me every day how talented I was and that no matter what happened I would be successful. It also helped that I only applied to schools that I knew I would truly be happy and proud to go to so even if I only got into one school I would be happy either way.
Greatest highlights so far at McDonough? There have been so many highlights already in the first couple months of the program. A personal highlight/accomplishment for me was standing in front of the auditorium and giving a student government election speech in front of my peers and subsequently getting elected to the position. I thank my classmates for the encouragement to run and my friends in the program for practicing with me and truly being invested in my success. As a member of The Consortium (a professional diversity MBA network), I have enjoyed getting to know other McDonough Consortium members and becoming a really tight-knit group. As I mentioned earlier, I have a goal of making life-long friends in this program and I’m proud to say that I already have. I’m excited that we have a good year and a half left to share the experience together and continue on with our friendships post-MBA.
One thing about McDonough that you didn’t expect before arriving? I didn’t expect people to be so selfless and helpful all the time. I knew that people were genuinely nice and warm; however, all my classmates go above and beyond to help others. Whether it is taking time out of their studying to host frequent study sessions for others who are struggling or giving a fellow classmate a ride to the airport to make sure they make his/her flight. I expected that although people are nice, I’ll have to look out for myself and have my own back, but I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve always had a classmate back me up or ask me if I needed anything. I’m truly grateful.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? I’m anxious about getting to the finish line. The first semester is challenging as you have your core class work, projects, and recruiting activities. It is a lot to balance and it is a high stress situation. There are many high stake pieces. Naturally we want to do everything, but we can’t. Prioritization is key. My goal is to finish strong and land a great internship. With the support of the program and my classmates I feel confident that I’ll accomplish my goal.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year? I’m excited to travel! Some of the McDonough student organizations organize international treks either business or community service based. This gives students the opportunity to experience new cultures and see how business is done in those countries. This winter I will be going on the first Black MBA Association trek to Tanzania. I’m super excited to travel there as I’ve never been to Africa. I am also excited to share the experience with a diverse group of classmates. For leisure, me and a bunch of my school friends decided to book a trip to Thailand for spring break so that’s also another travel experience