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Real Humans of the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Class of 2022

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Lizzy Pellicane, UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Class of 2022

Age: 26
Hometown: Short Hills, NJ
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Denison University, Communications major with minors in Psychology and Organizational Studies 
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): I spent the last four years working for UBS in wealth management in NYC and Weehawken, NJ.

Why business school? Why now?
I always knew I would go back to get my MBA at some point but the question was always when. Coming from a liberal arts background, I knew an MBA would give me the chance to sharpen my analytical and technical skills that I gained during my time in wealth management. I chose to go back now because I wanted a change in my career. I developed a growing interest in sustainability and knew that an MBA would give me the chance to pursue that passion. The combination of the opportunity and my growing passion is ultimately why it felt like the right time for me.

Why UNC Kenan-Flagler? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I grew up a Tar Heel fan since my dad attended UNC Kenan-Flagler for his MBA. Even with that personal connection, I still explored a number of different schools to ensure I was getting a full picture of my options and see what was the best fit. I ultimately chose UNC Kenan-Flagler for myself because of the resources and the people. I felt the most at home on campus in Chapel Hill and felt like I could see myself being a part of the community there. From a resource perspective, I think that UNC Kenan-Flagler has a large reach across the U.S. for placement after graduation, which was really important for me since I am still unsure as to where I want to move post-MBA.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
Let me start off by saying that all of my classmates are amazing and extremely talented – we all bring something to the table. I think for me, my most valuable contribution is my team-player mentality. Growing up as an athlete and playing field hockey and lacrosse in college really molded me into someone who seeks out opportunities to collaborate and find common ground – which can be helpful with the group projects!

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I love to travel – especially internationally. My favorite trip so far has been to Peru where I went on a week-long trek which ended in Machu Picchu!

Post-MBA career interests? 
My current career interests post-MBA are consulting or marketing. I really went back to school to dive deeper into sustainability, so I would ideally like to work in consulting either as a generalist who could eventually move into sustainability or at a smaller firm that focuses on sustainability. I also am interested in marketing because most firms, if not all, have some sort of sustainability arm.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit the schools (virtually or in-person) and get a sense of what the student body is like. I attended a few women’s weekends that were really beneficial to me because I was able to interact with women on campus who I would potentially be classmates with. I also met some of my current first-year classmates as well through these events. Although things are online, I highly recommend engaging in these types of events for schools you are interested in.

Be authentic and true to yourself – you want to end up at the right school for you.

–One thing you would change or do differently? 
I would have reached out to more current students at the schools. I remember feeling nervous or awkward reaching out to students I didn’t have a formal connection with and prospective students shouldn’t feel that way. Almost all current students would be more than happy to speak with you about their school!

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GRE – I had not taken a standardized test in a while, so I knew that would be a challenge for me. What helped me tackle it was online courses that were relatively inexpensive. They kept me on track and gave me a sense of control.

What is your initial impression of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s students/culture/community?
We are dubbed the “friendly MBA” and so far that has rung true. Everyone is here to help you get to where you want to be and there is no “elbow throwing” to get to certain internships or classes etc. I have found my peers, the faculty, and the staff to be extremely supportive, especially during these unprecedented times and being 100% virtual.

One thing you have learned about UNC Kenan-Flagler that has surprised you? 
I knew going into the UNC Kenan-Flagler that the professors would be top-notch but I truly have been blown away with how amazing the faculty is here. The caliber is so high and it has made all of my classes interesting and exciting because they all have such rich and interesting backgrounds. Another thing that has surprised me is how accessible the faculty are. Each of my professors has a virtual “open door policy” and are really willing to take the time to meet with you or receive feedback on how to improve the virtual classroom.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
Accounting in the first semester – it is going much better than I had anticipated!

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Company presentations – I really enjoy learning about all of the different companies and meeting new people. It is exciting to think about the future and you don’t always realize all of the options and pathways you have from an MBA before you get here. I am also excited to help with Carolina Women in Business this year especially with prospective student outreach and Women’s Weekend!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.