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Real Humans of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School MBA Class of 2024

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Amanda Stellman, Johns Hopkins Carey MBA Class of 2024

Age: 30
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Maryland, BA in Psychology
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 9

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I decided to attend business school to learn and expand on the critical business skills necessary to help medical innovations reach the patients they are intended for. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I entered a career in Clinical Operations and worked within the biotechnology industry to plan and execute clinical trials of drugs and medical devices. While I have enjoyed my career thus far, I always knew I wanted to further my education and increase my potential to make an impact. I believed that an MBA would bolster my knowledge in business, allow me the flexibility to pursue various roles, and propel my career to the next level. As it did for many, the pandemic, and especially its impact on the medical field, inspired me to set this goal in action.  

Why did you choose Johns Hopkins Carey? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I knew that I wanted to pursue my MBA at Johns Hopkins Carey because of the ability to concentrate on healthcare by pursuing the health, technology, and innovation MBA track. As a leader in healthcare and as the nation’s first research university, Hopkins has a reputation for advancement and for being on the cutting edge.  

Carey’s values of relentless advancement, boundless curiosity, unwavering humanity, and collaborative leadership also strongly resonated with the type of environment I was looking to be part of. These themes, particularly centering on humanity in business and leadership, flow through the program in and out of the classroom. Carey also emphasizes experiential learning and builds unique and valuable hands-on experiences into the curriculum. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I do not come from a traditional quantitative or typical business background. I did, however, work in the start-up world for about eight years. My past experiences in those environments have helped me practice resourcefulness and remaining calm under pressure. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I used to swim competitively. My career peaked when I was 11 years old, but swimming will always be a favorite hobby.

Post-MBA career interests:
Healthcare start-ups, commercializing innovative healthcare technologies

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Put your most authentic self forward. We each bring unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. Be aspirational, but lead with what motivates you.

Also, ask questions, talk to people, and assess how you might fit.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would suggest taking some time before you start to read job descriptions and learn about companies you may want to work for. Internship recruitment begins early, and classes ramp up quickly! If you can, set yourself up for success by balancing classwork and job searching. 

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I found the application process at Carey to be pretty streamlined! It consisted of providing information on your academic and professional background, two essays, and references. Carey allows you to waive the GMAT or GRE, and I took that option. Since I was working full-time at a rigorous job while applying, this option eliminated a real barrier for me. If you think taking an aptitude test will improve your chances of admission, take it! But for me, I am glad that I was able to skip that step.

What is your initial impression of the Carey students/culture/community?
I have loved my experience! I have been struck by the collaborative nature of Carey. 

Business school can be very intense. And my classmates are high achieving and very motivated. At the same time, Carey fosters and my classmates have shown strong camaraderie and support for one another as we share this journey. I have also enjoyed how readily second-year students and alumni have been willing to chat and share their experiences.

What is one thing you have learned about Carey that has surprised you?
There are so many things to get involved with! Clubs, professional groups, seminars, guest speakers, info sessions, employer and networking sessions, social events, etc. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am most anxious about landing my dream summer internship. Fortunately, Carey offers a robust support system to help students hone their career interests, personal brands, and learn and practice skills to help us achieve our goals. What drew me to Carey and what I find helpful are the robust career resources they offer. I have a dedicated career coach, and a professional development class is included in the first-semester curriculum. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about joining the Carey community and meeting and building relationships with peers from across the globe! 

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.