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

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Tori Tavormina, Johns Hopkins MBA/MPH Class of 2024

Age: 26
Hometown: Houston, Texas 
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Tufts University Biopsychology Bachelor of Science
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4; in health technology and nonprofit policy advocacy 

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now? I chose to attend business school because of problems I ran into during my work experience. I worked at a tech startup and then at a nonprofit and in both of these roles I faced challenges managing resources and employees efficiently. 

My motivation for attending business school is to learn skills and tools to make my work more efficient and impactful. 

Why did you choose Johns Hopkins Carey? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 
Carey was the only business school I applied to. As a dual degree student with the Bloomberg School of Health, I prioritized the integration between schools and degrees. The MBA program at Carey is expanding beyond the business of health but the school’s success in the industry was still a prominent factor for me. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024? 
I am passionate about working in line with my interests in social determinants of health, and I bring that perspective into the classroom with me. My desire to prioritize business thinking for social and societal good, plus my experience working in multiple industries, compliments the Class of 2024 very well. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I love being creative! When I have time, I do pyrography (wood burning) and I recently learned how to play the saxophone. 

Post-MBA career interests: 
I hope to return to work centering stable and accessible housing issues. Currently, I am still considering both non-profit and governmental roles. I’m hoping my upcoming field experiences (which are a part of the MBA curriculum) and my summer internship will help shape my post-MBA career direction. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants: 
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? Something I found helpful was engaging with current students and recent graduates. Connecting with people assured me of my decision to return to school and helped me narrow down my top schools. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would prioritize taking time off between work and school. Instead of quitting my job or taking vacation time, I continued working even after my classes started. I wish I made time to look over the degree curriculum in detail and explore elective options. Plus, taking time off to rest, recharge, and explore Baltimore before getting so busy with schoolwork would’ve been nice.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? 
I did get to skip the part I was not looking forward to! The standardized testing requirements were waived when I applied. 

What is your initial impression of the Carey students/culture/community?
Carey is very international! This is very different from my undergraduate experience, and I love the perspectives and experiences everyone brings to class. I’ve also found the people in the program to be exceptionally kind, which is not usually what one would expect from a business school. 

What is one thing you have learned about Carey that has surprised you? I did not realize how “young” the Carey school is. Some people describe it as still having a startup mindset, where students are actively shaping the culture and direction of the school.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
Adjusting to life in Baltimore and away from my support networks. I’m glad I quickly connected with the other people in my class. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year? 
I am excited to learn in such a supportive environment. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how? 
COVID-19 definitely made me think critically about whether or not I should go to graduate school. Before coming to school, I was working with my community during an ongoing housing crisis. My work helped me feel a strong sense of purpose, and it was a hard decision to dedicate my time to school. After a lot of thinking, I consider graduate school an investment that gives me the tools I need to make even more of an impact when I return to work.

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.