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Real Humans of the UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Class of 2025

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kenan flagler business schoolAtina Rezki, UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class of 2025

Age: 32
Hometown: Balikpapan, Indonesia
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Sumatera Utara, Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): Project Engineer, Oil and Gas Company (PT Pertamina), 8 years

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
The decision to pursue an MBA at this point in my journey is deeply personal. With a background rooted in engineering and eight years of expertise in the energy industry, I have realized the importance of expanding my horizons beyond technical expertise. I am drawn to the world of business, where strategy, leadership, and a broader perspective play pivotal roles.

The question of “why now?” resonates with my evolving career aspirations. After eight years of contributing to the energy sector, an MBA is a transformative experience that will bolster my engineering foundation and equip me with the skills to bridge my technical background with comprehensive business acumen. It is a strategic step to pivot and grow in a direction that aligns with my ambitions and the industry’s shifting landscape.

But beyond the professional dimension, this decision is about embracing personal growth. I am excited about the challenges, connections, and learning the MBA journey promises. It is a commitment to push my boundaries and evolve into a well-rounded, adaptable professional who can contribute meaningfully to engineering and various facets of business operations.

Why did you choose UNC Kenan-Flagler? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 
When I was looking for the MBA program, I discovered that the Energy Concentration at UNC Kenan Flagler aligned perfectly with my background and interests. Their comprehensive curriculum allows students to explore every aspect of the energy value chain, covering oil and gas power, petrochemicals and renewables. What stood out to me was UNC Kenan Flagler’s emphasis on inclusivity. They prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion as a focus, and foster a welcoming community that embraces all identities, cultures, and perspectives. The MBA Energy Club at UNC Kenan Flagler provides support for students in aspects of the energy industry while also offering valuable networking opportunities. Another aspect that intrigued me was that Energy Concentration is taught exclusively by industry veterans within a business school setting. Considering all these factors together it became clear to me that attending UNC Kenan Flagler’s Energy Concentration would be the choice for me.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2025?
As a child, I remember being mesmerized by the pumping unit in my hometown in Indonesia. As an international student with an energy background, I bring a unique perspective to the Class of 2025 that can enrich our collective understanding of energy issues. My goal is to use my education to positively impact the energy industry and help transition the world towards a more sustainable future. By collaborating with my classmates and faculty members in this program, I can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve this goal.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I’m an adrenaline junkie passionate about diving and skydiving. The exhilaration of delving into the depths below and soaring through the skies above gives me an incredible sense of adventure and freedom.

Post-MBA career interests:
After completing my MBA, my career interests align with staying within the energy industry and pursuing opportunities in consulting. I am eager to leverage my business acumen and industry knowledge to contribute to the growth and innovation within the energy sector. I combine my energy and consulting expertise to offer valuable insights, strategic recommendations, and solutions that address this dynamic field’s evolving challenges and opportunities. I aim to drive sustainable and impactful outcomes for organizations and the broader energy landscape by staying connected to the energy industry and applying consulting methodologies.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Reflecting on my application journey, attending admission seminars is one thing that I would absolutely do again. These seminars provided valuable insights into the program and helped me gain a deeper understanding of what the school offered. Sitting down with admissions representatives and asking direct questions gave me valuable insights into the program’s curriculum and campus culture. As a full-time worker outside the USA, I faced challenges getting information about the application process. However, scouring the internet for information day and night, I was able to piece together a comprehensive understanding of the application process and what it would take to get accepted. Overall, attending these seminars and using resources like Clear Admit not only helped me navigate the application process with ease but also gave me the confidence and knowledge needed to ultimately secure my spot in the program.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Looking back, I would definitely change one thing in my application journey – I would have reached out to current students or MBA Student Ambassadors. While I did a lot of research independently, I now realize that connecting with these individuals could have provided me with unique insights and a more personal perspective on the program. Hearing about their experiences, challenges, and successes could have helped me align my application and expectations better. It is a reminder that sometimes, the best information comes from those who are already living it.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Reflecting on my application journey, there is one part that I would have skipped: the waiting time. As an international student, the time difference made it challenging to check my email daily and wait for updates on my application status. I remember the dread I had every time I refreshed my inbox, my heart racing as I waited for the page to load. The days felt longer, and the nights felt even longer. However, I knew this was an essential part of the process, and I had to be patient. However, I knew this was an essential part of the process, and I had to be patient. To help me get through this waiting period, I relied on Clear Admit’s Live Wire. Checking the Live Wire practically every day helped me understand my application’s progress and gave me a sense of what to expect. Reading about other applicants’ experiences and seeing how they coped with the waiting period was also helpful. Overall, waiting for updates on my application status was a challenging part of the process, but I knew it was necessary. Relying on resources like Clear Admit’s Live Wire helped me to get through this period and stay informed about the progress of my application.

What is your initial impression of the UNC Kenan-Flagler students/culture/community?
My first impression of UNC Kenan-Flagler and its incredible community was that it was all about diversity. It’s impressive to see more than 30% of students from all over the world. The atmosphere here genuinely welcomes everyone, no matter where they’re from or who they are. What I love most is that it’s not just about numbers; it’s about celebrating different identities, cultures and viewpoints.

What is one thing you have learned about UNC Kenan-Flagler that has surprised you?
One thing that truly caught me by surprise about UNC Kenan-Flagler, especially as a first-time visitor to the USA, is just how soothing and beautiful this place is. Walking into this university complex, I was immediately struck by the calming presence of nature. The abundant greenery, they create an atmosphere that’s almost therapeutic. It’s not something I expected to find in the heart of a bustling university, and it’s been a delightful revelation. It’s like a breath of fresh air, a daily dose of serenity amidst the academic whirlwind.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
As I stand on the threshold of the upcoming year, my emotions are a blend of anxiousness and excitement, all focused on the upcoming recruitment process. My heart races with anticipation as I eagerly await the opportunity to display my skills and experience to potential employers. At the same time, a hint of nervousness creeps in, fueled by the unknowns and challenges that this journey might entail. Although I am also anxious about the unknowns of the process, I am confident in my ability to overcome any obstacles.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
The thought of returning to academia fills me with a sense of wonder and anticipation, like the feeling you get before embarking on a thrilling adventure. I can’t wait to immerse myself in a world of knowledge and discovery, where every day brings new insights and challenges. But this journey has an equally exhilarating dimension – the chance to embrace the unknown. It’s about personal growth, and I wholeheartedly embrace this transformative adventure.

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.