As I walked out of graduation, viewing the building I spent so much time in the last 2 years, memories of my experience flooded back to me.
As a McCombs graduate, I took a huge step towards my long-term goal of implementing technology solutions in the hospitality industry; specifically, to enhance consumer experiences within hotels. By embracing my experience here, I built an incredible network in the technology industry and gained invaluable product management experience, which helped me land a product management position at Amazon. I plan to pursue projects focused on consumer applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), as both promise to be global disruptors in Hospitality. The experience I gain in this position – leading diverse teams, completing product developments, and furthering my exposure to revolutionary technologies – will be crucial in achieving my long-term vision.
My training in engineering and quality assurance gave me the foundational skills necessary to excel in product management. As a Quality Assurance Analyst with Cognizant, I worked in technical and client-facing roles with diverse technological products. A particularly impactful example was when I implemented a Chatbot for a Fortune 500 hotel client for whom this was their first experience with AI. During this highly visible project, I ensured the product met strategic and technical expectations and led more than 20 business users through User Acceptance Testing. While these implementations were critical, as a consultant I was not in a position to make the impact I envisioned. I realized that not only do I need to work in house to make any real structural change I also needed the additional skills and network an MBA can provide.
I could not have thought of a better program to fill that gap than a McCombs MBA. Its exceptional academic program, especially in marketing, and diverse experiential learning opportunities made McCombs the right program for me. The strategies for networked economies elective for example gave me a new idea on an application for the AI products I plan to implement in the Hotel industry. The Analysis of Markets flex core class helped me be successful at my Amazon internship as I worked on the statistical analysis for a new application of the Amazon Alexa. Thanks to Bilal Ali’s recommendations I took on an MBA+ sponsorship in a product management role and enrolled in marketing fellows where I developed business solutions for real-world problems.
My experience outside the classroom is really what brought my time in Austin from fruitful to life changing. As President of the Graduate Business Technology Group, I helped organize speaker series events and brought in leaders from Cognizant and the hotel clients I have consulted for so my classmates and I could network and learn. My participation in the MBA Improv club helped tighten bonds with my classmates and sharpen my public speaking skills, which have already proven useful both in the classroom and during my internship.
McCombs has supported my goals in more ways than I can count and my experience here has accelerated my journey to implement technology solutions in hospitality.
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