When I got into Booth, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Kilt’s Marketing Fellow. As a part of this experience, I have had the opportunity to interact with Marketing faculty and alumni at special events and to receive mentorship from a member of the Kilts Center Steering Committee. This experience has been instrumental in shaping my time at Booth as it has paved the way for my path during business school and defined my approach on how to leverage the alumni network at Booth.
Meeting my mentor, David Neenan
David Neenan, ’95, has more than 25 years of experience working across multiple geographies in the financial services industry. Currently, he is the President of Transunion International, where he manages the growth and strategy of the company’s international operations.
One of the first things David asked me during our initial meeting was, “What are you going to do with this opportunity?” He encouraged me to look past the resume bullet this fellowship would provide and helped me think critically about how I could optimize this time not only through my interactions with him but also with the Kilt’s Center at Booth.
Through regular meetings with my mentor, I was able to navigate the business school recruiting landscape and also choose classes that were impactful to my career, such as New Products and Services Lab and Financial Statement Analysis. Moreover, I learned from my mentor while interning on his team and working with other Booth alumni in the growing digital payments space in emerging markets.
One of the best parts about our mentorship is how, as a Booth alumnus, David could relate to many of the choices and experiences I face on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to interact with someone who has taken the same classes as me, had similar options out of business school, and found a way to successfully navigate all of it has provided me with a great framework for designing my MBA career.
Lessons learned from my mentor
- Work to make yourself replaceable. This could mean automating the processes you work with day in and day out or grooming your successor to takeover your role. By doing this, you are preparing yourself for the next step in your career and building positive leverage for yourself in your organization.
- Create a manifesto for paying it forward. Think about the 4-5 things that it takes to be a great boss and then adopt those attributes to your own personal leadership style.
- When managing a team, consider what your role is in the team’s performance. If you are starting your role and you have a bad team, you have a big problem. If after a year you have a bad team then you are the problem.
The lessons I have learned from my mentor will continue to serve me beyond my time at Booth. Looking forward I can see myself drawing upon these lessons when I face a difficult situation in my workplace or navigate to the next step in my career. I can also see myself leveraging the network I have built with the Booth alumni at David’s company Transunion, where I worked with driven and accomplished individuals from whom I acquired tangible skills.
But perhaps most importantly of all, I can see myself continuing my connection with David and relying on his mentorship and guidance as I transition from being a student to an alumna and go forth in my post-MBA journey.