MLT Blog
 

Meet our MBA Professional Development Coaches

By Stella Bouzy

At MLT, one-on-one coaching plays a pivotal role in a Fellow’s path to success. We reached out to a few phenomenal MBA Professional Development (PD) coaches to learn more about them, their most memorable impact stories, and their advice for incoming MBA students of color. 


Beena Kavalam

Position: MBA PD Senior Coach

Education: MBA in Marketing and Management from NYU Stern School of Business; B.A. in Biology from Rutgers University; Professional Executive Coaching Certification with Coaches Training Institute.

Fun Fact: I used to be an adventure sports enthusiast. Skydiving, hang gliding, canyon swinging, whitewater rafting, and cliff jumping were all a part of the fun.”

How long have you been an MBA PD Coach at MLT? 

I’ve been an MLT MBA PD Coach since January 2013, and became a Senior PD Coach in October 2015.  

Share a specific time you’ve been able to have a profound impact on one of your Fellows’ lives.

One of my Fellows had opted to not leverage the pre-MBA brand management opportunities we offer to Fellows the summer before business school and although she completed her assignments, she was a “passive” Fellow throughout her first few months in PD.  In late December, she called me—very upset and confused—because she was unable to secure a brand internship, had no interviews, and felt that “time was running out.”  

Coach Beena and College Programs Sr. Director Rosalie Schraut with their Fellows at an event pre-COVID.

I was holiday shopping when she called. I pulled over into the mall parking lot and over the course of an hour and a half on that freezing NJ evening, we mapped out the exact strategy, the specific distinct tactics, and the accountability she would use to not only get her dream internship but, ultimately, the full-time offer.  She would later tell me, “I wish I had listened to you earlier, but I’m so grateful for your support. You helped me change my thinking around the whole situation and gave me a plan and hope.”

What advice would you give incoming MBA students of color?

MLT Professional Development is a unique opportunity for our Fellows to gain access to partners and opportunities before business school even begins. It does require a lot of work upfront and early in the process. But, those who heed the advice and do the heavy lifting over the first few months of the program reap significant benefits that can shape the course of their careers and business school experiences.    

PD is a competitive program where you get access to coaches and executives who have been in your shoes and want to help you.  Let us show you the way.

 

Joyce Cadesca

Position:  MBA PD Coach

Education: MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; B.A. from Columbia University. MLT MBAP ’11 Alum and Consortium Alum for Graduate Study in Management.

Fun Fact: I played college rugby during undergrad!”

How long have you been an MBA PD coach at MLT? 

I joined MLT in April 2020 and have been a coach for nine months. I have enjoyed meeting and working with my Fellows on their career goals and personal development as well.

Share a specific time you’ve been able to have a profound impact on one of your Fellows’ lives.

Coach Joyce visiting her alma mater, Tuck School of Business.

One Fellow was not able to connect how her past experience as a daughter of an immigrant who owned and ran a gas station related to her interest in financial services and alternative investments. When she recalled her father constantly checking oil prices and foreign exchange rates, a light bulb went off. I helped her connect the dots between those experiences and her professional aspirations.

What advice would you give incoming MBA students of color?

As an overachiever, there can be an instinct to recruit for the roles that seem popular and sexy. Don’t forget to constantly be introspective and remind yourself why you are on this journey, and stay true to that.

 

Anita Kishore

Position:  MBA PD Senior Coach

Education: B.S. Chemistry from Yale University; Master’s from the University of Melbourne; Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Fun Fact: I was in a band in Germany!”

How long have you been an MBA PD coach at MLT? 

I’ve been coaching with MLT’s PD program for nearly eight years

Share a specific time you’ve been able to have a profound impact on one of your Fellows’ lives.

Coach Anita’s Fellows participating in a workshop pre-COVID.

One of my Fellows was deeply troubled by the privilege he observed at the start of business school. It brought up difficult questions about his background, his family, and whether or not he belonged in the MBA world. Through coaching, he developed new “muscles” to work through these challenges. Coaching MLT Fellows goes far beyond resume and interview preparation, and gets to the heart of belonging and confidence which are crucial for success in the workplace and beyond.

What advice would you give incoming MBA students of color?

Run your own race. What works for you might be different than what works for someone else. It can feel uncomfortable to explore new paths, to forge new connections, to embrace new ideas…lean into that discomfort!

 

Lauren Moses

Position:  MBA PD Director and Senior Coach

Education: B.S. in Economics at Duke University (magna cum laude), MBA from Harvard Business School

Fun Fact: “I’m very good at performing movie quotes in character. Very good, indeed.”

How long have you been an MBA PD coach at MLT? 

I’ve been an MBA PD coach for 7 years and am approaching the one-year mark as Director of the program.

Coach Lauren with her Fellow, Erikah Abdu.

Share a specific time you’ve been able to have a profound impact on one of your Fellows’ lives.

One Fellow had a non-traditional background in which he’d spent several years teaching English as a second language in South Korea. The connections between his work as an instructor and the corporate finance work he wanted to pursue were not obvious. So, we really worked on nailing down what his transferable skills were, developing his story, and at the end of the day he is a really quick learner, and he made it happen! Now he’s a Senior Analyst in Financial Planning at the world’s largest airline. He is a great example of where one-on-one support can make a big difference.

What advice would you give incoming MBA students of color?

Give yourself the opportunity to get eight hours of sleep every night. You may not sleep the full eight hours, but at least give yourself the opportunity. Let a good night’s sleep be the foundation for feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally strong. You are not you when you’re sleep-deprived.

 


The MBA Professional Development (PD) program propels high-achieving people of color on their path to becoming senior leaders. Click here to learn more and start your application today.