Mary Myles

Mary Myles
Class Year
New York, NY
Areas of Interest
Previous Education
Masters in Education, Johns Hopkins University; Bachelors in Business Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Arizona

What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia Business School?

I always knew I wanted to continue my education and get my MBA but I didn’t want to step away from my role at BlackRock. That’s when I found the EMBA program at Columbia Business School and realized this program would enable me to advance my career and still have the full MBA experience. When I attended an Admissions information session, I realized the strength of the community at Columbia Business School and I was excited to be learning among the top professionals across several industries.

What was your first impression as a student?

The incredible amount of resources! From career services, to clubs and organizations, to mentors and meetings with former CEO’s — Columbia has it all! As soon as you become a lion, you have a built-in support system and a community that is rooting for you to succeed.

How do you balance between work, school, and your personal life?

Prior to attending CBS, I obtained my Masters in Education while I was a full-time teacher through the Teach For America program. While I had some practice in managing a full calendar and course-load, I would say it’s definitely important to plan out your weeks and use every pocket of time to your advantage. I have also been fortunate to have an incredible CBS learning team that has helped me navigate the workload and studying — it’s a team effort!

What’s your favorite part of the EMBA experience so far?

My favorite part of the EMBA experience thus far has been our residence week because I was able to spend a lot of time getting to know my classmates and learning team on a more personal level. Getting this in-person time has been such a blessing considering we started our program during the fall of COVID. Everyone I have met in the program is incredibly talented and has an amazing story to tell. I am grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people!

What was the most challenging part of the program?

I have always been a perfectionist, so learning that I can’t dedicate 100 percent to everything 100 percent of the time has been the biggest lesson for me. As I have advanced in my career, I have realized that deciding what to say no to can be as important as deciding on where you want to focus. With several resources at CBS, it takes discipline to stay focused on the goal and being strategic in where you want to spend your time.

How have your professional skills translated into success at business school?

I have been fortunate to lead a team in my role at BlackRock and was able to bring my experiences as a manager to our Leadership & Organizational Change course with Professor Paul Ingram. In the course, we discussed how to motivate others based on promotion and prevention factors and this has also been something I have been able to take back and try out with my team when steering us toward a goal.

Which faculty member(s) and/or courses influenced you the most, and how?

As a former teacher myself, one of my favorite courses was Business Strategy with Professor Stephan Meier. Professor Meier brought so much energy to our discussions that you could feel the desire from everyone in the class to participate when unpacking the cases. Even though we were taking this course in a HyFlex format, I would forget that we were on Zoom because we were all so engaged in the discussion. The course has inspired me to look into other strategy-based classes at CBS!

What are your long-term career goals?

I have always been passionate about mental health and hope to one day start a business to stop the stigma and educate children and families of the benefits to mental well-being. Combining my Masters in Education, Teach for America experience, and the CBS MBA, I am hopeful I will have the tools to make this dream a reality.

What’s your top advice for new students?

Do not put too much pressure on yourself to be great at everything. It’s a balancing act! Some weeks you will feel you have everything in control and other weeks you will feel overwhelmed. In these moments, remember to lean on your learning team for support and reassurance. We are all in this together!

What will you take with you from Columbia Business School?

Priceless memories, unbreakable bonds and relationships, my official degree, and the confidence to fulfill my dreams beyond the EMBA program.