Carnegie Mellon University

Cecily Gordon | Full-Time MBA| Class of 2018

Outgoing. Hardworking. Dog lover.

I came to the Tepper School straight out of undergrad, so I did not have any full-time experience prior to business school. However, I believe this has shaped my experience in a unique way because it has allowed me to be extremely open to hearing about the experiences of my peers. It has led me to truly absorb the knowledge and advice that my peers brought from their previous careers.

Although I enjoyed being a math major, I realized that I did not want to pursue a career in pure mathematics or statistics. I minored in sociology at Georgetown, and upon reflection of what I wanted out of a career, I found that while I still wanted to utilize the statistics skills I gained in undergrad, I wanted to do this in a people-focused environment. I wanted to pursue a career that allowed me to work with, help and manage people. I knew that in order to pursue this career, I needed an additional degree in business administration.

Outside of school and work, I enjoy hanging out with friends and family. I also volunteer as a dog walker at an animal shelter in Pittsburgh and volunteer as an adviser for a CMU undergraduate group. I enjoy running, reading and hiking, and I love anything involving dogs.

Your Life + Tepper School

I chose the Tepper School because of the emphasis the school places on community. I wanted to attend a school where the students collaborate and build each other up. I found that at the Tepper School.

The sense of community and togetherness exceeded my expectations. The Tepper School does a great job of fostering a community that thrives on helpfulness and strengthening your peers. I’ve had peers stay up with me for hours to help me understand an assignment or prepare for an interview. I didn’t expect students to be so willing to take time out of their own lives to help out a friend. 

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the quality of the communications and organizational behavior classes at the Tepper School. The school does a great job of branding itself as an analytics school, so I didn’t expect the most impactful and practical classes at the Tepper School to be the communications and organizational behavior classes such as Managing Presentations and Negotiations.

The CMU community is full of bright and collaborative students, and there are many opportunities as a Tepper School student to engage with the CMU community as a whole. One such opportunity is Hack-a-Startup, an event where students from all seven schools come together to design and create a business plan for a startup in one weekend. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the entire community and grow from your interactions with students outside of the Tepper School.

The most influential class I’ve taken at the Tepper School is Negotiations. It provided me with theories and practices that I can utilize in my future career, as well as in my everyday life. In fact, I have already had the opportunity to benefit from the class. For our final project, we had to engage in a real-world negotiation. I was able to use the skills I gained in the class to negotiate my car purchase.

Having a Tepper MBA will open new doors and allow me to pursue careers for which I may not have been qualified with only a mathematics degree. Further, it will allow me to develop stronger management skills for the future.

Tepper School Advice

Take advantage of the opportunities to connect with your peers and classmates. Go to the social events, join clubs and serve on boards. These relationships and friendships will be some of the most important connections you make during your time at the Tepper School!

Your Life + Pittsburgh

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is how welcoming and open the people are. Coming from D.C., I find the openness of Pittsburghers so nice; it really reminds me of home. As a dog lover, I also appreciate how dog-friendly this city is.