Alumni Spotlight: OSU Fisher, Mireille Hartley

Posted by The MBA Tour on 13 November 2018 / 0 Comments

Learn how Mireille Hartley's experience at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business prepared her for a career in Finance at Nationwide Insurance.

  • Name: Mireille Hartley
  • Business School Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

  • Originally From Woodbury, CT

  • Occupation Management Associate, Finance Leadership Rotation Program – Nationwide Insurance

Q: How did you choose your MBA program? What were your program’s greatest assets?

A: I selected Fisher primarily because of the small class size. I felt that I would be able to get to know my classmates well and I experienced the tight-knit community firsthand when I visited campus. I also believe that the size of the program is a huge asset – all the faculty and staff know each student very well because of it. I was able to build a close relationship with my career consultant and felt that she gave me the time and attention I needed when looking for a job.

Q: What activities were you involved in outside of class? How did you balance your time?
A: I was on our full-time MBA class council, was the Vice President of the Fisher Graduate Finance Association, and was the Treasurer and Director of Training for our Fisher Board Fellows program (while also serving as a non-voting board member with a non-profit here in Columbus). I balanced my time by utilizing the same organizational systems I developed while working prior to business school. I identified my “big rocks” for each week and month and then added time to my calendar to make sure I was making progress towards those. Time spent looking for an internship was non-negotiable and immovable, so then I really had to fit everything in around that. I also said no to things to ensure that I had time for myself outside of school (I always refused to do work on Saturdays, this is a hard rule of mine!).

Q: Did you have an internship during your MBA experience, and if so, how did it prepare you for your career?
A: I interned with Nationwide as a Finance Leadership Rotation Program intern and was fortunate enough to receive an offer to return full-time at the end of the summer. I worked on our Investments team and while this experience was very specific to Investments, it taught me valuable skills in financial statement analysis, valuation, and strategy that are applicable to my current role and future roles I hope to have in Finance. My internship especially helped prepare me for my career by exposing me to finance work as I am a career changer and by giving me the opportunity to see if Nationwide would be a good fit for me full-time. I also had the chance to put some of what I learned in business school to work in the real world and it was great to see how the concepts learned in the classroom truly do apply.
Q: What resources and support did your program offer during the career search
A: The best resource that I had was my career consultant, Nancy. I would set up time to meet with Nancy every other week while I was actively looking for an internship. She would help me identify job opportunities that would be a fit for me and she helped connect me with alumni at those companies. She also conducted mock interviews with me and helped me develop my pitch to employers around why I decided to go to business school and make a career change. This one-on-one time with her was absolutely a key component to my career search success. I also leveraged the second years in the program. I similarly did mock interviews with them and spoke to them about their internship experience to help narrow down my own search.
Q: When applying for jobs, how did you highlight your achievements
A: I focused on telling a compelling story. I worked for Teach For America for five years before returning to school and held roles primarily in Human Resources. I wanted to pursue a role in Finance after graduation because I felt the need to diversify my skills and experience. I therefore highlighted the fact that I have previously been comfortable dealing with ambiguity and taking on new roles and that I am a lifelong learner who can take feedback and adapt. I felt that these skills would be crucial for me to name for recruiters because I did not have finance experience prior to going to business school.
Q: What advice do you have for future MBA candidates?
A: When looking for an internship or a job, think about how you like to spend your time and what opportunities will allow you to utilize your strengths while also helping you develop new skills. Fit with a company is also hugely important – try to get to know the culture through the application process to determine if you could really see yourself working there. Try to focus on the learning process; it’s too easy to get bogged down in deadlines and assignments. Get involved outside of the classroom to help build the community around you within your program.


Interested in receiving an MBA or Business Master's Degree? Check out Fisher's website to learn more about their graduate business opportunities!

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