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Pursuing “return on individuality”: Erin Wilson, MBA ’20

Graduate | Nov 29, 2018 |

Now that midterms are completed and Thanksgiving has come and gone, the full-time MBA Class of 2020 is preparing for the end of the semester. Students are also reflecting on their first semester and looking toward the new year.

Today we’re speaking with Erin Wilson, who has already become an active participant in the Gabelli School community.

What were you doing before you started the MBA program?

For the past twelve years, I was immersed in the world of retail. During my tenure in the retail industry, I held several positions at Macy’s within product development, buying, and business development. My most recent stint was as the founder and executive director of The Workshop at Macy’s, a trailblazing program that levels the playing field for minority and women-owned entrepreneurs.

Equal parts business development education and sourcing vehicle, The Workshop at Macy’s allows small retail businesses to access the information, experts, and tools to grow their businesses. The knowledge gained through developing this program begged the question, “How can I innovate the accelerator concept and, in turn, do more?” The answer to this question and the reason I am pursuing an MBA lies in coupling my professional expertise with an authoritative voice on entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and inferential dexterity that can only be honed through a post-graduate education.

Why did you choose the Gabelli School?

For me, Gabelli stood out because its mission aligned with my value system. I appreciated the objective to create powerful business leaders who put ethics before profit. This spoke in more ways than one, plus who doesn’t want their “ROI” to be a return on individuality!

What were you looking forward to most about the program?

I was excited to return to the classroom: to immerse myself in new concepts, topics, and subject matters. I am more than aware that business school is an arduous endeavor, but I accept and take that challenge on. 

What has been the most memorable part of your first semester so far?

First, I would have to say the best part of my first semester is truly getting to know all my fellow MBA peers, whether first-years (my class) or second-years. The Gabelli School has such a phenomenal community and I have made such good friends in a short amount of time. My most memorable experience was last month’s BHMBAA Halloween party. It was the club’s second annual party and the student turnout was incredible. I had so much fun, but, more importantly, I was able to support a very important club on campus (of which I am a junior board member).

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

In the short term, my objective is to become a change agent in the innovation, retail, and multicultural consumer space. In this capacity as a senior futurist at a small firm, I intend to advise c-suite executives and startup innovators on how to exceed their strategic business and branding targets. In the long term, I plan to tackle the issues of equal access and income inequality as the founder of a social enterprise.

Fun fact: I have a three-year-old French Bulldog named Charlotte, whom you may or may not see walking around campus at some point!

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