2021 Finest & Brightest MBAs: Olivia Mell, Columbia Business enterprise College


“I use my voice—in song, on phase, or in a boardroom—for good.”

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Exciting point about oneself: Even though performing as a theater actress in New York Metropolis following college or university, I was at the same time directing children’s theater systems at unique universities through the city and bartending nights for 7 a long time at Blondies Athletics Bar, a most loved of Upper West Side locals.

Undergraduate College and Diploma: Brandeis College – B.A. in Theater Arts, Small in English & Anglo-American Literature

Wherever was the past location you labored before enrolling in organization faculty? I was a complete-time musician and performer (artist moniker Olivia Jane), and functioning my have brand name by my enjoyment & manufacturing entity, Capture 10 Productions.

Wherever did you intern for the duration of the summer of 2020? MBA Summer Contractor in Strategic Partnerships and Brand Internet marketing for entertainment marketing company memBrain, LLC., found in Los Angeles, CA.

In which will you be operating following graduation? I will be moving into the Leadership Growth system (comprehensive-time administration rotation method) at AT&T.

Neighborhood Function and Leadership Roles in Small business Faculty: I was a Peer Advisor for the incoming course of 2022 and served as my PA team’s Cluster Lead, serving to each my staff and 70+ incoming to start with yrs navigate the school’s new regular through the pandemic. For two yrs I have arranged and co-led the West Coastline Trek for the Media Management Association at CBS, in my initially year as a group AVP (in-particular person in Los Angeles) and this yr as the team VP (for our digital trek). I am also the Co-President of CBS Follies, a bi-once-a-year comedy present beloved by college students, college, and staff alike. Through the pandemic, it has been lauded as the strongest unifying force of the CBS community. Our most new show in slide 2020, Follies: Egregious, essentially gained a glowing produce-up in P&Q!

Which academic or extracurricular accomplishment are you most very pleased of in the course of enterprise university? I am specially happy of the operate that Follies has performed in the past calendar year considering the fact that I’ve experienced the satisfaction and honor of becoming the club’s Co-President. In a specifically trying 12 months, when our college went practically completely on line, regular filming approaches had been not possible. At the same time, the morale of the entire faculty was struggling from the pandemic. Despite this, the unbelievable ragtag group of Follies supporting cast and crew was in a position to come collectively and obtain new approaches to go on to give our demonstrate to the community. The spirit of Follies stayed strong regardless of everything. We all worked pretty difficult jointly to generate exhibits that could not only help us as a club really feel related to our faculty once again, but to assist the complete CBS group truly feel linked back to every single other and to CBS while viewing the display. In which there were limits, we found new answers and in which there was soreness, we identified the laughter—because the display have to go on.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the launch of my album of original blues-rock audio, Between Earth and Air by Olivia Jane. I have experienced quite a few meaningful inventive encounters in my career, but this was the most significant as it took the most guts, and I set my whole self into it. I wrote, done, co-generated, revealed, unveiled, and promoted this report and its subsequent songs movies as my individual manufacturing entity and brand leader. It was my 1st working experience of certainly foremost a media manufacturer and launching product or service while also being the creative power and vision at the rear of it. It was this undertaking that made me want to go to enterprise college, to keep on to bridge the hole in between the imaginative and the govt, both equally in myself and in the enjoyment sector at large.

Why did you choose this enterprise school? It was vital for me to pick out a organization college that had a solid curriculum in media and amusement as effectively as a robust bi-coastal alumni community in that industry. Columbia not only had the unparalleled finance and main MBA curriculum that I knew I required, it also had a dedicated Media & Technological know-how curriculum that healthy my ambitions correctly. Among the the several business enterprise schools with dependable media packages, Columbia also experienced the strongest alumni community which spanned New York and Los Angeles. It was also especially attention-grabbing to me that CBS labeled its curriculum Media & Technologies, which signaled to me that CBS uniquely understood the overlap and ongoing merge of the two industries, and that I would need a robust technologies basis in get to optimize my good results article-MBA.

What was your beloved MBA celebration or custom at your organization college? Columbia Company School has a tradition called “CBS Matters” that I think is an critical ingredient to its key sauce. CBS Issues is a ritual storytelling option for any university student or faculty member to share what issues to them with their friends and community users in a risk-free, supportive space. It is an amazing way to get to know your classmates on a profound amount, create trust, and make significant connections. For the presenter, it is a uniquely welcoming way to allow for yourself to be as susceptible, foolish, and open up as you want or will need to be with your peers—it’s a house to genuinely specific by yourself. This tradition tells me how substantially CBS values the innermost sections of its students, what helps make them tick, what fuels their passions, and how they can guide with empathy. CBS is fully commited to neighborhood-developing, and CBS Matters is a enormous portion of that.

Hunting back again about your MBA practical experience, what is the one particular issue you’d do differently and why? Let’s put COVID-19 aside (for the reason that I’m confident we’d all do some points in another way from the get started if we understood the pandemic was in our upcoming). Looking back again, I believe I would have pushed myself to consider more demanding finance lessons just after the core, and perhaps even examine the Benefit Investing software. Mainly because of Columbia Company University, I am fascinated by the issue and business for the very first time in my lifetime – and I want to proceed to find out extra of CBS’s bread-and-butter! I will say that I will unquestionably be a single of the alums having advantage of lifelong mastering at Columbia, because there’s never ever an close to increasing your mind by way of what this university has to present.

What stunned you the most about enterprise school? I was pleasantly shocked to discover that the “typical company faculty student” does not exist any longer, at minimum not at CBS. Each solitary a person of my classmates has a fascinating story, an fascinating track record that is various from the up coming person’s, and a little something truly unique to carry to the table. And even soon after nearly two yrs with them, there are extra and extra layers to uncover about these amazing and good individuals.

What is one particular thing you did for the duration of the application procedure that gave you an edge at the university you chose? I realized that CBS was my aspiration school and so I used Early Choice. I think this aided a wonderful offer in signaling to the college that I experienced extremely particular objectives in thoughts for which CBS was uniquely suited to enable me realize, and that I would acquire complete gain of what the school experienced to provide. I also sat in on lessons, attended MBA tour events, requested as several issues as I could of admissions reps, and spoke to a variety of latest college students about their activities at CBS. It went a extended way for me in conditions of realizing precisely why CBS was proper for me, and assisted to establish some terrific connections early on that grew to become meaningful friendships.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Chanel Washington is my fellow Co-President of Follies, and a certified badass (if you are going to forgive the expression). Even though she is virtually 6 years my junior, I am mastering from her every single working day. She is passionate and she is compassionate. She is excellent and she is curious. She has a potent voice and aids other individuals uncover theirs. She is a good leader, she is a teammate. She is an extraordinary spouse, she is an even improved close friend. Chanel and I operate quite carefully alongside one another approximately each day on Follies, and we were also on the very same Peer Advisor group throughout orientation week for the incoming course of 2022. Chanel has dealt with obstacle soon after obstacle all through her whole lifestyle and get over a tremendous volume of adversity, which she continues to fulfill head-on each and every working day. I’ve viewed her do it time-and-yet again, and it hardly ever stops her from pushing ahead, kicking butt, and having names. Chanel helps make me a superior chief, a far more essential thinker, and a better human the a lot more time I shell out with her, and I can’t wait around to see how she requires McKinsey by storm subsequent 12 months.

How disruptive was it to shift to an on the internet or hybrid surroundings just after COVID hit? At initially, it was a logistical nightmare. Ultimately, we acquired our groove with Zoom and the HyFlex design and I feel particularly grateful to have had the opportunity to see some of my classmates safely and securely in individual a couple of occasions in the course of this rollercoaster of a calendar year. From a particular standpoint, making all of the shifts expected immediately after COVID-19 strike was disruptive for all of us, emotionally, psychologically, and for some, physically. As a local community, we have uncovered means to hold the ties that bind us from loosening or breaking, and we’ve soldiered on with renewed tenacity and resilience that will remain with us as we all move on to the future section of our journey, submit-CBS.

Who most affected your determination to pursue organization in college? As I was managing my artist manufacturer and beginning to examine what else could be achievable in my career, I achieved a powerhouse of a lady, Karen Williams, who grew to become my mentor. Karen acquired her MBA at UCLA Anderson, worked in media and entertainment for many many years, and devoted much of her career and daily life to assisting acquire woman leaders. I experienced a ton of uncertainties about myself when we met, and observed any small business university as a pipe dream, let alone a school like Columbia. Karen noticed a little something in me then that I couldn’t see—she not only noticed the MBA as feasible for me, she also saw it as fated, my pure and vital next move and that it could be and really should be a Columbia MBA. All over my entire discovery and application method, Karen pushed me farther than I experienced at any time been pushed. The much more I worked with her, the a lot more I noticed what she saw—I could envision the potential that I preferred. Most importantly, I started to believe that that I deserved it. I am eternally grateful to Karen for encouraging to convey forth my energy, even when I believed I experienced none.

What are the prime two goods on your specialist bucket listing? A single is that I would like to guide or be component of a strategic crew that is introducing an ground breaking and disruptive product or service to the media room. Another is that I would like to certainly unify my resourceful and small business yin and yang by remaining an executive producer on a socially appropriate and significant movie challenge or television clearly show. It has often been my objective to have a voice in the dialogue, and to use that voice for good—to spearhead an crucial challenge with resourceful vision and a excellent producer’s thoughts would be exceptionally satisfying.

What built Olivia these kinds of an a must have addition to the Class of 2021?

“Olivia is an a must have member of the community as she and the Co-President of Follies have worked tirelessly to maintain CBS traditions alive, even virtually. Her time dedication and perseverance to the CBS community is not only recognized with her huge get the job done on Follies this year, but also the partnerships she has fostered with the Workplace of Student Affairs (OSA) and the Vocation Management Center (CMC). She is also an energetic leader in the Media Administration Consulting Association in which she worked diligently on a virtual trek for club customers. Olivia was a Fall 2020 Peer Advisor exactly where she held the role of Cluster Guide meaning she was not only tasked with aiding assimilate 550+ new first calendar year business faculty pupils in a model new virtual setting but also support direct a group of her peers who navigated a new digital landscape for the initial time.”

Scott Siegel Ortiz
Senior Affiliate Director, Pupil Daily life and Engagement
Workplace of Student Affairs

This is an early preview of our 100 Best & Brightest MBAs, which will be launched on Might 10th. 

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