For Camille Clark (MBA ’17), earning an MBA won’t just be a matter of furthering her education. It will help her continue a family legacy.
Generations of women in her family have been teachers, and her grandmother was so committed to education that she graduated from college the same year Clark’s mother graduated from high school.
“That’s why graduate school was so important to me,” Clark says. “Our family has always pushed the boundary of what education looks like.”
It’s also why when Clark wanted to expand her knowledge after six years in the hospitality industry, she knew an education at the Wisconsin School of Business would prepare her to move her career forward.
“I hadn’t been in school in years, and I wanted a program that gave me opportunities to build relationships and get to know my peers and professors,” Clark says. “The Wisconsin School of Business—particularly the Nielsen Center for Marketing Research—really demonstrated that.”
Clark came to WSB after earning a fellowship through The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, a partnership of business schools and corporations that enhances diversity in business education and corporate leadership by providing postgraduate opportunities for underrepresented minorities. The Wisconsin School of Business was one of three founding member schools of The Consortium, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.
“The Consortium's mission is to improve the environment for people of color to have a greater presence and influence in business,” says Clark. “People of color add tangible value to a business by bringing outside perspectives and upsetting the apple cart of what was previously thought to be true. I want to be a part of realizing that change in the greater business community.”
—Camille Clark (MBA ’17)
The Consortium is part of her family’s educational legacy, too. Her uncle Charles Craig was a member of the first Consortium class at Washington University in St. Louis.
“Being a part of an organization that has quite literally shaped the fabric of my family was something that I didn’t fully understand until I was a member myself,” says Clark, who is originally from Chicago.
Clark’s six years in the hospitality industry gave her experience in operations, revenue management, and in managing people with a variety of backgrounds. Work with a luxury travel startup in New York piqued her interest about the challenges businesses face, particularly in selling goods instead of the services her hotel experience had provided. That inspired her to pursue an MBA, inspiration that grew with the support and opportunities she received at WSB.
Clark’s business education was augmented with a project assistantship with WSB’s Integrated Marketing Communications department. She researched donor behavior and motivations for giving.
“My experience at WSB provided me with the tools to see the people and emotions involved and learn what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a minute,” she says. “I realize I’ve been given a tremendous amount of support—through scholarships, through mentorship and coaching, through my fellow students. I won’t let that go to waste.”