Q&A with Laura Kayeum, BC MBA ’16

Laura Kayeum, BC MBA ’16, began her career in financial services consulting at Eze Software Group after earning her bachelor’s degree from Colby College. Now, she’s an MBA candidate at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, where she’s developing the business skills and tools she needs to enter a leadership development program at Bank of America.

How did you end up at Boston College?

I was working in financial services consulting in Boston when I decided it was time to go back for my MBA. In speaking with BC MBA students, I was impressed by their diversity, their engagement with the school, and their overall intelligence and interest in learning. I also liked the BC MBA’s focus on applied learning. All in all, I thought BC would provide a great opportunity to develop the hard skills and tools that I missed out on as an undergraduate.

How did BC help you develop the skills you needed?

During my first year of the program, I took a set of all-encompassing core classes that gave me a rigorous toolkit in accounting, finance, quantitative skills, and strategy. Then, I had plenty of opportunities to apply those skills. For instance, in a first-year management practice project, my team and I took the core skills we were learning in the classroom and applied them to develop a plan for a real company to bring a new product to market. We then presented our solution to a team of higher-level executives at the company and left them with a robust market strategy plan they could use as they began to target key customers and communicate this product’s value.

Did you engage in any experiential learning?

Yes, I participated in the Graduate TechTrek, a semester-long class that ends with a trip to the West Coast to meet with leaders at Google, Apple, Amazon, and other big-name tech companies. At each company, we met with leaders who were either Boston College alumni or were the connections of alumni, including the chief marketing officer at Apple and top leaders at Google. Seeing these people dedicate time to talking to BC MBA students really reinforced the power of the BC network.

How has BC supported you in your career path?

The Career Development office is very invested in students’ success. They do a great job of preparing students for interviews, and bring a lot of companies to campus to recruit students for internships and jobs. My advisor took the time to understand what I was looking for so she could tell me when a company that fit my interests was coming on campus to recruit. So, when Bank of America came to campus to recruit summer interns, she made sure I was aware of the visit and was very involved in helping me get placed as an intern with the company’s digital marketing strategy team.

Did you feel prepared for your internship?

Yes, the BC MBA did a great job in preparing me to work with people from diverse areas and to use my critical thinking skills to solve problems, which was essential because I had to work with so many different people. Also, each course places significant emphasis on quantitative analysis, which was helpful when I had to analyze data and make decisions based on the results.

What’s next for you?

My summer internship led to a full-time position in the company’s rotational leadership program. After I graduate, I’ll join Bank of America’s leadership development program as an assistant vice president. I’m excited to be taking on this role, and I’m looking forward to applying the skills I developed through the BC MBA in my career.