“Buggy racer, dream chaser, sweet tooth, cares about youth, baker, difference-maker, sports freak, travel geek.”
Fun fact about yourself: The first time I ever left the country was when I went by myself without knowing a single other person across the world to study abroad in Sydney, Australia.
Hometown: Chandler, Arizona
High School: Hamilton High School
Majors: Business Administration and Statistics
Concentration: Business Technology
Favorite Business Course: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
Captain of the Varsity Women’s Basketball Team, 2018-2020
- All University Athletic Association 2nd Team Honors
- CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
Resident Assistant, 2018-2019
Student Athletic Advisory Council, 2017-2020
Special Olympics Planning Committee, 2017-2020
Mortar Board Senior Honors Society, 2019-2020
Lambda Sigma Sophomore Service Honors Society, 2017-2018
1000Plus Day of Service Site Leader, 2018
Intermediate Macroeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics Grader, 2020
Where have you interned during your college career?
Converse (Nike, Inc.), Global Procurement Intern: Boston, MA
Sydney Blue Sox Baseball, Operations Intern: Sydney, Australia
Never Fear Being Different, Marketing Intern: Pittsburgh, PA
Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Converse (Nike, Inc.) as an Operations Analyst in Boston, MA.
What company do you admire the most? The company I admire the most is Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to feeding malnourished children in third-world countries. I worked with this organization in middle school and high school and am extremely passionate about their cause and mission.
What did you enjoy most about your business school? The biggest aspect of the Tepper school of business that I enjoyed was the diversity of people and professors I could access. My classmates came from all over the world, allowing a vast range of diverse thoughts and perspectives to flow throughout the classroom as well as in my daily life. I have learned a lot about other cultures and explored a wide variety of food types during my time at Tepper due to the diversity within every class I had.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business was how applicable business truly is in every aspect of people’s lives. It doesn’t matter what type of career or market you are in. Since everyone needs business people – from technology to restaurants to manufacturing. I learned that I need to be open to all the different concepts and learn how to adapt them to the industry that I want to pursue, as each sector has its own unique applications.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The biggest advice I would give to a student looking to major in a business-related field is to explore all your options for a future career in business as opposed to being purely focused on the two major avenues of investment banking or consulting. If those two areas are what really intrigue you most, go for it. However, do not be afraid to try out other areas of business and see if those pique your interests more. Often in business, we get caught up with making the highest salary possible. However, I would highly encourage any student to figure out what is most important to them and explore other unique aspects of business they may not know much about that might just intrigue them more.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing that I’ve encountered since majoring in business is how important networking truly is wherever you go. The connections you make with every person you encounter is vital to your future career and reputation. You never know whether a connection that you make today could be extremely important in the future. This is one of the major reasons why I appreciate Carnegie Mellon University so much because they are a school that has leaders in every industry, so we have built-in opportunities to network, gain exposure, and learn within this community.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my decision to study abroad in Sydney, Australia. Having never been out of the country before – and not knowing a single person in Australia – it was a very scary and brave decision to study there. However, the amount of knowledge I gained while I was there, the friendships I formed, and the work experience I had during my internship were life-changing. It also sparked my passion for visiting more places now and traveling around the world in the future!
Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate Stephanie Cao the most, as she is the most dedicated and hardest-working classmate I know. She is always on top of her work, always going the extra mile, and truly ensuring that she is learning in every class. She is a curious learner, always striving to better improve her knowledge and grow as a person both professionally and personally.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most want to thank my mom for my success. She is my biggest role model and the reason I am who I am today. She constantly pushes me to heights I never thought I was capable of, not only academically, but also athletically and in life. All I strive to do in my future is make a difference in people’s lives; I truly do not care much about the money I may make or the title I may receive, as long as I am making a difference. My mom perfectly exemplifies this mindset because she is a teacher, not making nearly as much money as teachers should, but she makes a difference in 120 students’ lives every single year. She is the most giving and kind-hearted person I know, going above and beyond in all areas of life, and I only wish one day I can be just like her.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The biggest item on my professional bucket list is to own my own baking business in the future, with a large portion of the proceeds going to help people with special needs, organizations such as Special Olympics, or Best Buddies. Another item on my bucket list is to have a career where I am able to travel the world and see places while also working. I love to experience other cultures and people’s way of life and learn more about the world.
What are your hobbies? My hobbies are sports, baking, traveling, and magic.
What made Makayla such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?
“Makalya represents the best of Tepper as she excels in the classroom, student organizations, and in varsity athletics. She embraced opportunities in Pittsburgh and across the globe with her Australian study abroad experience and developed the interdisciplinary knowledge with technical expertise that positions her for success.”
Head of the Undergraduate Business Administration Program
PNC Professor of Finance
Professor of Financial Economics