2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Maiya Cook, Indiana University (Kelley)

Maiya Cook

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

An introvert who is willing to be social for the greater good.”

Fun fact about yourself: I like to host dinner parties for my friends and I call it “Family Dinner.”

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

High School: North Penn High School

Major: Economic Consulting

Minor: Law, Ethics, and Decision Making

Favorite Business Course: Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Alternative Break Program, Member, Site Leader
  • Bloomington Faculty Council DEI Committee, Student Representative
  • Dean’s Scholar
  • Finance Diversity Program, Member
  • Hudson and Holland Scholar
  • Indiana University Student Government, Member, Director of Equity + Inclusion, Deputy Chief of Staff
  • International Rescue Committee, Volunteer
  • IU Policed Department Task Force, Member
  • Kelley Honors Student
  • Kelley Student Government, Vice President of Outreach
  • Meet Kelley Program, Counselor and Mentor
  • Student Delegation Fact Finding Trip: Israel, Participant
  • United Council for Equity, Leader
  • William R. Fry Scholar
  • Case Competition, John R Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition, Industry Runner Up

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Urban Affairs Coalition, Philadelphia, PA, Activities Lead Intern
  • AArete Consulting, Chicago, IL, Business Analyst Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? AArete Consulting, Business Analyst Intern

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My biggest piece of advice is to listen to your heart and use your brain to achieve your goals. When attending business school, you are placed with the best and the brightest. Your peers will be excelling all around you in their prospective interests; it can be easy to be pushed and pulled into different directions; and your definition of what success means to you can become a little hazy. I say listen to your heart when you feel yourself going down a new path because this is the time to explore and do what feels right. I started going down a path that I saw as reaching my highest potential my second year in school. However, I dreaded the type of work it was; it did not make me the happiest I could be. Do not be afraid to shift gears, change majors, change organizations, or change career aspirations, because as soon as you are afraid to change that is when you are put into a box.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? It would be how nebulous some of the career paths are. The best careers are the ones that you define yourself. I think we can find examples of people that we aspire to be, however more likely or not the best business professionals I have looked up to have roles that are dynamic and constantly adapting.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Explore other majors sooner. I wanted to work on Wall Street since I was in the 4th grade, and that same dream was the reason I ended up in business school in the first place. When I started studying finance and started speaking with professionals of some of the most well-known banks in the world, each conversation that I had with them about my passions and what drove me was a complete mismatch for the career choice. Even though your major is not everything, studying something that is more tailored to the way I think and is more useful for my long-term goals was something I wish I could have done earlier.

What business executive do you admire most? Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture. She is truly a trailblazer for the consulting industry. Her goal to close the gender gap for Accenture for 50/50 equality by 2025 has set the standard so high for so many other companies across the Fortune 500. Among that Accenture’s campaign about accepting the change that the pandemic has brought onto companies was refreshing and strategic. Learning how to accept change and be dynamic rather than chasing the past just to get back to normal, is the type of adaption I would hope to have as I climb up the corporate ladder.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? During my time in Indiana University Student Government, I found a passion for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice initiatives for students. In conjunction with the Dean of Students office, I was able to make create a safe space for marginalized student organizations to speak about bias that occurred in their communities and to learn ways to combat bias. The point of the United Council for Equity was to show that we are not alone when dealing with bias regarding our identities and to create a support system across student communities.

Which classmate do you most admire? Sika Kodzi has been a peer role model for me with both my academics and personal goals. Sika has a focus on sustainability in her business career aspirations and is a strong community leader. This year, she is the president of Women in Business, just one of her many accolades. Sika is calm under pressure and understanding when times are hard. During my time deciding to change career aspirations, Sika was there for me every step of the way and did everything that she could to make sure that I ended up where I wanted to be. I am proud to call her one of my best friends and I am 100% sure that she will make a similar impact everywhere she goes.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Matt Stein was my mentor when I was a first-year student. Even though he was not studying business like me, he gave me the confidence that I could use my voice for systemic change. He trusted me with responsibilities because he saw my tenacity to want to make a difference. I am thankful for his patience and willingness to show me the ropes in student government, which led me to continue to lead and slow down and take the time to mentor others.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

* I wish to continue my efforts to give back to my community and hope to be a leader of a philanthropic organization, specifically with an emphasis on inner-city youth education.

* Through my Law, Ethics and, Decision Making Co-Major, I have found a special appreciation for knowing the law. I thoroughly believe that to create systemic change some of that change is the law, and to change it we must know the law. I hope to attend law school in a few years.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy cooking, hence my last name, traveling to places that I have never been before, crocheting, podcasts, and reading.

What made Maiya such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“In all that Maiya has done at the Kelley School, IU and beyond, her central focus has stayed the same: creating a community and a world that is more equitable, inclusive and supportive for all. She has distinguished herself as a leader, mentor and emerging professional. Maiya’s consistency and positive attitude is not only refreshing but also adds ballast to her perspective, opinions and contributions as a student leader. Maiya has said that the most important thing that she can do is to pass on her perspectives to other women of color who will experience the same obstacles that she has. Her hope is that they will achieve even more, overcome obstacles with greater ease and subsequently pass on their perspectives to younger students as well. Maiya’s contribution to the Kelley School will outlast her time here. She gives me hope as I know her approach in the wider world will be same: creating an equitable and inclusive world for all.”

Carmund White
Associate Director, Kelley Undergraduate Program & Director of Diversity Initiatives





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