“If you work hard, you can get anywhere.”
McKinney believes it. And she has been her own best example.
At Olin, McKinney was a Forté Foundation fellow, team leader for a Global Management Studies trip to South America, vice president of the Olin Marketing Association, vice president of communications for Olin Women in Business, and a member of the Olin India and Olin Wine clubs. She also completed a practicum for the Consumer Electronics Association in Washington, DC.
How she benefitted from the marketing platform
“I found the platform concept intriguing; it gave me the chance to look at different functions and industries early in the MBA program. Marketing professionals visited our classes and walked us through their specific brand strategies and initiatives. Platform electives taught me about pricing, new-product introductions, and big-data analytics. Course work was engaging, challenging, and strategic.”
On mentoring opportunities
McKinney says one of her favorite business-school experiences was the Olin Mentor Program. She was paired with a senior brand manager at Purina.
“My mentor was always available and supportive. He taught me there’s no single path to success in marketing, and he helped me greatly with my job offer decisions.”
Leading a trip to Argentina and Chile
McKinney and four classmates proposed a Global Management Studies trip to Argentina and Chile. The trip broke the attendance record: 28 students spent 10 days in South America where they met with officials from companies like Start Up Chile, Google, Globallogic, Barba Roja Brewery, Millanel Cosmetica, and Matetic Vineyard.
“We examined how multinational companies expand into different countries and how culture affects business,” she says.
Her advice for prospective MBA students
“Don’t just look at rankings when you pick a business school. Visit the campus to see how collaborative the community is and how invested it is in its students.”
Niki McKinney, MBA 2014
Marketing with brand management concentration
Current: Brand Manager, WhiteWave Foods, Broomfield, Colorado
Post-MBA: Associate Marketing Manager, General Mills, Minneapolis
Internship: brand management for Viva, Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Pre-MBA: consultant, Accenture, Chicago
Education: B.A., economics and political science, Northwestern University
Hometown: Oak Brook, IL
Spring 2013 Practicum for Consumer Electronics Association in Washington, DC
Spring 2014 Global Management Studies team lead in Argentina and Chile
VP of Corporate Relations, Olin Marketing Association; VP of Communications, Olin Women in Business; Olin Wine Club member; Olin India Club member