The MBA Association (MBAA)

The MBA Association (MBAA) Student Organization page and bios.

The MBA Association (MBAA) is the largest student-run organization in the MBA Program. The MBAA works closely with the administration to represent the student body and enhance life both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to this student government role, the MBAA is dedicated to building and maintaining a sense of community in the program through sponsorship of a number of events.

Portrait of JT FairleyJT Fairley, President

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JT Fairley is the President of the Class of 2020’s MBA Association. In this role, he is primarily responsible for leading the MBA board, overseeing the Association President Roundtable, and serving as a liaison to the MBA Alumni Advisory Board.

JT was born and raised in Southport, North Carolina and graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Prior to joining Smeal’s MBA program, JT was responsible for implementing new business models in both China and in the US for a children’s educational application development company.

JT knew Smeal was right for him due to the small class size, emphasis on ethics, and sense of community. JT is also a member of the Women’s MBA Association and the Net Impact Association. In his free time, JT enjoys playing soccer, reading, and cooking.

Portrait of Krithika SudhakarKrithika Sudhakar, VP of Integrity and Communications

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Krithika Sudhakar is the Vice President of Integrity and Communications for the Class of 2020's MBA Association. In this role, she acts as a liaison between students and the administration and strives to improve the academic experience for current and future students. Additionally, she serves as a touch point for internal communications within the MBA community.

Krithika is originally from Chennai, India and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology. She is passionate about Conservation Biology and has volunteered in animal rescue and rehabilitation centers in India and Thailand. Prior to joining the MBA Community, Krithika worked for Goldman Sachs as a Senior Operations Analyst in the Securities Trading Operations Division. As she ventures into the field of Supply Chain Management, she hopes to leverage her diverse skills in science and operations with a passion for sustainability and ethical leadership.

Smeal was on the top of her list due to the diverse community, course curriculum, corporate connections and access to world class faculty in Supply Chain Operations and Management.  In her free time, Krithika enjoys playing volleyball, traveling and reading.

Portrait of Carolina ValdizonCarolina Valdizon, VP of International Affairs

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Carolina is the Vice President of International Affairs for the Class of 2020's MBA Association.  In this role, Carolina’s primary responsibility is to integrate various cultures and provide an atmosphere of support to create a common ground for sharing global experiences, observing national and regional festivals, and overall, celebrating diversity of thought. Events include Lunar New year, Diwali, Hispanic Heritage Month, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, and the Global Speaker Series covering topics such as “Corporate Responses to the Global Economic Crisis,” “What MBAs Need To Know About Global Climate Change,” and “China’s Business Ties With Africa.”

With successful executions of these events, the MBA community will share a bit of home, (whether domestic or abroad), and allow students an opportunity to practice crucial networking skills with fellow classmates. The Smeal brand will strengthen as students create durable global connections.

Carolina’s family is from El Salvador and she was raised in Northwest, Arkansas. She earned her BS in International Business from the University of Arkansas. Carolina’s concentration was in Economics, and she minored in both Spanish and Cultural Anthropology. Before joining Smeal, she worked for Walmart’s Supply Chain Department in the grocery sector.  

Carolina chose the Smeal College of Business because of its strength in Supply Chain Management, its reputation as a school with a highly collaborative MBA community, and its vast connections to top consulting firms. She is a Bunton-Waller Fellow and enjoys playing with her dog, a Pomeranian-schnauzer mix, during her free time.

Portrait of Alok PandeAlok Pande, VP of Recruitment

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Alok Pande is the Vice President of Recruitment for the Class of 2020’s MBA Association. In this role, his primary responsibility is to continue the legacy of the Smeal College of Business through the recruitment of top MBA candidates.

Alok spent his entire life in the Midwest, (Omaha, St. Louis and Chicago), prior to attending Penn State. He earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Prior to joining Smeal, Alok was an engineering consultant for a mid-sized architectural engineering firm. While there he led various projects for clients in the nuclear industry.

What attracted Alok to the Smeal MBA program was their academic reputation in Supply Chain, close-knit community, job prospects, corporate connections and the benefits of the Penn State Alumni Network. He is concentrating in Supply Chain and Sustainability.

Portrait of Alejandra RubioAlejandra Rubio, VP of Corporate Affairs

Alejandra Rubio is the Vice President of Corporate & Alumni Relations for the Class of 2020’s MBA Association. In this role, Alejandra’s primary responsibility is to actively seek out career development opportunities for MBA students at the Smeal College of Business by building bridges with alumni and corporations. In her role, she utilizes tools such as Simulated Interview Programs, corporate-sponsored tailgates, speaker sessions and other networking events to facilitate these relationships.

Alejandra holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Metropolitana of Venezuela. Prior to joining the Smeal MBA program, Alejandra worked for more than six years in the Consumer Goods Industry as a demand planner with PepsiCo Venezuela and for one year as a supply planner with L'Oréal Venezuela.

Alejandra chose the Smeal College of Business because of its strength in Supply Chain Management, its reputation as a school with a highly collaborative MBA community and an extensive alumni network. When she isn’t busy with school work, Alejandra enjoys running, hiking and painting.

Portrait of Thompson HuntThompson Hunt, VP of Finance

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Thompson Hunt is the Vice President of Finance for the Class of 2020’s MBA Association. In this role, he manages funding for the MBA Association, which includes developing an annual budget, overseeing the collection of the MBAA dues, and liaising with other MBAA Board Members to efficiently distribute funds for activities.

Thompson is originally from Connecticut. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At GWU, Thompson focused his studies on structural engineering and outside of class was a four-year member of the college’s ultimate frisbee team. Prior to joining Smeal, Thompson served as a Senior Estimator for Clark Construction in Bethesda, Maryland. In this role, he received an in-depth knowledge of the acquisition and procurement procedures for some of the largest construction projects on the East Coast. 

Thompson chose the Smeal College of Business because of its friendly atmosphere, access to an extensive alumni network, and recognition for its Supply Chain Management program. He has concentrations in Marketing and Supply Chain. Outside of the classroom, Thompson enjoys playing sports with fellow classmates and competing in the University's intramural program.

portrait of Lauren ZimmermanLauren Zimmerman, VP of Operations

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Lauren Zimmerman is the Vice President of Operations for the Class of 2020’s MBA Association. In this role, she focuses on organizing a variety of social events to continue to strengthen the Smeal MBA community. These activities provide a fantastic opportunity for students to build relationships with classmates from both the MBA and MOL programs while also allowing for networking opportunities with alumni. Some of the most popular events hosted by the MBAA are the tailgates on every home Penn State football game day. The games are a great opportunity for us to come together and cheer on the Nittany Lions as a community – we look forward to seeing you there!

Before joining the Smeal MBA Class of 2020, Lauren worked for Kimberly-Clark Corporation for over six years. In her most recent role, she was an Operations and Logistics Manager at a manufacturing facility in Neenah, WI. Lauren earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University. She is thrilled to be back in Happy Valley to pursue an MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and Finance.

Lauren’s love for Penn State used to center around the large network, endless career opportunities and of course, Nittany Lion athletics. Since starting the Smeal MBA program, she’s discovered even more to love: a small, tight-knit community of incredible classmates, world-class faculty, and friendly staff. She is looking forward to giving back to the program and serving her fellow students within her role as the VP of Operations.

Portrait of AJ LoganAJ Logan, VP of Philanthropy

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AJ Logan is the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Class of 2020's MBA Association. In this role, she serves to inspire MBA students to get involved with the community, attend fundraising events, and give back. Specifically, AJ plans and coordinates all fundraising events for THON, the Penn State Dance Marathon, and any other charity events or community outreach throughout the year.

AJ is from Hershey, PA and went to Penn State for her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering as well. After undergrad, AJ worked as a Field Engineer for Schlumberger for 3 years, where she worked on oil rigs all over the US and abroad. Prior to starting her MBA she also worked for GE Power as a Design Engineer for compressor hardware on gas turbines.

AJ returned to Penn State for her MBA because the program offered a uniquely small class size taught by renown faculty members. Also she knew the benefit of Penn State's impressive alumni network, and appreciated how involved Smeal alumni are with the MBA program. In her free time AJ enjoys running, cooking, and reading.