Claire Howard (MBA ‘23) from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh is among the Top 100 Best and Brightest MBAs across the globe as chosen by Poets&Quants.
The Top 100 list celebrates MBA students from the Class of 2023 who embody the excellence and voices of their schools. Students named as the “Best and Brightest” are considered to be “the leaders in their class who rally, the mentors who champion, and the volunteers who carry the heaviest burdens.”
“Claire has truly seized every opportunity at Katz to go the extra mile in her academic and professional development, as well as in her co-curricular engagement and her significant contribution to the community development and inclusive culture of the school,” said Laura Oknefski, director of Graduate Programs. “She has ensured that her time spent at Katz will have a lasting impact not only on her own professional endeavors, but also on the Katz community now and for years to come.”
Oknefski also said Howard has been a key driver of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives at Katz. Honored as both a Pitt Black Alumni Scholar and National Black MBA Association Scholar, Howard participated in the Inclusive Leadership Series co-curricular programming at Katz to further hone her leadership skills through an ED&I lens and helped with the development of new ED&I programming.
Howard said her proudest accomplishment during her 18 months in the Signature MBA program, was her election to the Student Executive Board for Katz. This led to her planning the fall gala and a partnership with the local Allegheny County Community chapter of Communities in Schools. The result was a $2,500 donation from 100% of the ticket sales to the nonprofit that supports underprivileged schools and children.
Howard also championed for Muslim students by providing Halal snacks in their private room dedicated for prayer during Ramadan to break their fast. “Since we as students spent dusk till dawn studying at Mervis Hall, our main building and home away from home, I wanted to make sure all students felt accommodated for,” she said.
Howard interned at Bristol Myers Squibb in Princeton, New Jersey, in the summer of 2022. She will be working after graduation at the same company as an associate in the Information Technology Rotational/Leadership Development Program.
“The MBA program challenged me in ways that looking back helped me develop who I am as a person and who I want to be as a professional. I learned more than I expected from my classmates,” she said. “We all came from so many different and unique industries that I and my classmates acquired key skills from each other that will allow us to truly be well-rounded and strong leaders.”
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