Ten Questions - Cassandra Henry

The MBA student from NYU Stern advises that one should keep true to oneself

Cassandra Henry is a second year MBA student at New York University Stern School of Business in the US. She is also the co-president of the Stern Women in Business student club, co-leading a group committed to creating a supportive community by addressing topics significant to women in business.

Ms Henry was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to the US aged five. She has a degree in political science and has passed the Level III CFA exams.

Prior to attending NYU Stern, Ms Henry worked for three years in equity research for the global growth strategies team at Artisan Partners, an independent investment management firm. In her spare time, she enjoys running, travelling and exploring New York City.

1. When did you know you wanted to be study for an MBA?

I knew I wanted to enter business school after I started working at Artisan Partners. There are a lot of intangibles that you learn in business school, even beyond the classroom. I wanted to develop my skills in leadership, negotiation and management.

2. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?

My new mantra: “Focus, focus, focus and everything is relative” from my marketing professor at Stern, Jeffrey Carr.

3. What academic achievement are you most proud of to date?

Not technically an achievement within the classroom, but I am very proud of being part of the Stern Team at the 2011 Cornell Stock Pitch Competition. It was a rigorous, multi-day challenge in which we had only 12 hours to pitch three stocks as a long, neutral, or short recommendation. We took first place for Stern, for the first time since 2003. It was a great opportunity to represent Stern in front of judges and recruiters within the equity research and asset management industry.

4. Do you have a studying routine?

I do not really have a routine, but I can study anywhere – especially when studying for the CFA! I was taught by nuns in an all-girls Catholic school and the nuns instilled a sense of self-discipline and time management; necessary tools for business school.

5. How do you deal with pressure?

When I get stressed during work, I feel the best way to let off some steam is a good run or workout.

6. Have you even been to any workshops/seminars that have helped you in your career?

I would not consider it a workshop, but I believe studying for the CFA completely changed my career. I did not come from a finance background, so passing all three levels was a huge achievement. It was also a tremendous asset during the first year of business school. When most students were spending their time learning NPV, I was able to spend my time involved in student clubs and networking.

7. Who is your ideal professor?

I would love to learn from Oprah and how she built her empire.

8. What is the worst job you have ever had?

Right after graduating from high school I worked at a law firm in Houston where I mostly filed papers for all the lawyers. To keep myself entertained, I would try to read through the cases. As exciting as it was, I quickly realised that I would probably not apply to law school.

9. How do you deal with male-dominated environments?

In any environment I try to be informed and prepared, which, in turn, helps me feel confident about what I do and do not know. For my entire professional life I have worked in finance – clearly a traditionally male-dominated industry – and I think women should feel confident enough to be themselves, whether at work or in school. We are an asset and I try never to forget that.

10. What advice would you give to women in business?

It’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do right away. But I have learned that if you keep true to yourself, regardless of other people’s expectations, you will end up where you should be.

Compiled by Charlotte Clarke

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