Naveen Jindal School of Management Alumni Spotlight

From real estate to healthcare management, to information technology and finance, we are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni whose career paths are representative of the many employment options to which a degree from the Naveen Jindal School of Management can lead. With more than 29,000 alumni, the Jindal School is impacting the culture of business in the U.S. and beyond.

The following JSOM graduate agreed to have his information posted. If you are an alumnus and willing to share your information, please contact Caroline Mandel, Assistant Director, Development Communications and Donor Relations.

Susan Kassen, MBA'00 Associate, Ebby Halliday Realtors After several years spent working in sales and marketing, Susan Kassen decided to combine her passion for real estate and love of the local community, and pursue a career in real estate. During this transition, she relied on lessons learned while earning an MBA from the Jindal School. Now five years later, Kassen manages a successful real estate career and balances it with time volunteering in the local community and raising her family.
Susan presenting at a recent Richardson Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership luncheon.
Tell us a few highlights of your professional career.
I began my career in advertising at an agency in Dallas. I enjoyed the creative, fast-paced environment but wanted to get an MBA. After a transition to the “client side” within the marketing department at Nortel Networks, I was able to pursue a graduate degree and went to school in the evenings after work and on the weekends.  

A few years after completing my degree, I acted on my desire to be in charge, my passion for real estate and my interest in real estate investing by going back to school to become a realtor. I just celebrated my fifth year in the business, and I truly love what I do! My career path has allowed me to own a business while still staying engaged in my community and with my family.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
I was looking for a part-time program that was well-established and respected in the area. At the time, I was working at Nortel Networks in Richardson so UT Dallas was a short distance away and a great fit.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
Walking across the stage for my graduation!
Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class and why?
I enjoyed organizational behavior (OB 6301) and all of my marketing courses the most. If I had to pinpoint one class, it would be consumer behavior (MKT 6310) with Marketing Professor Ram Rao. 
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spending time with my family, working on household projects like decorating and gardening and volunteering in the community. I currently serve as vice president of the Canyon Creek Homeowners Association and am chairwoman of the women in leadership committee for the City of Richardson Chamber of Commerce. I also am a Leadership Richardson graduate and past member of the Leadership Richardson Alumni Association.
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
The world is moving at a rapid pace. The best skills you can learn are how to adapt to change and become a problem solver. 
What makes an effective leader?
Good leadership skills begin with effective listening and a solid understanding and respect for different types of people and their personalities. Good leaders listen to others’ ideas and empower them to turn those ideas into reality.