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'00Associate, 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
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.