Meet Renee Kroner
Full-time MBA Global Women's Leadership Scholar tells us about life at Cass
Cass Global Women's Leadership Scholar Renee Kroner is a Full-time MBA student at Cass Business School. Originally from New Jersey in the United States, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting and a separate minor in Gender Studies from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia in 2013.
She started her career in public accounting at KPMG LLP as an external auditor where she gained her license as a Certified Public Accountant and worked with clients in both the public sector and asset management. She later transitioned into a role as an accounting consultant for a small consultancy firm called Your Part-Time Controller LLC where she worked with a variety of clients, mostly in the public sector at the controller level.
Renee has been involved with the World Association of Girl Guides and Scouts through the Girl Scouts of the USA since she was a young child and is also currently involved with the Junior League of London. She is passionate about the development of girls and women and is actively striving to combine this interest into a post-MBA career in Corporate Social Responsibility or Social Impact.
Can you tell us about your career so far?
“I started my career in public accounting in Philadelphia as an auditor which provided this incredible environment where I was continuously challenged to take on responsibility early on. Having the opportunity to be part of numerous first year audits, I led and developed staff while working with the senior management of client companies to create and execute audit plans. I learned a lot more than just accounting while dealing with the intricacies of such a demanding field.
“I later spent a year working as an accounting consultant. My main focus was helping clients update accounting records, maximise efficiencies, create best practices to make their record keeping system easier to manage, and providing advice on relevant financial information to base organisational decisions. I really enjoyed going inside my clients and getting involved in their day-to-day operations.”
What made you decide to study for an MBA at Cass?
“I decided to study for an MBA because I was looking to make a pretty significant change in my career. While I loved the analytical nature of accounting, I found that, even in the public sector, I wasn’t seeing the impact that I hoped to make through my work. I wanted to explore how I could better utilise my very technical background in a more broad and dynamic way. This led me to the idea of an MBA.
“The MBA will allow me to learn how to create the impact I am looking for in a more operationally practical way and my final decision to pursue my studies at Cass was easy. The programme has a strong reputation and practical curriculum, which allows for incredible opportunities in integrated learning, which matched the learning by doing mentality I've always had. I loved the idea of being in London and everyone I interacted with from the school was incredibly welcoming and open. It felt like a really great fit.”
How are you finding it?
“Attending classes is just a small part of the MBA experience. The social interactions, the group work, and the additional opportunities offered by the school have been valuable in my self-development. The entire programme has been wonderful so far! I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a diverse and dynamic group of people.”
What advice would you give other women considering the Full-time MBA at Cass?
“Just do it. It is a huge decision that is very easy to think about for years and never actually take the leap. However, I can truthfully say that making the final decision to quit my job and give myself a year to return to school, while terrifying, has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. By doing the full-time programme, I am able to focus all of my attention on my studies and truly get everything possible out of the opportunity and I couldn't recommend it more.”
What or who inspires you at work?
“Along with accounting, I also studied gender studies during my undergraduate degree. I’ve always had a deep love for social impact and the development of women and I’ve found as my career progresses this is where I am most inspired at work. When I can see the impact of what I am doing, whether it be from the project I am on, my client’s mission, or in the team I am developing, I gain a strong sense of fulfilment.”
Have you had any particular female role models or mentors before?
“I met my most significant female mentor when I was sixteen. I was working on my Girl Scout Gold Award, creating a workshop on self-esteem for 45 girls aged 10-13, and connected with her looking for resources for the project. She helped support my planning of the workshop and has supported my aspirations ever since. Her continued accomplishments serve as an inspiration to me as I progress in my own career and she is always happy to act as my soundboard when I’m making important decisions. Our relationship is something I value greatly.”
Where would you like to go after your MBA?
“My post-MBA plans are to move into the area of corporate social responsibility. I’m really interested in how companies can integrate sustainability and social practices into their operations and into the very fabric of who they are. As someone who started their career as an accountant, I think the challenge of using these practices to positively benefit the bottom line is particularly fascinating and that is where I would like to focus my career.”
Renee recently wrote for the MBA blog about here experience of studying at Cass. Read more here.
Find out more about the Cass Global Women's Leadership Programme here.
Renee with two of the other three Global Women Scholars; L-R: Esra Baykal, Renee Kroner and Kylie Poole