Our Stories

Lessons in Leading through Listening

Learning how people think and react becomes key for Krystal Foxworth

Krystal Foxworth
Recruiter, Microsoft

Vanderbilt MBA 2017

When Krystal Foxworth looks back on her experiences as the captain of her college dance team, she doesn’t simply think of them as fun. She thinks about what they taught her about working with other people.

“Through these experiences I learned a lot about the power of influence and the skills necessary to be a leader — especially in conjunction with humility and genuine passion for what your group is doing,” Krystal says. “I also became aware of the weight my opinions carried as a leader, and that I needed to take care when expressing them.”

Given the way she thinks about other people and group dynamics, perhaps it’s not surprising that Krystal chose Human & Organizational Performance as one of her areas of concentration (along with strategy) in the MBA program.

Nor is it surprising that, while Krystal highly valued Vanderbilt’s reputation and the career opportunities in human resources that Owen’s alumni network and corporate relationships would present, she is particularly grateful for how she benefited from interactions with others in the program.

“Getting to learn the stories of my classmates and having their experiences complement what I learned in the classroom was a highlight for me,” says Krystal. “I also learned more about how I function in teams through our case competitions (she captained teams that won first place in a competition during her first year and finished second in another the next year).

“I’ve enjoyed hearing different perspectives, which allow me to gain insight into the way people think. I believe an important factor in leading people is understanding them, and knowing how to listen and pick up on nuances in peoples’ personalities is a skill I’ve been able to hone."

Fun Fact: Krystal was an elementary school cheerleader.

“I learned more about how I function in teams through our case competitions.”