Our Stories

Finding the Perfect Size

For Lindsey Messmore, smaller means better

Lindsey Messmore
EMEA Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory HR Advisor, Citi (London)

Vanderbilt MBA 2019

When she received marketing materials from the school, Vanderbilt wasn’t on Lindsey Messmore’s radar. Then she noticed the back of the brochure, which touted Nashville.

“My thought process totally changed!” Lindsey recalls. “Location was really important to me: quality of life, affordability, ease of visiting family and friends.”

Piqued to look more closely, Lindsey was attracted by Vanderbilt’s ranking, the strength of the HOP concentration and, not least, by the size of the program. “My high school class was 69 students,” she says. “My college was also very small (I once had a class with only three other students). So I knew that I wanted a small program where I learn best and can build the strongest relationships.”

Participating in student government, Lindsey says, turns out to have been one of the highlights of her first year. “It helped me to get to know a lot of the second-year MBAs before we had classes together, and it provided a ton of insight into the inner workings of Owen” — an added advantage for someone focusing on HOP. “It has been really awesome to see how much of an impact the student leaders can have. I have been pleasantly surprised by the willingness to try new things in this community.”

As someone switching careers from the arts, Lindsey was more than a little nervous when she arrived on campus. She was concerned, she says, “that I didn’t actually belong in the program and wouldn’t survive academically or socially. I think everyone feels nervous for different reasons, but this is such a supportive program and community that I could not have been more wrong to be so nervous.”

Now, with a summer internship in Human Resources with Citi in New York, the nervousness has disappeared, and Lindsey is well on her way to her new career.

Fun Fact: During a gap semester in college, Lindsey lived at a convent and taught English at an orphanage in a small town in southern India. “One of the best experiences of my life,” she says. Also, I am a certified amateur Thai elephant trainer!

“I knew that I wanted a small program where I learn best and can build the strongest relationships.”