Meredith Bayley, MBA'11

April 30, 2018

Why did you choose Smith's Full-time MBA program? 

I chose it for three reasons: The quality of the school in the national and global rankings; the team-based learning environment, which ultimately helps drive a successful career in business; and the location in the beautiful city of Kingston. 

Where did you work before your MBA, and where are you now?

Prior to my MBA, I spent four years with State Farm Insurance, in sales and office management. I decided to pursue my MBA to sharpen my skills and open up new opportunities with larger organizations. I also wanted the opportunity to enter a new industry completely.

I’m now with Johnson & Johnson consumer products. I joined after I participated in on-campus recruitment at Smith. I was recruited into a two-year sales leadership role with J&J. I rotated through two of the three sales functions. I’ve also spent two years as a business development manager, calling on Shoppers Drug Mart on our largest OTC (over-the-counter medicine) accounts, and two years as the national sales strategy manager on our oral health category.

What’s most beneficial about the rotational program at Johnson & Johnson?

There are two fantastic benefits. The first is experience across multiple sales roles, which gives you a chance to see what areas of the business you really love to work on and where you excel. Second, it provides quick and significant exposure to many internal company teams, which enables a strong network for future opportunities. 

What extracurricular activities did you take part in at Smith? 

I was the president of the Women in Management club and founder of the networking event that brings together women from Ontario MBA programs for a one-day event in Toronto. I was also involved in the Marketing Club and co-ordinated “Experience India”­, a full-day conference related to doing business in India. Each extracurricular activity allowed me to explore opportunities in networking, leadership, teamwork and career exploration. 

What advice would you give your student self?

Be more confident about your experiences. I had so many "non-work" experiences that shaped who I am, and I regret not talking them up more. 

What is something most people don’t know about you? 

In addition to working with J&J, I also am a partner with my husband in opening up Chill Ice House (an ice lounge and warm chalet bar) in downtown Toronto, and also recently opened Bayleys Brew Bar, a coffee shop/smoothie bar that operates in the front of Chill Ice House. We also have a nine-month-old son, Bronson, who has enabled me to have the best career that I will ever take on–as a mom. 

Program: MBA Programs