#TBT: Alison Davis-Blake

“You don’t need a master plan to be successful. You find your career one opportunity at a time.” alison davis-blake

So said Alison Davis-Blake in a 2012 Marriott Alumni Magazine feature, and Davis-Blake has lived up to her own words. She’s made her way from being the lone female in her undergraduate classes—earning both her BS in Economics in 1979 and her MOB in 1982 at Brigham Young University—to being named the dean of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in 2011.

Since the Marriott Alumni Magazine article was published in 2012, the percentage of female business school deans has crept up to nearly twenty percent from seventeen percent, with women leading ten of the top sixty b-schools as of April 2015. Despite the obstacles facing a woman (not to mention a married mother of two) in a highly competitive and strenuous professional arena, Davis-Blake’s clear sense of purpose helps her navigate.

“BYU gave me a deep and subtle understanding of organizations,” she said. “It taught me how to influence people to create change.”

While Davis-Blake has chosen to step down once her five-year term ends in June 2016 after leading Ross to a No. 10 spot in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2015 MBA program rankings, she is sure to blaze a trail of more firsts wherever she lands.

To read about Davis-Blake’s journey in the Winter 2012 issue of the Marriott Alumni Magazine, click here.