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Carissa Anthony

Why this MBA candidate left the corporate ladder behind for a new beginning in academia

Carissa Anthony, a woman smiling with shoulder-length light brown hair wearing a navy jacket and red shirt

A few short years ago, Carissa Anthony had a corporate finance job with plenty of opportunities for promotion. She had security, stability and predictability. She enrolled in Villanova’s Part-time MBA program in 2015 with the intention of deepening her skill set and continuing on that corporate track.

More than a year in, Carissa changed course. Through her classes, interactions with professors and students, and a good bit of soul-searching, she discovered a new passion for research, particularly in the area of marketing and consumer behavior.

Taking a leap into the unknown, she left her job and became a full-time research fellow in the MBA program and next wants to pursue a PhD. She’s not only found the field in which she excels but also work that she cares about deeply.

“I decided to turn my career into something that I was passionate about,” she says. “I want to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue something that I really love and that I’ve discovered a talent for.”

Alongside Yoon-Na Cho, PhD, the Lisa D’Alessandro ’87 Assistant Professor of Marketing and Business Law, Carissa is assisting with a study that aims to show the impact on viewers of digitally altered photos used in advertising—how those images change how they view themselves and compare themselves to others, and why. Carissa’s involved with every step of the process, from defining the question to reviewing the literature, designing the survey to analyzing and reporting the results.

Carissa credits Villanova and the MBA program with building her confidence in branching out from her original career trajectory to one where she has found a deeper level of fulfillment.

“I look forward to what I’m doing in the MBA program every day, and that’s such a big change for me,” Carissa says. “Being at Villanova has been a real turning point in my life.”

Get to Know Carissa 

Carissa Anthony at the Villanova Women in Tech conference speaking at the front of a classroom


Villanova School of Business

Area of Study

MBA Program, Marketing and Data Analytics

At Villanova

Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Yoon-Na Cho and Dr. Charles R. Taylor; independent research study with Dr. Beth Vallen

Research interests

Consumer behavior and wellbeing research agendas, particularly identity, fear and compassion emotions, choice and decision-making, and the sharing economy. 


Malvern, Pa.

Words from a Villanova Mentor:

“Carissa always provides invaluable insight for the research projects we have undertaken together. Her energy and passion for searching for the unknown through research is impressive, and she has a bright future ahead of her as a scholar.”

—Yoon-Na Cho, PhD, Lisa D’Alessandro ’87 Assistant Professor, Marketing and Business Law