What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia Business School?
I had been considering business school for quite a few years and viewed the experience as an incredible opportunity to further sharpen my business expertise. After working in the financial services industry for eight years, I recognize that there are so many different facets of this industry that I wanted to develop skills in. Additionally, I know that in business school, the network you create is vital to your success and I wanted to further evolve my business matrix – and make a few friends while I was at it!
I had visited a few business schools to see which was the best fit for me. I decided to sit in on a class at Columbia Business School (CBS). The electric energy in the classroom between the professor and the students was something that I had never experienced before. Noting that CBS would provide me with a world-class education, it was a no-brainer. When I was on campus, it felt like home. I had decided that CBS was where I wanted to be, so I only applied to CBS.
What was your first impression as a student?
The incredible people! As soon as you step into your first class on campus, you instantly gain 145+ new CBS family members – and every single person is impressive. The support system instilled in the CBS values invigorates you to succeed.
How do you balance between work, school and your personal life?
Prior to attending CBS, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med Human Biology while playing Division I lacrosse on the University at Albany’s varsity Women’s Lacrosse team. Time management is crucial in maintaining a strong balance between work, school and your personal life. While I had some experience with rather large commitments as an undergraduate, CBS also provides you with an incredible learning team consisting of 4-5 of your classmates who can help you navigate the capacity of work. The teaming culture that CBS has is extremely helpful from a learning and time management perspective.
What’s your favorite part of the EMBA experience so far?
My favorite part of the EMBA experience has been the classroom on campus as well as our residence week. Spending and dedicating time to get to know your classmates is truly an invaluable opportunity, as they provide numerous perspectives on the business world.
What was the most challenging part of the program?
The most challenging part of the program is time management. The people are incredible, the classes are amazing, and the CBS culture is truly one of a kind. Managing your schoolwork with obligations at work and in your personal life make it a bit challenging - but well worth it! Do not be afraid to lean on your learning team.
How have your professional skills translated into success at business school?
It sounds cliché, but things that you are learning in the classroom can truly come up at work the following Monday morning. It’s incredible how you gain the breadth and depth of the industry at lightning speed while at CBS - and you can put it to use in real time. There have been countless instances in which I have taken topics, ideas, and discussions and implemented them directly with my clients.
Which faculty member(s) and/or courses influenced you the most, and how?
Professor Stephan Meier taught one of my favorite courses - Business Strategy. Professor Meier’s dedication and passion for this class was incredible. He has the ability to grasp the attention of everyone in the room and keep them not only engaged but actively participating and thinking outside of the box. Professor Meier had our class analyze current companies around the world and we discussed business synergies as if we were executives at those companies. He truly brings the business world on paper to life.
What are your long-term career goals?
To be an impactful partner at EY and truly build a better working world. I hope to be an effective leader and a highly regarded mentor at the firm. I also hope to be able to give back to the CBS community as an alum.
What’s your top advice for new students?
Network, network, network! CBS has so many opportunities to meet incredible people, from clubs and organizations to guest speakers and more. While you are considering applying to CBS, feel free to reach out to us (current students) on LinkedIn. When I was applying, it was helpful to hear students’ perspectives and ask questions.
What will you take with you from Columbia Business School?
Where do I even begin? CBS has truly changed my life. Living in the current climate of COVID-19, the silver lining has been CBS. As a group, we banded together with the intent of making this the experience of a lifetime.