What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia?
After finishing my undergraduate degree, I gained work experience across different functions within the healthcare sector in both Germany and France. At some point, I realized that I wanted to deepen my knowledge of theoretical concepts, build a skillset in analytics, and learn from my peers’ experiences. Therefore, I decided to apply to several business schools in both Europe and the US. In addition to strong business foundations, I knew that I also wanted a program with a strong quantitative/technical side, as I had witnessed firsthand how important data analytical skills had become in the workplace.
Having become interested in marketing and market research during my time in the corporate world, the MS in Marketing Science at Columbia Business School, with its unique combination of PhD and MBA classes, soon became my dream program. It had been ranked the best Master’s in Marketing program in the world by QS for several consecutive years, and the faculty has been at the forefront of innovation in the field. Moreover, Columbia Business School provided me the opportunity to participate in their Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management program, through classes and seminars. This combination of data analytics, marketing fundamentals, and a focus on healthcare positioned me well for the type of career I see myself entering post-graduation.
What has been your favorite part of the MS experience so far?
I really enjoy the diversity in the program, in terms of both cultural and academic backgrounds. First, I am taking classes with students from different programs all across Columbia’s different institutions (e.g. MBA, Business Analytics, MPA, MPH), and I have learned a great deal from their views and inputs. Second, I am happy that I get to interact with so many bright students from all over the world who are, in my view, the real reason why Columbia is such an outstanding place. Lastly, I really enjoy the mix of PhD courses and MBA courses that I am currently enrolled in, and I am planning to also select classes from other departments in the upcoming spring semester. There is a good balance between technical and business courses, and the professors are very supportive if you lack knowledge in either of these areas.
What is it like going to business school in New York City?
I have lived in different large cities in my life (i.e. Paris and Munich), but I have never experienced a place as diverse as New York City. You can find every culture on earth, right here in Manhattan. While I live close to campus, most of my classmates live downtown, giving us the chance to spend our weekends discovering different parts of New York and eating all kinds of food.
Favorite faculty/courses so far?
My favorite course so far is “Market Intelligence: The Art and the Science,” which is taught by Professors Kamel Jedidi and Robert Morais. The course not only teaches the theoretical concepts of qualitative and quantitative market research, but it requires students to apply these learnings in market research projects with real companies who pitched themselves during the first lecture. It is a very engaging course, and I value the opportunity to solve problems for a real client as part of the course.
How has the experience/expertise of your professors impacted your learning?
The professors at Columbia are thought leaders in their respective fields, have excellent connections to the industry, and are very passionate about sharing their experiences with the students. Some of my professors have been in academia all their lives, while others have had impressive corporate careers before entering teaching. As a student, I have benefitted a lot from the insights of my professors here at Columbia Business School as they want you to understand how you can apply what you’ve learned once you graduate. There is a strong focus on examples and cases, some of which the professors have developed on their own. Most classes also have guest speakers, who are often industry leaders and have important insights into current topics within their fields.
What do you want to do next? How has Columbia uniquely prepared you for your future?
I would like to get more engaged outside of Columbia and join an organization that benefits the broader NYC community. I am also looking forward to participating in the student clubs.
What will you take with you?
I think the most important thing that I will take with me are the friendships that I have made and am still making at the school. I am also learning new things about different cultures every day, and the connections that I am building with faculty members will be a great resource to draw upon throughout my lifetime.