My Fit with Columbia: EMBA Saturday
Ashley LeMaire ’14
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 9:15am

As an aspiring pre-med student visiting Columbia in 2005, I dreamt of taking classes on Columbia University’s campus.  Seven years later I am taking classes in Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA program. Both the “Executive” and the “MBA” were new ideas to me as I explored graduate programs in New York. I thought that I was either too young to be an Executive, or too healthcare focused to study business, it took several visits to realize this was exactly the opportunity I was looking for.  

When applying, I attended a strategic economics course, where we assessed a case study on Canadian competition and met one-on-one with a current student over coffee.  She confirmed my fit and encouraged me to ask more questions about the student experience.  I soon learned that many of the members of the EMBA student body had unique backgrounds. A PhD-EMBA explained that while he fit the “typical” class profile in terms of years of experience, he was an aspiring “career- switcher” who felt my unique perspective would be welcomed in the EMBA Saturday program.  Upon acceptance, I found that my worries were unfounded; I could follow an accelerated course schedule with renowned public speakers, learn from CEOs who visited class, and socialize with a diverse group of students during happy hour.  My leisure time as a student has been filled with weekend retreats, International Seminars, and block week courses.

My graduation date is on the horizon! Would you believe my five year college reunion is also scheduled for the same weekend? I am looking forward to connecting the incredible friends and memories from both of these worlds. Columbia’s EMBA program has given me excellent support for my academic pursuits working in Performance Improvement at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and has connected me with many amazing and unique people. I am excited for the adventures ahead.

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