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Brooks Weilbacher '13Financial Liaison: International and Field, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington DC
After graduating from college and working overseas, Brooks Weilbacher was recruited to work for the FBI, which was experiencing rapid growth after 9/11. During her six years there, the agency’s budget has grown from $5 billion to more than $9 billion. Today, working for the CFO’s office, her job is to help maintain FBI funding levels by ensuring that resources are well spent.
“In the last two years, tides are turning in Washington and our budgets are flattening as we’re experiencing the effects of a devastating recession. I realized I could have a tremendous impact on my organization if I could apply a business mind set to government. The commute to New York each weekend is worth it because I’m exposed to financiers and Wall Street gurus, and get to hear firsthand how they make their businesses lean. This is what I want to bring back to the government — ways of structuring projects and people to make us a more efficient entity. For me, Columbia’s EMBA bridges the gap between the private and public worlds.”
Richard Liang '13Brooklyn, NYA Flash of Insight
Aziza Jamgerchinova '13Bishkek, KyrgyzstanLearning Teams
Charon Darris '13Vice President, M&T Bank, New York, NY
Charon Darris was looking for an executive MBA program in New York that wouldn’t lead him off his established career path in commercial banking. Now he spends his weekdays as vice president for M&T Bank, managing business relationships for companies with sales between $1 and $30 million, and his weekends pursuing his MBA through Columbia Business School’s EMBA Saturday option.
“My company was very supportive of my pursuit of an MBA program and is even helping sponsor me, but I just couldn’t afford to be out of the office on Fridays. I was exploring other possibilities when I heard about Columbia’s EMBA Saturday option. There are a lot of people who just can’t take advantage of an executive MBA program because they can’t get that flexibility. Saturdays are much more negotiable, and I’m so glad Columbia offers that option for students who still want a top-notch experience. “I think the most impressive aspect of the program has been the faculty — their caliber, flexibility, and insight. The most insightful class has been Strategy Formulation with Professor Jerry Kim, where we focus on game theory, understanding and trying to anticipate what your counterparts are going to do three or four moves down the road. It’s an idea that is transferable among all my classes — we’ve talked about game theory in Marketing as well as Corporate Finance. Beyond the academics, the networking connections have proven to be invaluable.”
Carmen Concha '13Santiago, Chile100+ Clubs, Unlimited Opportunity
Coleman Skeeter '12New York, NYThe Entrepreneurial Community
Nicole Smith '13Director, Career Program, Sponsors for Education Opportunity (SEO), New York, NY
Today, Nicole Smith is director of the career program for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a nonprofit that provides opportunities for underrepresented minority students to pursue high-profile careers. But before her current role, the organization helped her, as a client, obtain a position with Merrill Lynch, and she spent five years working on Wall Street. Along with her experience, enrolling in the EMBA program is helping her become the most effective nonprofit leader possible.
“Like most EMBA students, I’m fully engaged in my career and on a trajectory of growth and advancement. I didn’t want to step off that track completely. The program also allows me to take what I learn in the classroom and apply it immediately on the job. One of the ways that SEO measures its success is by looking at how many of our intern placements receive offers at the end of the summer. In my statistics class, I spoke with Professor Don Sexton about applying statistical tools to understand the ranges of ideal quantitative characteristics that might predict someone’s success. So now I can look at a student’s GPA and cross-reference that with their major and the caliber of their undergraduate school, to understand the right blend for success from a statistical standpoint. “When I came to the nonprofit sector, I transitioned from being a producer to being a leader. So far the EMBA program has helped me hone my management skills. In my first term, the core classes were extremely useful for understanding any industry and any pursuit — grasping the basics of economics, statistics, accounting, leadership, and strategy. This all provided me not only with a foundation for analyzing an organization and its successes, but also with insight into how to be introspective as a leader and understanding of how I can grow and be more effective.”
Richard Hunt '14Franklin, NYValue Investing at the Center of Business
Nyambura Gichohi '14Nairobi, KenyaThe International Experience
Jordan Roth '10President, Jujamcyn Theaters, New York, NYApplying Skills Across Industries
Kiley Smith '14Manager, Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services, Ernst & Young LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Osifo Akhuemonkhan '11Abuja, NigeriaDiverse Interests, Holistic Education
Melissa Mackay '13Lafayette Hill, PAThe Retail Curriculum: Specific Focus, Accessible Faculty
Venk Varadan '08Associate Director, UBS, New York, NYLearning Through Leadership
Judie Zbeda '11New York, NYGlobal Immersion
Jessica Harrison '11The Flexibility of Social Enterprise
Kate White '09Director of Investor Relations, The Stanley Works, New York, NY
Brooks WeilbacherInsights from Innovative Business Leaders
Richard LiangA Flash of Insight
Aziza JamgerchinovaLearning Teams
Charon DarrisLearning from the Best
Carmen Concha100+ Clubs, Unlimited Opportunity
Coleman SkeeterThe Entrepreneurial Community
Nicole SmithTools for Immediate Success
Richard HuntValue Investing at the Center of Business
Nyambura GichohiThe International Experience
Jordan RothApplying Skills Across Industries
Kiley SmithProfessors Without Borders
Osifo AkhuemonkhanDiverse Interests, Holistic Education
Melissa MackayThe Retail Curriculum: Specific Focus, Accessible Faculty
Venk VaradanLearning Through Leadership
Judie ZbedaGlobal Immersion
Jessica HarrisonThe Flexibility of Social Enterprise
Kate WhiteCareer Support
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