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Why did you choose to pursue an MBA?
I spent seven years working in a New York advertising and marketing agency. I fell in love with the field, and by the end of my time there, I was working directly with the chief marketing officer around marketing strategy for the agency. On one of my work teams, I was surrounded by a team of MBAs, and in working with them, I realized I wanted to be able to think and ask questions like they did. I talked to them about the impact of their degrees and decided that I wanted the same for myself.
What attracted you to Columbia Business School?
After I decided that I wanted to get an MBA, I set my sights on identifying schools that focused on retail and luxury goods. I wanted to combine my professional experience in marketing and strategy with a new focus on the brand side. As a prospective student, I attended Columbia Business School’s Retail and Luxury Goods conference, and I was blown away by how professional it was. Also, I recall walking out of the School’s library thinking, “I have to be here. This is the place for me, and this is the type of work I want to learn how to do.”
What has surprised you the most?
The most pleasant surprise is the strength of the community. The community welcomes you with wide-open arms, if you choose to participate in it. Students live throughout the City, but that doesn't mean there isn't a fabric of community here for those who want to participate in and contribute to it.
How are you using electives to complement the core curriculum?
Although I worked in advertising and marketing before business school, I didn’t study it as an undergrad. A lot of the elective courses I’m taking now are focused on marketing, branding, and strategy. I love these areas, and it’s good to encounter them in the classroom, where I can tie the learnings to my professional experience.
What’s it like to be a student in New York City?
The power of Columbia, married with our location in New York City, gives those of us interested in retail and luxury goods a huge amount of access. We have alumni across those industries. There are also innovative startups focused on retail that are only a subway ride away. I’m using this access to plan our next Retail and Luxury Goods conference. It really energizes me.