Consulting

Sagar Shah
MBA
Class of 2015
Program Details: 
Full-Time MBA
Hometown or Country: 
Mumbai, India
Previous Education: 
BS in electrical engineering and finance/management (dual degree) from the University of Pennsylvania Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology
Previous Work Experience: 
Consultant at Cornerstone Research
Post-CBS Goals: 
Management consulting in the short term; getting involved in technology firms in the long term
CBS Activities: 
InSITE Fellow, Career Fellow, Peer Advisor, Co-President of the L.E.A.D. Club, VP of Events for the South Asia Business Association
Favorite NYC Activities: 
Theater dates, specifically Shakespeare, with my wife, Gunjan Shesh ’15; exploring restaurants, playing poker and Settlers of Catan with CBS friends; rock climbing in Brooklyn, and playing cricket in Central Park

Why Columbia Business School?
New York was an important part of it. We wanted to be in a city, as opposed to a smaller town. In addition, when we visited Columbia, we met a former colleague from Cornerstone who was a second-year student. She sat down with us for 45 minutes and talked about Columbia in an open, candid, not-pulling-any-punches kind of way. We got a sense for how down to earth the community is. Also, my wife is interested in healthcare, and the healthcare program here is very good. I am interested in focusing on tech/entrepreneurship in the future, so for me, New York has a great startup culture.

What is it like to go to business school in New York City?
Because it is New York, anytime a world leader or someone else influential comes to the U.S., they always end up stopping in New York. Columbia is well connected, internationally speaking, so these leaders will often end up coming to speak at Columbia. We also get to take advantage of some great adjunct professors from the city.

What class are you most excited about, or what class has been your favorite?
I think it is the professor, more than the topic, that makes a class a favorite. Professor Angela Lee, who taught me leadership communication, is one of my favorite people at CBS in terms of being a great mentor and being somebody who cares about her students. There is also Professor Medini Singh; he teaches all of the operations classes. I have taken all three of his classes — he is very knowledgeable, and he tells it like it is. Adjunct Professor Michael Mauboussin, who teaches security and analysis, is absolutely excellent. I come out of that class every Wednesday feeling like my mind has expanded.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Columbia Business School community?
I think there is a focus at Columbia on contributing to the community. As a first-year, I had a ton of support from my peers and a couple of career fellows that I worked with, as I prepared for recruiting and business school life in general. Now, as a second year, I get a lot of joy from mentoring first-years as a Peer Advisor and Career Fellow. At CBS, I have also made some really close friends along the way. Having interesting conversations with them and going deep on issues and arguing back and forth about stuff. It’s a great learning environment.

How does the School’s entrepreneurial approach help you with your career goals?
There is a general scrappiness at Columbia. There's a sense that if you want to go and do something, you can. You just have to try to get the resources together to convince people — and you'll often be able to go and do it. For example, the L.E.A.D Club recently planned an inaugural trip to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and we received a lot of support from the School administration and faculty in making it happen.

Once you have your CBS degree, how will you conquer the world?
The truth is, I don't want to conquer the world. It’s more important for me to focus on my own character development and on growing as a person. I would also like to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others/society, along the way. I recently heard a talk by Warren Buffet where he discussed the importance of integrity. For example, when you are hiring people, the last thing you want is to hire somebody who is very smart, has a lot of energy, but doesn't have a lot of integrity. That person will do really well at all the wrong things. I want to spend time building my capabilities and defining my values, which I think will ultimately lead me to success in whatever I end up doing.

Jacopo Meneguzzo
MBA
Class of 2015
Program Details: 
Full-Time MBA
Hometown or Country: 
Vincenza, Italy
Previous Education: 
BA from Georgetown University, 2010; master’s degree in European Union studies from Université libre de Bruxelles, 2013
Previous Work Experience: 
Investment banking analyst at Citi; served as a trainee in the Cabinet for Italian Vice President Antonio Tajani, who is also the Commissioner for Industry and Enterprise in the European Commission
Post-CBS Goals: 
To continue learning and developing as a leader in my future career (consulting), and to work in a diverse environment that allows me to travel and interact with different people
CBS Activities: 
VP of International on the Peer Advisory Board; Co-President of the International Students Advisory Board; Co-President of the European Society; Follies
Favorite NYC Activities: 
I enjoy cooking with friends and discovering new cuisines and restaurants

What is it like to go to business school in New York City?
In Italy, a lot of people commute to school and live at home. When I went to Georgetown as an undergraduate, I was basically always living on campus. I feel like being in New York City allows us to get the best of both worlds [at Columbia]. There are events that are independent of Columbia that offer us a chance to be inspired. On the same note, Columbia does still feel like a campus when I’m there.

What's been the most surprising thing about being at CBS?
There is a very strong sense of community. People go out of their way to help each other in a variety of ways—such as on personal issues, work, career, anything. When I arrived, I was a little bit worried, wondering, “Is it going to be very much a commuter school? Are the New Yorkers going to be very much living their own lives, away from school?” It’s funny because [what actually happens is that] people who live in New York operate as guides for those of us who are less familiar with the city. It’s just how collaborative everyone has been, generally—it’s an amazing culture. 

What class are you most excited about, or what class has been your favorite?
One of the classes I’ve taken that was very, very interesting and aesthetically amazing was called Leadership Through Fiction taught by Professor Bruce Craven. It’s not necessarily the first class you think about when you think about an MBA, but it was a great class that combined some more soft-skills elements with trying to develop as a person and as a leader.

How does being in New York City help you with your career goals?
I got three internships when I was at Columbia that I think were just a result of the fact that I was in New York. Being in New York allows you to do a semester’s work experience that other schools may not have access to just because of their location. [For example], I was able to take an internship at a tech startup and I’m working in a private equity fund [now]. The other thing is, New York City is a great place to network and get to know people. It’s one of the hearts of the world, and that’s a big plus at both a personal and a career level.

Once you have your CBS degree, how will you conquer the world?
I don’t think I would want to conquer the world, but I would want the world to conquer me. Meaning, I would love to be able to keep learning, opening my mind, and seeing all the diversity and the richness that there is in the world. At Columbia you live in a temporary microcosm that allows you to get to see a mix of many different people; I hope that going into the future, in my career, I will have the chance to keep learning about what’s around me: the different people, different experiences, different perspectives. That has been probably one of the biggest drivers of why I love Columbia.

Philip Tuinenburg
MBA
Class of 2015
Program Details: 
Full-Time MBA, January Entry
Hometown or Country: 
Rome, Italy, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Previous Education: 
BA in history from the University of Amsterdam, 2009; BA in European studies from the University of Amsterdam, 2010; and an MA in history from the University of Amsterdam, 2010
Previous Work Experience: 
In 2010, I worked for the Dutch Foreign Ministry at the United Nations as an assistant attaché; in 2011, I joined McKinsey as a consultant
Post-CBS Goals: 
In the short term, to continue serving the public sector and the infrastructure sector — which includes energy, water, transportation, oil and gas, etc. — at McKinsey; my long-term goals are to enter public service
CBS Activities: 
VP of the Government and Business Club, member of the International Student Advisory Board, co-founder of the Dutch Club, teaching assistant for six classes
Favorite NYC Activities: 
One of my favorite places in the city is Shanghai Café on Mott Street – the best soup dumplings in New York! I also love a restaurant in the East Village called Via della Pace. It's run by an Italian guy, and there's a really big group of Italian ex-pats who come there a lot. It feels like a home away from home, like I'm in Rome in New York.

What is it like to go to business school in New York City?
New York attracts really good classmates and professors because it offers such a wealth of interesting people, internships, culture, and nightlife. In the end, it's really the people who get attracted to New York who make New York attractive. Everyone here has some kind of ambition and wants to do something extraordinary, and that makes it very stimulating.

What class are you most excited about, or what class has been your favorite?
I really enjoy Professor Ray Horton's Modern Political Economy class. He's extremely knowledgeable, a great lecturer, very challenging, and he's also very interested in his students: he'll set up a 40-minute meeting with every student, just to talk about their ambitions and what they want in life. I also really liked Professor Medini Singh's operations classes. He gives a perspective that is not European or American: he teaches you to think about operations, and business as a whole, from an Asian perspective. And Professor Todd Jick, for whom I serve as TA, teaches Organizational Change and Advanced Organizational Change, which are really good. I doubt there's anybody in the world as good as he is at what he does.

What has been your favorite experience at Columbia Business School?
I really like the speakers who come to Columbia. That is, for me, the most value-adding thing. The School is able to attract so many CEOs and presidents and interesting people to talk here. Being able to hear the President of Tunisia one week and have a conversation with the former CEO of British Petroleum on ethics the next is really awesome.

Outside of academics, I think being here during the summer as a J-termer was a great experience. It's just the 200 of us J-termers on campus and you really get to know each other on a very deep level.

Tell us more about your J-term experience.
Whereas the fall term is 30 percent international, the J-term is about 60 percent international, which is an amazing value-add in terms of the kind of perspective you get from your colleagues. Everybody's also a little bit older, and the proportion of people who are sponsored by their employers, and either come from a family businesses or know where they're going afterwards, is a little higher. So it also makes people a little more relaxed about academics and gives them more time to do extracurricular things, which I think is an advantage.

How does being in New York City help you with your career goals?
I am doing an internship during the semester at the MTA. Being in New York made it a lot easier to do an in-semester internship as a J-termer. If you're stuck on a campus somewhere, that's impossible.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Columbia Business School community?
It's really the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing international people who are ambitious and unique in their fields, and to know that you're going to be in touch with them for the rest of your life. That network — that's really what the community is all about.

Once you have your CBS degree, how will you conquer the world?
I don't know if conquering the world should be the ultimate goal. I want to go into public service later on, and I think the business foundation I got here at Columbia Business School will really help that. The public sector has a lot to learn from the way businesses are run, and businesses (for better or for worse) are forced to deal with government policy on a daily basis, so a little cross-pollination between the two is something I think is crucial. Just making a positive impact: that's the most important thing.

Eliza Coleman
MBA
Class of 2015
Program Details: 
Full-Time MBA, January Entry
Hometown or Country: 
Atlanta, Georgia
Previous Education: 
BA from New York University
Previous Work Experience: 
I spent five years working for a fund that invests in wineries
Post-CBS Goals: 
Consultant at Bain in New York City
CBS Activities: 
Peer Advisor Program, co-president of the Student Government
Favorite NYC Activities: 
I love going to The High Line, Riverside Park, and The Frick Collection

"Everyone here is passionate about something and will find their niche."

The community is one of the best features of Columbia, and I did not know that coming in. I was pleasantly surprised to find such an engaged group of students. Everyone here is passionate about something and will find their niche. A good community member is somebody who steps up, raises their hand and says, "I want to get involved in this thing that I'm passionate about."

Students can get involved in leadership positions almost as soon as they arrive on campus. At the end of Orientation, there are elections for cluster leadership roles that have a huge impact on how your cluster functions over time and how you bond with people. As soon as clubs start having meetings, they elect assistant vice president positions, so within a month of school you can get involved in a leadership position that really does make a difference.

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Fall 2015 Cross-Registration Dates

  • A-term, B-term, and Full-term electives: 10:00 am on Thursday August 20th until 4:00 pm Tuesday September 8th.
     
  • B-Term electives: 10:00 am Wednesday October 21st until 4:00pm Wednesday October 28th.