Why Columbia Business School?
I knew I wanted to go to a school of Columbia’s caliber, but I was initially positive I would go to a full-time program. I always investigate my options, and as the possibility of going to an EMBA program became more of an option because of my commitment to my job, I started to look more seriously at EMBA programs in New York City. Columbia was clearly the best program based on my investigation and conversations with current students, alumni, professors, faculty, and staff.
What is it like to go to business school in New York City?
I had an idea of what it would be like, but it wasn’t until I was actually living, working, and going to school in New York that I realized just how fortunate I was. Resources are literally all right here — guest speakers, special events, and everything else are readily available, and the School’s brand attracts the best of the best. I think New York is a love-to-live or only-want-to-visit kind of city for most people — either they love the idea of living here or they hate it. I have loved it from the moment I first visited. I love everything about the city — the speed, the vibe, the people, the subways, the crowds, the constant noise, Central Park, the Hudson River, and the Upper West Wide — having literally everything at your fingertips. The energy of the city is what is so conducive to getting a good education at Columbia.
How does being in New York City help you with your career goals?
One of the things I have taken advantage of is the access to the Columbia network. For example, I met with a New York Times journalist and he agreed to speak at an upcoming lunch for the EMBA students. I also recently met with Barbara Roberts, the woman who coined the phrase “glass ceiling,” and she’s one of my mentors for the Columbia Summer Startup Lab.
What I found through the Columbia network is that your access to individuals within that network is enormous, and people are very willing to meet with and help you if you just conduct the outreach. It really exposed me to a lot of new possibilities and opportunities, and a lot of it is because it's New York City and the access is right here.
What class are you most excited about, or what class has been most helpful to you in your current work role?
I am excited for Organizational Culture Demystified: Leading and Creating a Winning Organization. In my current role, I am helping to manage some organizational change, and preparing for this class is already helping me better understand how to think about organizational change. In particular, it’s given me insight into why change can be so difficult, why it’s often mismanaged, and how to create an environment where individuals are open to new ideas; it takes the right kind of leadership and a genuine willingness to understand.
Something else I was particularly pleased about was when two of my professors from the core curriculum, Paul Ingram and Hitendra Wadhwa, talked about the importance of "doing good" in the world with our degrees. So many business schools focus solely on the bottom line; I am so pleased that Columbia emphasizes other values.
What's been the most surprising thing about being at CBS?
The friendships and my classmates. Even though I knew I would not get the full-time MBA experience, the social aspect was still important to me. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not have a prominent social experience in the EMBA program, seeing as we meet every other week; however, it’s been the total opposite. In my first year, I can already say that I have friends for life. In particular, the men in my learning team are the brothers I never had and I have bonded so strongly with the women in the program. We get together for women's events often and everyone is so interesting, smart, humble, and fun! It really feels like we see each other much more often than we actually do. It’s a very tight-knit group, and I can tell it will stay that way for a long time.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Columbia Business School community?
It means access to an incredible network and what feels like unlimited resources, mentors, and an affiliation to a brand that gives instant credibility.
How does the School’s entrepreneurial approach help you with your career goals?
It invites and encourages me to think creatively and pursue my passions, to think about all options that are available to me. It makes me excited to think about future business and career opportunities.
Once you have your CBS degree, how will you apply it to your current role and beyond?
The good thing about attending Columbia is that I realize there are so many options; I look forward to growing in my current role and using what I learn at CBS at my job. I also intend to be a very active alum — talking to prospective students, auditing courses, attending events, and more.