Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management (Plus MS in Design Innovation from McCormick School of Engineering)
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Undergraduate School and Major: Stanford University, BA in Music (Percussion Performance);San Francisco Conservatory of Music, MM and Professional Studies Diploma in Timpani Performance
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Freelance Musician, including Principal Timpani of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and performances with the Kansas City Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (among others)
Co-Founder of Test Prep Chicago (Education and tutoring startup in Chicago)
Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? I used only the “official” GMAT materials (Book, math supplement, and downloadable practice tests). At the beginning, I only worked on practice problems, but towards the last couple of weeks I focused on taking and reviewing practice tests. I think practice tests are the best way to get comfortable with the format and the timing. I had been teaching standardized test-taking the past few years (to 7th and 8th graders), so a lot of the strategies I used were fresh in my mind. In general, I’d recommend getting started early and just leaving plenty of time in case you need to retake the test.
Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Everyone’s choices are going to be different, based on his/her interests (geographic, professional) and scores/background/etc. But, I think everyone should (if possible) utilize round one applications. You can apply to your truly top few choices. If one of them works out, GREAT, then you’re done. If they don’t work out, you have time to adjust your essays (if necessary) and then you can cast a wider net for round two.
What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? Be specific in your essays about what you want to do or what you want to get out of going to business school. And relate it specifically to the school. You don’t need to reference specific classes, but you should demonstrate that you’ve done some research and that what you want to accomplish relates to where you are applying for school.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Based on my interests (career and where I wanted to go to school), Kellogg was one of my top few choices. I applied to the MMM program because I loved the combination of a traditional business education with the creative/innovative/analytical/engineering elements that come with the MS in Design Innovation. I wanted to utilize some of my diverse and creative background, but come away with a number of new technical and analytical skills. So the MMM program at Kellogg was the perfect choice for me.
What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? Gain a great business education and learn and reinforce a number of skills that will support me during my career. And have a fantastic, exciting, enriching two years with a number of new friends and peers.