Andrew Shigeo Janiszewski
University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Exploring, learning, and having fun on the way to making the world a better place.
Hometown: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii
Fun Fact About Yourself: People trust me enough to let me throw them out of airplanes! In college I was a competitive skydiver and free-fall parachuting instructor.
Undergraduate School and Major: United States Air Force Academy; Political Science (major), Mandarin Chinese (minor)
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer; Foreign and Defense Policy Intern at Hillary for America; Ghostwriter and editor for an up-and-coming best-seller (hopefully!)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The importance of leadership – and a desire to become a strong leader – was instilled in me early on. While in the Air Force as an intelligence officer, I was put in charge of a team of about 40 imagery specialists who were analyzing live drone feeds from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had a rough start: because of past leadership turnover, morale was low and performance was poor. But in a year we were able to completely turn things around – going from the worst to the best performing of four teams in the unit, with morale and pride to match. Leading the team through this transformation has been the highlight of my career, to date.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? I think it really helps to have a solid understanding of yourself, your interests, and what you intend to get out of business school before starting the application process. This might be difficult for career-changers, like me. I’d recommend reaching out and trying to get some level of experience and understanding, even if it just means talking to people that work in industries of interest. Not only will schools see that you have a plan, but it will help keep you, and your application, focused.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? As a career-changer from an unrelated career field, I was looking for a program that has a reputation for rigorous academic work and a supportive and active network of students and alumni. Chicago-Booth perfectly fits that description, and I’m thrilled to be starting there in the fall.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job is a position doing strategy or investing in health care tech, pharma, or biotech, where I would be driving new technologies that make patients’ lives better, safer, and healthier. After leaving active duty, I went back to school to become a doctor because I wanted to be able to help people with some of their most important and personal problems. But I quickly realized that being a clinician wasn’t for me. Instead, I was much more drawn to, and became passionate about, the innovation and disruption in that space, and I would love to help shape that development in the future.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “Never afraid to put in the extra effort. Never afraid to help out someone that needed it. Never afraid to have a little fun.”