Yu-chu (Valerie) Chen
Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A cool nerd who loves innovation and dance.
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan
Fun Fact About Yourself: I finished marathons multiple times out of peer pressure despite my significant aversion to cardio exercise.
Undergraduate School and Major:
B.S. National Sun Yat-sen University- Chemistry
M.S Rutgers University- Chemistry and chemical biology
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Nitto Denko Americas- Project Manager; R&D Sr. Chemist; R&D Chemist.
Academia Sinica- Research Assistant
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Led and facilitated more than 10 product development projects and brought new technology into market including a color-changing tape that provides visual indicator of hydrogen leak and helps save lives, and anti-corrosion solutions for aircraft.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I highly advise applicants to tone down the technical language and jargon in the resume and essays. If possible, do a mock interview with a friend who knows nothing about your industry. Most of my interviewers were not familiar with product development process, and the interviews would be ineffective if I’d spent most of the time explaining the jargon. I also found it is very important to connect with students and alumni so you can have a feel about the culture. Ultimately, you will spend two years in the community and it really makes a big difference whether the school’s culture fits your personality.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I was amazed by the Kellogg’s supportive culture in every interaction I had with Kellogg students, staff, and alumni. During my MBA application process, I was connected to a Kellogg alumnus who is a president of a global company. Despite the busy schedule in the middle of a merger, he took 40 minutes to chat with me in between of his international flights. I was very drawn into this genuinely inclusive Kellogg community. I also noticed that Kellogg has very diverse student body and Kellogg has provided a very welcoming environment to encourage diversity.
Ultimately, I was drawn to Kellogg because of its extensive curriculum in innovation and global initiatives. With R&D and manufacturing background, I value Kellogg’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship (KIEI) and Global Initiatives in Management (GIM) program and I believe that Kellogg is the best place to grow as an innovative global leader.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? My classmates will think that I have been a good friend and brought positive impact to their Kellogg experience.