Meet Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA Class Of 2022

Chicago is a great place to learn the real estate ropes. Kellogg photo

P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments at your program?

Smith: “Our newest development is our MBAi program, a joint-degree between Kellogg and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. The MBAi program fills a need for leaders that can drive strategic innovation, while understanding the complexities and nuances of the technologies that enable the innovation.

This joint degree is part of a longstanding partnership of innovation between Kellogg and the McCormick School of Engineering, that also developed our dual degree MMM program.  MBAi is an accelerated five-quarter program that requires students to take all of the core MBA classes, in addition to focused tech electives on topics such as machine learning, robotics, computational thinking for business, introductions to the frontiers of science and technology, and how data science and artificial intelligence are driving innovation.

Graduates of MBAi will be well-equipped to take leadership roles that bridge science, technology and business – such as tech product management, product or digital marketing, entrepreneurship or consulting. In some cases, the roles our graduates of the MBAi program will be hired for don’t even exist yet – they are in the process of being created right now.

Additionally, earlier this year, Kellogg launched Kellogg Future leaders, our deferred enrollment program that’s open to all undergraduate students. Getting accepted as a Kellogg Future Leader secures an applicants’ place in our MBA program before you graduate from your undergrad institution. Then, they’re able to choose both when they’d like to attend within a 2-5-year period after gaining relevant industry experience and which of Kellogg’s portfolio of MBA programs will be the best fit (2Y, 1Y, MMM  or Evening & Weekend). One of Kellogg’s advantages lies in the support you receive while you’re deferred – which includes access to the alumni network and support from a dedicated admissions officer.”

At the lowest level of the Global Hub, Kellogg MBA students now have a fully outfitted fitness center.

P&Q: It is said that Kellogg students will participate in 200 team meetings before they graduate. How does the Kellogg culture and programming instill and facilitate this team-driven ethos? ​

Smith: “Kellogg pioneered the team-based learning approach over 40 years ago, enabling students to solve problems by leveraging the diverse viewpoints of their peers. Building a diverse culture, both in professional and personal interests, is a priority at Kellogg because we believe a difference in perspective, combined with active listening and empathy, can lead to a well-rounded solution.

Team-based learning is one Kellogg’s strong suits, and is infiltrated throughout the Kellogg community, and almost every single class offered at Kellogg, especially our experiential courses. A few in particular stand out:

The Growth Strategy Practicum, which is a part of our Growth and Scaling Pathway, is targeted at students who wish to develop their business execution skills by working on a real-life project with a growth-stage enterprise, putting their knowledge and skills to work to benefit an existing business. In this course, students spend a majority of their time in teams, in which they are assigned to strategically-important projects with Chicago-area companies and work with their clients and faculty to come to a real business solution.

Our Analytical Consulting Lab takes a similar approach. Students work in teams for almost 10 weeks, consulting clients on real business problems using real data sets, analytics expertise and powerful analytics software. They get a real taste of what working on an analytics team would be like post-Kellogg.

Even in today’s unprecedented times, Kellogg continues to prioritize team-based learning by providing the technology and opportunity for students to form connections. This takes many forms, such as a group of students offering flexible times for team-meetings to accommodate a significant time zone difference for one of their classmates, or faculty members utilizing breakout rooms to ensure diverse discussions between teams in the hybrid classroom.

We strive to fill the Kellogg community with students who demonstrate the ability to galvanize a team, who aren’t afraid to take risks and who share our conviction to make our community stronger through a deeply seeded belief that by collaborating, we can achieve more together than what is possible alone.”

North of the plaza in Kellogg’s new global hub is a 7,800 sq. foot space called the Galvin Family Design Wing & Conference Center. Among other things, the wing includes four design studios: a company in residence studio, an artist in residence studio, a tech student where virtual reality-assisted brainstorming can occur and a makers space where design prototypes can be built. The wing also houses Kellogg’s entrepreneurial initiative where students can work on their startup ideas.

P&Q: In 2017, Kellogg opened its $250 million dollar Global Hub. What has been the impact on the Global Hub on the culture, curriculum, and opportunities available to MBA students? ​

Smith: “Every aspect of our beautiful Global hub was intentionally designed to spark collaboration. The Global Hub has taken the very best of the Kellogg student experience and amplified it – by creating even more opportunities for connections and ideas.

Throughout the last few months, we’ve benefited from having one of the newest facilities in the industry. The Global Hub was built to accommodate exactly the type of pivot that was required for Covid-19 and our hybrid learning experience. Our large classrooms, with 13 foot ceilings and mobile furniture, provides plenty of space for students to learn and interact, in a safe socially-distanced way.

Ultimately, no matter where you step in the building, you will find bright, open spaces with plenty of natural light, making the Global Hub an inspiring place to be – and you’ll find yourself in plenty of opportunities to run into classmates, professors and leaders.”


What are some additional reasons to consider Northwestern Kellogg? This is what Kellogg MBAs, past and present, had to say.

1) Culture: “The main differentiating factor for me was the culture. A Kellogg alum advised me in early days of my application process that the business school you choose will define the leader that you will go on to be. I picked the business school that prioritizes its community and has a strong, relationship-based, collaborative culture, which are the two pillars that I hope to carry forward beyond business school.”
Aishwarya Bedekar (’22)

2) One-Year MBA: “Kellogg´s 1Y program was a great fit since I saw it as a more efficient way to achieve my goals. Since I was not planning on shifting the focus of my career, being out of the work environment for one year compared to two felt like the way to go. Additionally, the Real-Estate Pathway was very beneficial for my scope of work due to courses that provided the financial and methodological foundation for analyzing real estate, real estate development, etc.”
Roberto Chavez Flores (’22)

Northwestern Kellogg “Roomies” and “Zoomies” together in a hybrid classroom

3) Team-Based Learning: “Kellogg’s approach to team-based learning was a key component that led my decision. At Kellogg, the faculty is strongly committed to fostering team exercises and interactions, which allows us to practice our ability to communicate and work with people from different experiences, perspectives and opinions, with the ultimate goal to deliver the best work possible. Being able to work effectively in a team is a skill absolutely necessary for anyone who is a leader or wants to become one someday. As leaders, we will frequently be part of many teams, and being able to transition from different teams (homogenous or heterogenous) consciously of our own biases and aware of our duties, extracting the best of each interaction, will positively impact our careers. I truly feel like Kellogg will prepare me to be this kind of leader.”
Ramon da Silva Sampaio (’22)

4) Social Impact: “My long-term goal, and one of the reasons I am pursuing a business school education, is to establish my own social impact investment fund that offers honest money management coupled with community impact. I came into my MBA journey knowing that I wanted to challenge traditional views of investing (one being that impact investing generates subpar returns – which is a proven falsehood).

So, with that in mind, I was looking for in an MBA program where faculty and students had an openness to new ideas. I found that at Kellogg through its curriculum, social impact and entrepreneurial offerings. Finance and social impact courses like Entrepreneurial Finance & Venture Capital and Impact Investing & Sustainable Finance were exactly what I was looking for. In my second year, I am planning on enrolling in the Asset Management Lab, an experiential course that will provide me with investing experience thanks to its built-in internship at an asset management firm.”
Christianne Johnson (’22)

4) MMM Program: “The MMM program (MBA + M.S. in Design Innovation from McCormick School of Engineering) was by far a reckoning force in my decision-making process. As the first-and-only dual degree of its kind, the program accepts a cohort of 70 cognitively diverse who are passionate about mindful, human-centered design. Not surprisingly, this specific focus draws peers who demonstrate extreme intentionality and inclusivity.

I whole-heartedly believe that MMM is the MBA of the future – one that focuses on innovation, inclusivity, and design. As an Amazon Prime Now Product Marketing Manager (PMM), I was energized working with Product Managers to launch features that simplify customers’ lives, such as enabling Whole Foods grocery delivery to be accessible for seniors during COVID. My past experiences have shaped my desire to pivot into Product to be at the forefront of defining product roadmaps to achieve inclusivity and accessibility in wellness, an industry in which I passionately believe that understanding the full range of individual user needs and identities is critical for success.”
Emilly Kuo (’22)

Page 5: In-depth profiles of 12 members of the Class of 2022

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