Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Christine Wilson, Columbia Business School

Christine Wilson

Columbia Business School

“Christian, Dog-mom, Wife, and Equestrian. A leader who is committed to inspiring people.”

Hometown: Yardley, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have been competitively riding horses since I was 6 years old.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bryn Mawr College; Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center; Hospital Administrator

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Columbia’s commitment to developing ethical leaders through the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics was one of the main reasons I choose CBS. The late Katherine Phillips was an inspiration for me to further develop my leadership skills and continue advocating for the importance of building diverse and inclusive teams at companies of all stages.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Inspiring. My peers inspire and support me to become the best version of myself. The diversity of my classmates – from every walk of life, industry, and nationality – leads to fruitful conversations in the classroom. This encourage me to appreciate perspectives and opinions that challenge my own.

What is the best part of coming to New York City for your MBA? Moving to a city for the first time, I have been able to experience how incredibly vibrant and diverse NYC truly is. One of the things that I am most excited about is engaging with the Harlem community, especially as we move to our new location in Morningside Heights. More importantly, I am elated to live in the same city as my husband’s family and our close friends.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Columbia Business School? What makes you most nervous about your MBA? I am excited about getting my MBA at Columbia for several reasons. As a naturally inquisitive person, I enjoy being “at the very center of business” and having every industry at my fingertips to explore. I am also excited about having the ability to connect with industry leaders through the Executives in Residence program. Secondly, I look forward to building on my father’s legacy (CBS ‘84) through my leadership positions in several clubs like the Black Business Students Association (BBSA). I am most nervous about not having enough time over the next two years to take advantage of the multitude of opportunities, classes, and clubs while at CBS.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far. The biggest accomplishment in my career was transforming the company culture at Mid-Atlantic Equine Center and demonstrating the impact this had in growing the business and increasing employee satisfaction. I helped foster an environment where employees felt empowered to contribute towards company goals and gained confidence to take risks that would challenge them professionally and personally.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? What led me to pursuing my MBA was my desire to become a well-rounded leader. The experiences from my previous role sparked my love for organizational strategy and an MBA would allow me to fine-tune my leadership skills while further developing my quantitative skill set.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Kellogg, Yale, Berkeley

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I found the introspective aspect of the admissions process to be the most challenging. I was fortunate to build a relationship with Michael Robinson, director, admissions, who challenged me to consider the benefits of obtaining an MBA for reasons other than personal advancement. This forced me to consider my values, career goals, and the greater impact that I wanted to have within my community.

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? A lot of self-reflection! Taking inventory of how I want to spend my time over these next two years and the kinds of relationships that I want to build to get the most out of this experience.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? A defining moment in my life was when I made the decision to leave the Finance industry and follow my passion for horses. During this time, I reflected on how I wanted to grow in my career, my definition of happiness, and the broader impact that I wanted to have outside of my professional life. This self-reflection led to my role as Hospital Administrator at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, one of the leading equine veterinary hospitals in the country. Here, I was able to combine my love of horses and organizational strategy. This period of time prepared me for business school because it gave me the confidence I needed to live my life in accordance to my personal values. 

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? As an equestrian, my favorite company is SmartPak, an e-commerce retail company focused on providing quality products and best in class customer service. SmartPak provides everything a horse and dog lover might need for their furry friend. What business students can learn from this company is that you can build a very successful business in a niche market by constantly investing in new technologies to compete with large retailers like Chewy and Amazon.


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