Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Claire Bilkert, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Claire Bilkert

Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business

“Strategic thinker who is passionate about learning, storytelling and mentoring others.”

Hometown: Marietta, Georgia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a huge fan of podcasts! I listened to at least 10 hours per week when I was commuting pre-COVID.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Georgia – double major in Business Management & International Affairs

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Lowe’s Home Improvement – Senior Financial Analyst

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? I wanted a program where I could gain practical experience while honing my technical skills, and I saw Scheller’s range of experiential learning opportunities as a great way to accomplish these goals. The variety of practicum courses, business analytics strength, and the TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) program were key reasons I chose Scheller.

The Scheller MBA ranks among the best for instilling innovation and creativity according to alumni and students surveyed by Bloomberg Businessweek. How have seen this in the programming so far? While there are specific Strategy & Innovation classes, students are challenged to think creatively in all courses. Professors do a great job of highlighting emerging trends in their respective fields, and they encourage a variety of perspectives in class discussions.

Scheller alumni can also be found throughout the tech industry. They are a terrific resource for students and will often share their experience with students through panels and networking events. A highlight of my first semester was attending a workshop hosted by our Net Impact and Consulting clubs, where alumni led us through case discussions based on their current work.

At Scheller, you are literally across the street from Tech Square and living in one of the dynamic business environments in the world. What makes Atlanta such a great place to live and learn for you? I was drawn to Scheller’s close connection to the Atlanta startup community, and I am looking forward to getting involved with the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) organization. Also, there are so many alumni working at amazing companies right here in the city.

Atlanta truly is a great place to live, too! There are so many things to do, great restaurants, and great weather.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Dedicated. My classmates are very driven but equally committed to helping one another succeed. Even in our “hybrid” environment this semester, there has been a strong sense of community.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a marketing analyst at Lowe’s, I worked to shape the launch and expansion of two major brand partnerships. These new partnerships differentiated Lowe’s and were the result of a large, cross-functional effort. It was very exciting to see the discussions I had with our Marketing Strategy team influence the creative and brand positioning.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I joined our Women in Business Club’s leadership team this fall as a first-year representative, and another leader and I planned and moderated a virtual panel discussion with some of Scheller’s female faculty. We had them share about their career paths in academia and dive into their research. It was a fantastic discussion, and they are each very passionate about Scheller and their students.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’ve worked in a variety of marketing roles as well as corporate finance. From these experiences, I learned I most enjoy strategic, cross-functional work. I wanted to return to business school to further develop my business acumen and shift into a role in corporate strategy, product marketing, or consulting.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Though not a particular moment, I think working for a variety of leaders shaped my own leadership philosophy. I was at Lowe’s during a time of rapid change (new CEO, new leadership teams, new priorities) and saw how effective leaders could motivate and provide clarity for their teams in times of uncertainty. I also believe that who you work with is equally, if not more, important than what you’re working on. These beliefs and experiences drive me to seek others’ input and learn from their experiences.


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