Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Yesuto Shaw, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Yesuto Shaw

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

I strive to understand people deeply with the hope of making a positive impact.”

Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I used to teach salsa dancing lessons at my undergraduate school, and I look forward to bringing these lessons to Kellogg as well!

Undergraduate School and Major: Dartmouth College, Psychology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Capital One, Business Manager

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? What stood out to me the most about Kellogg is its recent focus on building out a robust technology innovation program and set of courses, especially through the Technology Management Pathway.

I was admitted to the MMM dual-degree program, which offers  students the opportunity to pursue both an MBA and a Master’s in Design Innovation, in partnership with Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Northwestern Kellogg? I’m particularly interested in the “Research, Design, Build” course, which is exclusive to the MMM Program. It’s an experiential class that allows students to partner with a client company in using design thinking methods to build foster innovation specifically focused on user needs. It’s exactly the type of hands-on experience I’m looking forward to getting that will push me to become a more innovative business leader.

What word best describes the Kellogg MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Empathetic. The Kellogg students and alumni I’ve met so far have been very focused on getting to know the entire community as individuals and forming real relationships, contrary to just expanding business contacts. The conversations I have had while meeting my new classmates have expanded to deep topics about the passions and values that drive us as human beings, and how we hope to grow personally through our time at Kellogg.

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA? While the campus is in the idyllic, peaceful suburb of Evanston, it’s nice to have easy access to the third-largest city in the country – Chicago!  I moved from Washington, D.C., and I was drawn to the opportunity to partner with both companies and non-profits in the Chicago-area through coursework and social impact engagement opportunities.

Kellogg is known for a team-driven culture. What quality do you bring as a teammate and why is it so important to success? One of the key qualities I bring as a teammate is doing my best to deeply understand the goals of each member of my team, and coming up with ways that we can compromise to meet everyone’s most important priorities. I believe this is important to success because most things in life are not zero-sum games; we can often find solutions to problems that leave everyone in a better position.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was revitalizing a program at Capital One that provided mock business case interviews to applicants from minority racial backgrounds. Personally, I wasn’t familiar with the business case interview format until late into my undergraduate years. I have found that a lack of familiarity with interview evaluation methods can be one of the biggest barriers to underrepresented groups accessing transformative career opportunities. I believe it’s important to find opportunities to give back so that others can access these opportunities as well.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The COVID-19 pandemic helped me to realize that life is too short not to search for a career you love. While I enjoyed my time at Capital One, I realized that I should take the initiative to actively search for a career that fits my personal passions and throw myself fully into whatever that may be.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I wanted to surround myself with motivated leaders who have a wide range of experiences across many different industries as I seek to find the best industry and function in which I can have the greatest impact.

I believe an MBA exposes students to an incredible network and provides unparalleled opportunities for leadership development. Right now, my plan is to pursue Product Management roles in Technology, with a focus on Education Technology if the right opportunity presents itself.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Stanford, MIT Sloan, and UC Berkeley Haas

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA program? Kellogg is truly focused on finding empathetic, collaborative leaders who believe that the team’s success is more important than their individual success. If that describes you, then make sure that comes through in your essays and the stories you tell about how you have interacted with teams during your professional career.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.