Meet Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA Class Of 2023

Full-Time MBA students meet at The Garage on July 12, 2021.

P&Q: What are your two most popular MBA student clubs? What are the biggest events put on by these clubs? Why do these clubs resonate so deeply with your students?

EH: “At Kellogg, co-curricular involvement is nearly just as important as the academic experience. It’s where students are able to pursue their passions, network with classmates, and dig deeper into their career areas of interest. With more than 100 clubs for students to choose from, it’d be difficult to point out just two.

Kellogg’s Student Association (KSA) is perhaps one of the most transformative clubs on campus that speaks to the importance of the student-driven culture that Kellogg has.  While every student is a member of the KSA, it is driven by the dedicated efforts of more than 150 elected leaders across six committees and the KSA Board. This year, the KSA’s main focus is on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, prioritizing leveraging diverse perspectives to cultivate expansive connections through personal and professional development, academics, and career preparation. The KSA is a core connector between students and Kellogg administration.

Another area that is specifically popular for students in social impact, and students are interested in incorporating lasting impact into their lives and careers, especially through innovative engagement. More than 75% of Kellogg students are involved with at least one of Kellogg’s 10 social-impact focused clubs

The Impact Consulting Club matches teams of Kellogg students with Chicago nonprofits and socially responsible entrepreneurs who are in need of assistance with business problems and concerns. Similarly, Kellogg’s Global Capital Board Fellows (while application-only) is a huge differentiator of the Kellogg student experience. The rigorous, 20-month academic and experiential program connects 100 students to Chicago-area nonprofits, allowing them the unique opportunity of board service by becoming an ex-officio board member. Each Board Fellow student takes two courses designed to complement their board service experience.

Our students care deeply for one another and advancing collaboration, diversity, and inclusivity throughout everything they do. Through clubs such as the Black Management Association, Pride @ Kellogg, and the Women’s Business Association, students exude their passion to form community, but also support each other as allies. Our annual Black Management Association Conference is the longest-running student-students, alumni, faculty, and executives to discuss the importance of diversity in the business world.

Kellogg’s Healthcare Club is another robust community of leaders passionate about gaining awareness and developing skillsets for a career in the healthcare industry. It has a very robust co-curricular schedule. The healthcare club hosts healthcare week, company lunch and learns career treks, and a number of case competitions. The annual Business of Healthcare Conference is a student-led initiative that brings speakers from around the world to Evanston to engage in challenging and important conversations about the future of the healthcare industry. Last year, the conference focused on topics such as healthcare access, the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains, and the future of telehealth.”

Global Hub at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management


1) Chicago: “Practically every single industry is represented in Chicago, which makes it the perfect proving ground for business students who are trying to figure out “what’s next.” There’s also an amazing amount of cultural and recreational opportunities in the city, so there’s never a dull moment. Also, I’ve found that the people here, in general, are so much kinder than in other big cities (Midwest Nice is real!).”
Uriel Kim (’23)

2) KWEST: Kellogg Worldwide Exploration Student Trips (KWEST!) Like many business schools, Kellogg has a variety of fun intra-year activities and trips, but KWEST is such a unique kick-off and orientation experience that I found unique to the Kellogg student experience. During KWEST, incoming students take a trip with a group of their peers, with the goal of not sharing anything about your background until the third night to help inspire deeper conversations and eliminate bias. The rest of the trip is full of bonding activities, fun events, ridiculous-themed outfits, and more. The atmosphere creates such a wildly fun bond with a diverse range of people across all the Kellogg programs. It set the tone for what to expect and look forward to throughout my time at Kellogg.”
Jacob Gleason (’23)

3) Culture: “To me, going to business school is about learning from others and investing in relationships. I chose Kellogg because of the community-oriented culture of the school that would help me accomplish that goal. Kellogg is known to be extremely collaborative and it was evident the moment I started engaging with the community. Each informational interview led to introductions to others who shared my background or interest. Professors proactively set up lunches and coffees with students. The care each person takes to invest in those around them makes Kellogg truly a special place.”
Cindy Gao (’23)

4) Core Curriculum: “I really appreciate the opportunity to move through the core curriculum as a cohort. As someone without a formal business education previously, I have found that the core classes help establish a common working language and understanding for all students, ultimately leading to a more vibrant learning environment for all. For my colleagues who have had previous exposure to some of the core course topics, my impression is that they have found courses to be worthwhile. Indeed, even with my quantitative background, I have been challenged and engaged, for example, with the introductory business analytics coursework; the professors here are truly exceptional teachers with a knack for keeping students interested in learning more.”
Uriel Kim (’23)

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

5) One Year MBA: “Kellogg’s well-established and immersive 1-year program was a key reason why I chose this business school, and it has already exceeded my expectations. With a business undergraduate degree and desire to stay in the same industry (Retail/CPG), I was looking for an accelerated option that would not only make sense from a timeline and financial perspective, but also from an experiential one. I wanted to be fully immersed in a highly collaborative environment with the option to take on leadership positions in clubs and the ability to choose classes that were specific to my career goals – Kellogg checked all the boxes.”
Tracy Striebich (’23)

6) Entrepreneurship: “I ultimately chose Kellogg over other MBA programs because of its robust offering of experiential opportunities in Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship. These experiences were particularly important to me because I am hoping to pivot my career, and am also the first in my family to seek an MBA or career in these industries.  Kellogg provides opportunities and access to an incredible network that will enable me to build relationships and enter new industries. In particular, Venture Lab places Kellogg students in an internship with a VC firm or startup for one quarter, which allows students to develop a venture capital skillset in a growth-focused, low-pressure environment.”
Michelle Rocha Frea (’23)

7) Fun: I chose to go to Kellogg because I was inspired by the students and professors I interacted with during Day At Kellogg, which is Kellogg’s admitted students weekend.  But what I didn’t fully understand until I was on campus was the Kellogg students’ shared sense of adventure.  From attending an orientation retreat (KWEST) with a mystery destination to “mooing” in the halls with my section (Cash Cows), I don’t think I went a single day without a good laugh, even after Kellogg went virtual due to COVID-19.”
Karina Gerstenschlager (’20)

8) Board Fellows: “I’m looking forward to the potential of participating in the Board Fellows program. Board fellows is a 20-month long program that places students as ex-officio members on the boards of non-profit organizations in Chicago. While I believe that the levers to effect positive change are accessible in any industry, organization, and function, none are quite as direct as those that exist in the non-profit sector. Non-profit organizations are often responsible for tackling some of our society’s most “wicked” problems, and the opportunity to engage with these organizations in such a meaningful and sustained way is rare.”
Uriel Kim (’23)

9) Unique Courses: “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.”
Yesuto Shaw (’23)

“I’m really looking forward to taking the course “Selling Yourself and Your Ideas” taught by Professors Suzanne Muchin and Craig Wortmann. Coming to Kellogg, I knew I wanted to prioritize developing communication, persuasion, and situational awareness skills. The impact these skills will have extend beyond just my next professional position — they will remain applicable to any industry, future role, non-profit or volunteer work, and even perhaps valuable to my personal life (don’t tell my fiancé). I’m grateful that Kellogg acknowledges we’re in a world where career paths are not as linear as they used to be and offers courses like this that extend beyond short-term professional goals.”
Laura Alonge (’23)

10) Exchange Programs: “It was the many opportunities to study abroad at Kellogg. Studying abroad has always been an enriching experience for me in the past, and Kellogg has one of the largest exchange programs with 25 different partner schools, one of the largest exchange programs. With so many options, I know I’ll be able to find a program that aligns with my interests and career interests. Currently, the Luxury Brand Management concentration through the study abroad exchange program at ESSEC in Paris is at the top of my radar. I’m fascinated by the luxury goods space and how companies market in that space. I hope to participate in this study abroad program and catch a sneak peek into the minds behind the positioning of luxury goods.”
Kayla Williams (’23)

MBA students at Kellogg's

MBA students at Kellogg’s Global Hub in Evanston, Ill. Photo by Jonathan Gibby


“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.”
Yesuto Shaw (’23)

“Bring your whole self to the application. Yes, it’s important to showcase your skills and your impact, but Kellogg isn’t just a career pivot – it’s a community of people who want to learn from each other and have fun together. What gets you out of the bed in the morning? How do you show up for the people and things you care about? They want to know what truly matters to you and what type of legacy you will leave with the program.”
Cindy Gao (’23)

“Ask your peers, mentors, and/or family to read your essays. If they don’t hear your voice as the narrator, re-write the content to be more personal to you and your story. Most everyone who applies to business school has an impressive background with loads of personal accolades and professional achievements, but no one has your unique story. It’s those moments of openness and reflectivity sprinkled throughout your essays that will be so vital to connecting the dots in your application.”
Jacob Gleason (’23)

MBA Student Hometown Undergraduate Alma Mater Last Employer
Laura Alonge Lynbrook, NY Florida Atlantic University Harbor Group International
Phil Fairleigh Cary, IL Duke University Pristine Water
Cindy Gao Shanghai, China Georgetown University Linkedin
Jacob Gleason Springfield, IL Illinois State University Wells Fargo
Guy Gutfarb Rehovot, Israel Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Silo kitchen Inc.
Uriel Kim Monterey, CA University of Southern California Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Alex Quoyeser Houston, TX Brown University Lyft
Michelle Rocha Frea Fresno, CA Brown University AmeriCorps
Yesuto Shaw Stone Mountain, GA Dartmouth College Capital One
Tracy Striebich Cincinnati, OH Miami University of Ohio Starbucks
Letícia Vieira Salvador Vila Velha, Brazil Federal University of Sao Carlos Theia
Kayla Williams Bristol, PA University of Pittsburgh McKinsey & Company

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