Kellogg Chronicles: How the MBAi Led Me to a Career in Generative AI

MBAi + MSAI Captone Showcase event on Dec. 2, 2022. Photo Credit: Ryan Rayburn

As one of the first students to graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management’s MBAi program, an AI-focused MBA from Kellogg and the McCormick School of Engineering, I’m frequently asked how valuable the program is.

I can confidently say, I’d do it all over again . Here’s how I chose the MBAi, how it set me up for success, and where it’s taken me so far.

To build experience and adaptability in a quickly changing industry, students engage in substantial hands-on learning experiences including a 10-week summer internship. Classes are offered concurrently from Northwestern’s San Francisco campus. Credit: Mark Leong


I graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) with a bachelor’s degree in engineering Upon graduation. I started my professional career at Copec, a company that operates gas stations and convenience stores in Chile, Central America, and the US. While there, I spent most of my time on the Digital Innovation team, where I worked first as a software engineer designing and developing products and services, and then as a zero-to-one product manager.

In this role, I led a team in finding, building, and launching new products and business unit. These included an app for transportation clients to pay at the pump and the convenience store and a ML model to predict customer churn (among others). I enjoyed bringing these concepts to reality. However, I felt that, to increase my impact, I needed to learn more about the business side of innovation as it takes more than just creativity to make a successful product.

I thought business school was the place to learn some of these skills and understand how companies beyond the fuel & convenience industries approach innovation. That is what motivated me to get an MBA. As an MBA student, I also wanted to remain connected to the technical aspects of innovation. The MBAi’s integrated curriculum was the ideal fit for that.


Recruiting for a Summer internship started almost immediately upon beginning at Kellogg.

Like many of my MBAi classmates, I was interested specifically in recruiting into tech. The integrated nature of the MBAi, blending McCormick’s technical acumen with Kellogg’s business prowess, really allows you stand out as a candidate in this space. Recruiters were particularly captivated by the blend of skills and valued the cross-disciplinary nature of the program. The classes are specifically designed for business leaders at the cross-roads of AI and business that accelerate fluency in analytics and complex technologies. Through required core MBA courses like Strategy, Marketing, and Finance, the MBAi definitely helped me stand out as a well-rounded candidate.

As the corporate landscape is increasingly gravitating towards technology-driven solutions, I saw that companies were looking for individuals who can navigate both the technical and business sides of problems. Last year was a pivotal year for AI, as generative AI made it clearer how the technology can benefit companies by uncovering valuable new use cases. While the increased emphasis for creating personalized customer experiences grows, the demand for professionals who understand AI grows with it.

Machine Learning and Computational Thinking For Business is the first required course and helps students use a  leadership lens to understand how to develop strategies related to AI-driven projects. The class was very hands on; we learned about the processes behind becoming attuned developers, built a conversational chat bot, superivised machine learning and more. With classes like this, the MBAi not only preparea you how to understand the impact AI will have, but provides you with the deep knowledge for how it actually works.

I could see the value from my MBAi classes directly applied during my internship experience as a Product Manager at BCG X. As we built an ESG analytics tool for a Financial institution, I was able to converse fluently with the engineering team, understanding the constraints and possibilities of our solution. This ensured the product not only met the technical requirements, but the business goals and customer needs too.

MBAi Class


After graduating in December 2022, I started as a Senior Product Manager at BCG X, the tech build and design unit of Boston Consulting Group, on the X.Ventures team. There, we help corporations innovate and explore new growth opportunities by building enterprises, ranging from business lines and units to entirely new companies.

As a product manager, I work closely with designers, engineers, and venture architects (responsible for managing the business side of projects) in an effort to provide an end-to-end expertise across our build journey. My role involves facilitating alignment between these teams, driving an agile development process, and ensuring the delivery of a product vision that fits the needs of our corporate partners.

My MBAi equipped me with the foundational tools to execute on the job through forming more of a basis in strategy and analytics. More importantly, it empowered me with actionable frameworks that I’ve implemented to assist clients. On the AI side, the program’s emphasis on both the technical intricacies of AI and overarching business strategies has been important not only in understanding how we can build AI products but also in how we can use AI to build products themselves.

This can take various forms on my day-to-day. It can include evaluating data sources of a healthcare company to understand technical challenges and feasibility of a product build; defining an MVP prototype to test with users to gather feedback; understanding the desirability of an analytics tool in the Private Equity industry; or authoring user stories and putting together roadmaps to ensure that products deliver value to both users and the business we build for our clients.

Alfredo Sone Scassi-Buffa


One of the standout experiences at Kellogg was its emphasis on a collaborative culture. It fundamentally influenced how I approach my work and interact with teams. At X, where cross-functional teams are the norm, this has proven invaluable as we co-create, understand different perspectives, and work in synergy with a diverse group of thinkers.

For example, I am currently working on implementing generative AI to revolutionize the customer service and call center of a company in the financial services industry. This includes using LLM to improve efficiency, personalization, and accessibility while enhancing the overall customer experience. To do this. I’ve been working with several different teams to not only specialize in the finance indsutry, but alongside consultants who understand the ins and outs of customer exepreince as well.

Kellogg also gave me a network I can leverage even within my company. I frequently collaborate with fellow Kellogg alumni at BCG, some of whom have become mentors who help me navigate and move forward in my career. Through engaging with diverse teams, delving into intricate data sets, or crafting visionary strategies for clients, the synergy between MBAi’s academic rigor and BCG’s practical expertise shines brightly.

Above all, if I had the chance, I’d choose the MBAi all over again. I’ve always loved building things. Especially in the age of technology, I knew I needed to learn the skills to not only do, but understand the why and the how.  I’ll continue in my career confident that I have the skills to stay agile and sit at any table with the skills to talk on areas ranging from generative AI and data mapping to strategy planning and revenue projecting – all thanks to the MBAi.

Bio — Alfredo is a Senior Product Manager at BCG X.Ventures with 5+ years of experience designing and developing products & building new business units. Prior to BCG X, worked as a Software Engineer — building and implementing software products; and then as a zero-to-one Product Manager — owning ideation, development, and delivery of products. 

He graduated with a joint-degree MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, focusing on Artificial Intelligence and business innovation; and holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Universidad Catolica de Chile. 

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