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Master’s in Management: Claire Graham, Boston University (Questrom)

Student Name: Claire Graham

Graduate Business School: Boston University Questrom School of Business 

Describe Yourself In 15 Words: Proud Midwestern native and BU alum, motivated to serve others, loves to read and cook.

Master’s Graduation Class: 2020

Undergraduate School and Major: Boston University, Health Sciences.

Current Employer and Job Title:  InCrowd, Client Services Associate.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have only just started my career about six months ago, so I don’t have a lot of experience to pull from just yet. But for the time being, my biggest accomplishment so far has been starting my career during covid-19. It has posed its own unique set of challenges and I am proud of how I have rolled with the punches of starting a job remotely. 

Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: I was proud of how the entire cohort of my program rallied and came together to finish on a high note despite having to navigate the early stages of covid-19 and the uncertainty of remote learning. The fact that we all managed to conduct and complete our semester end client projects without ever once meeting in person was such a huge accomplishment, and the exhilaration we all felt once our final presentations were over made it all worth it. 

What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I completed my undergraduate degree at Boston University and graduated early, so I knew I still had some unfinished business at BU. I was really drawn to the MSMS program at BU’s Questrom School of Business which was one of the main selling points for me. I was excited about the idea of staying at BU but having a completely different educational experience in a different school than where I completed my undergrad degree. The experiential nature of the MSMS program at BU sealed the deal for me and I am so glad I chose to stay at BU for a final year.

What led you to choose a Master’s in Management over an MBA? I honestly wasn’t even considering MBAs at the time when I was applying for MSMS programs. I had just graduated from my undergrad and didn’t have much full-time professional experience on my resume yet. I knew that I wanted to expand my “toolbox” of tangible professional skills and build upon my foundation in Health Sciences. The MSMS program was a perfect fit for me because it was short, experiential, packed a punch and was targeted towards people like me: freshly graduated but eager to keep learning to round out their undergrad education with practical business skills. 

What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? My favorite courses fell under the umbrella of Organizational Behavior. Their focus on interpersonal relations, people management, and personal development have been the most useful for me in my career thus far, especially as I have had to navigate starting my career completely remote. 

What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program? BU and the MSMS program were very instrumental in helping me find my job. Our program had a designated individual, Todd Bartlett, who handled everything related to our careers and professional development. I owe him so much for all the ways he helped me in my career exploration and ultimately landing me my job at InCrowd. My company has a strong relationship with BU and the MSMS program so Todd was able to provide that introduction for me and the ball really started rolling from there. 

How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? My cohort was the backbone of my MSMS experience. We were with each other 40 hours/week, so we became an incredibly close group. The diversity of thought and experience elevated my time in ways I couldn’t have even fathomed. Having the opportunity to work with people from all over the world with varying undergraduate backgrounds brought so much richness to my MSMS experience. 

Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? Moshe Cohen, my organizational behavior professor, was my favorite faculty member. I loved the practical application of all of his classes to not only work, but to my personal life as well. I felt as though he always went the extra mile in and out of the classroom and really invested in us as individuals. 

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate Master’s program?I would just say to not get too caught up in worrying about how little business experience you have. That’s the point! The less the better, actually. Instead focus your energy on articulating what diverse perspective you bring to the table and how gaining a business background could propel you in your career. 

What was your best memory from your Master’s program? My favorite memory from the MSMS program at BU was all the afternoons I spent with my classmates working on projects, reading cases, or prepping for presentations. The camaraderie and support I felt in those moments are unparalleled. It was what I missed the most when the pandemic shut down everything.