Choosing to pursue a MBA degree is common for BHP graduates. We don’t always hear from alumni when they have been accepted into graduate school, but this year we received news from several BHP alumni letting us know that they had been accepted into top business schools across the country. In fact, seven alumni let us know that they are attending Harvard Business School, and others wrote to tell us of their acceptance into the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Andrew Schwaitzberg graduated from BHP in 2008 with additional degrees in Finance and Government. Schwaitzberg worked in the energy industry for four years before applying and being accepted into the Harvard Business School. “I wanted to meet new people and find new ideas,” said Schwaitzberg. “I’m finding different ways to be a good leader and rethinking the type of manager I want to be.” Since entering the Harvard MBA program, he has found his experiences in BHP to be extremely relevant. “Whether it’s grad school or any other situation, knowing how to learn with other really talented and smart people to find a common solution is always valued highly,” said Schwaitzberg. “Being in a program where you’re constantly working and being challenged always forces you to better yourself – those are the types of skills valued most, not just whether you can build a financial model or not.”
Alpana Kelkar graduated with dual degrees in BHP and Marketing in 2009. She has noticed a lot of parallels between the Honors Program and the MBA program at Chicago Booth. “The curriculum is molded based on our background and interests as students,” said Kelkar. “I was attracted to the good reputation at Booth and the top-notch professors. It reminds me of BHP because everyone is really driven and collaborative.” She also notes that making connections has been an important aspect to both programs. “The teamwork and collaboration required for all BHP classes has been instrumental for me. Relationship-building is really important, especially in grad school. You never know when you’ll want to start a company and need to rely on your peers.” Kelkar describes the Chicago Booth application process as intensive and stresses the importance of telling a clear-cut story for admissions. “You have to really make sure you know what you’re trying to get out of your ultimate experience,” said Kelkar. “Make sure everything you’re portraying is accurate. Link what you’ve done in your past to what you’re going to do after school to tell one story and tie everything together.”
Angelique Obiri, who graduated in 2004 with degrees in BHP and Marketing, worked for the same company for eight years and was looking to switch industries and functions. She began applying to grad schools with the help of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) and took the GMAT three times, which paid off when she was accepted into four of the five schools to which she had applied. Obiri chose the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern because of the people, the curriculum and the opportunity to try new things beyond her comfort zone. She believes her time in BHP had a positive impact on the decision to admit her into the program, “In my interview I explained how I transferred into the program as a sophomore and it helped to tell my story of seeking new challenges,” said Obiri. She also offered advice to current BHP students considering getting a MBA, “Really know why you want to go to business school,” said Obiri. “The time goes by quickly and you don’t have much time for exploration once you’re actually in. Many people that come into school thinking they will figure it out are surprised about how soon you have to start making career decisions.”
Current BHP students and alumni of the program who are interested in pursuing an MBA and speaking with a BHP alumnus in a particular MBA program can contact Shelley Nix in the BHP office.