We recently caught up with Christian Guerrero, a full-time MBA student at UIC Liautaud and a student ambassador within UIC Business. Christian told us a little about why he came to Liautaud and what advice he has for prospective MBA students.
What prompted you to return to school for an MBA?
I studied management in undergrad, and throughout all of college I worked for a circuit board manufacturer. When I graduated, it just so happened that the opportunities with my employer beat out everything else, so I settled in there. But over time, my work got me more and more interested in data analytics, and I eventually decided that the best thing would be to return to school and develop my interest within the resources of a graduate program.
What were the most important factors for you in choosing an MBA program?
There were two key factors in selecting an MBA program. First, the timeline: how quickly could I be back on the job market? The possibility of finishing at Liautaud in under two years was a big draw. Second, I wanted to be sure the course offerings and concentrations were in sync with my interests and career goals. The business analytics track, and the breadth of course offerings in general, cemented my decision to enroll at Liautaud.
What has been your most unexpected gain from the MBA program?
The Improv and Leadership class with Professor Michael Popowits was a nice surprise. It further developed my soft skills, which, of course, I didn’t even realize stood in need of improvement. At times, the course put me out of my comfort zone, but that’s the idea–you gradually build your confidence in handling unfamiliar scenarios and interactions. Above all, the course prepared me for interviewing.
Which course has been your favorite so far, and why?
Data Mining for Business with Professor Sid Bhattacharya. It was a rigorous introduction to data mining and machine learning, and showed me just how varied the field of analytics is. I’ve taken data mining MOOCs that were superficial in their coverage of the material. Professor Bhattacharya pushes the coursework way beyond an intro to methods; he goes through all the theory and the math behind it. The class kind of consumed my life for most of the semester, but the knowledge I gained is invaluable.
How would you define the Liautaud student?
Liautaud students share a common tenacity in pursuit of their goals. No matter how hard you think you’re working, you can always find someone in the program working harder.
Aside from classes, what have you enjoyed most about being a Liautaud student?
I really appreciate the diversity and the atmosphere on campus. We MBAs spend most of our time thinking about business and our careers. I like that I can walk through campus and see so many different student organizations and departmental initiatives from across the university. It reminds me that there’s a whole world outside of the b-school doors.
What advice would you provide to incoming Liautaud MBA students?
Incoming students should have a solid idea of what their concentrations are going to be, and they should be ready to commit to those concentrations and hit the ground running. This makes it easier to select classes, focus and really blossom in an area of expertise. I also recommend participating in at least one student organization. I’ve gotten involved in GMARK, Net Impact and the MBAA, and I know that the relationships I build here and now will be a support network for years to come.
To meet with a Student Ambassador or schedule a class visit, click here to send your request to our Admissions team.