Brittany Chibe, MBA Candidate 2014 | Part-time student
Concentrations: Entrepreneurship & Marketing
Industry/Field of work: Food Manufacturing/Sales
Undergraduate degree: Finance
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Organizations involved with: GMARK, MBAA, Innovation Incubator
What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?
This might sound bizarre, but I missed school and being in a learning environment. After four years in the corporate world, I was beginning to feel complacent and anxious to move ahead in my career. I chose to pursue my MBA in order to round out my skill set and get exposure to other industries and professions.
What was the most important factor for you in choosing an MBA program?
Aside from cost and location, the ability to take classes in the evenings was a major factor due to my work and travel schedule. What I like about UIC is that all students (PT and FT) take their courses in the evenings, so in every class you’re exposed to a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
Why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?
I ultimately chose UIC due to its esteemed entrepreneurship program, particularly the Technology Ventures program. With entrepreneurship as my major, it was important for me to choose a program that encourages and supports its students’ entrepreneurial spirit with courses like Tech Ventures and the C2V business plan competition.
Since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?
The most unexpected gain has been all of the great friendships I’ve made with other Liautaud students.
Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?
My favorite class thus far is Entrepreneurship 502 with Professor Renko. She challenged us to create a feasibility analysis on a potential venture that included everything from market research to financials to a breakeven analysis. This ultimately helped us determine whether or not we had a viable company to move forward with a business plan. Along the way, Professor Renko brought in guest speakers from start-ups, established businesses, and even angel investors. Her connections within Chicago’s business community added significant value because it gave us exposure to entrepreneurs that could offer advice and critiques to our venture ideas.
What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?
Get involved! Whether it’s with student organizations, volunteering, or attending socials, the best way to get to know your peers, professors, and other faculty is getting involved in the various activities at UIC. I owe my closest friendships at Liautaud to my participation in GMARK and MBAA. Get involved early on; it will make your MBA experience all the better.