MBA Candidate 2015
Concentration: International Business
Industry/Field of Work: Renewable Energy / Manufacturing
Undergraduate Degree: International Business
Undergraduate School: Illinois State University
Career Goal: Continue work in international manufacturing and operations.
Organizations involved with: German American Chamber of
Commerce of the Midwest, Women of Wind Energy Chicago Chapter
Can you tell us about your personal and professional background?
I grew up just outside Chicago and went to school locally, I always knew I wanted to work internationally since taking a trip to France in High School. My background encompasses a couple areas from Market Entry projects, Event Management and Project Management over many industries – but almost always with German and international companies and projects.
What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?
I found myself at a point where I my involvement with higher management was increasing and I didn’t feel as prepared as I should to have the type of conversations that were going on, and the types of decisions I was involved in. I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of business decisions and how to contribute better to my company.
What was the most important factor for you in choosing a master’s program (or factors you considered)?
I wanted a program where I felt comfortable with my fellow students and the program was flexible for my schedule. I work downtown, so it was nice to have campus within walking distance from my work, and evening classes available. Reputation was also a factor, and UIC has a great reputation in our area and nationally.
Why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?
I would say UIC chose me! I made it to the final interview round and was pleased when a couple weeks later received my acceptance letter, it was a great day!
We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?
The best gain has been the increase in team projects I’ve done in my coursework. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with a lot of different types of people with various backgrounds, and it’s been helpful to do these types of projects to practice my teamwork skills. I didn’t think this would have such an impact when I started, but it’s been a nice addition to regular studies.
Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?
So far, my favorite class has been Economics. I normally am not drawn to the topic, but I really had to apply myself in this course and as I was taking it online (and overseas) it was a lot of self-teaching that I did and was a fantastic challenge. We also did a report on an industry, and I put a lot of work into the paper which ended up being distributed at my company.
What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?
It’s great everything is so centralized and the public transportation options are also fantastic. However, I would like to see some healthier options for dining for those of us Grad Students that don’t have a meal card and can’t use the cafeteria.
What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?
Set your expectations high for yourself, but also realistic, especially if you have other obligations in your life. Although we all want to “do it all” it’s usually very difficult to do so. Organize your time and schedule so that you do have some free time, if only a little bit to watch a favorite show or get some fresh air.
With classes, work, and homework demanding your time, you are hard-pressed to find, “free time.” When you do find yourself with this precious, “free time” how do you like to spend it?
I love to go running at least a couple times a week to clear up my mind and take a moment for myself. With the cold weather right now, it’s a little more difficult (under 20 degrees is usually pretty chilly!) but I get out when it’s decent or on weekend when the sun is shining I’ll try to run on the lake. Otherwise, I’m always in the midst of planning some sort of trip.
Many courses require students to complete a project that applies course concepts to real world situations. If you have had a course project that was very insightful, what course was it for and what did you like about the project?
I am looking forward to my International Marketing course where we will do a simulation of market entry on a product into the Asian Market. I’ve never done an exercise or project like this and think it will be an excellent learning experience I’ll be able to apply.
Is there anything you wish we would have asked you, that we did not and you with to share with students?
I plan to take advantage of the Study Abroad in Brazil program in May and am really excited for this.
What countries have you lived in?
I lived in Germany on and off between 2006-2013 for scholarship exchange program and for work.