Five current MBA students discuss collaboration, career goals and what they like about the Carroll School of Management
Students apply to the Carroll School of Management’s MBA program for many reasons. For some, it’s the vast alumni network and resources. For others, Covid-19 provided opportunities to reevaluate professional goals. Clear Admit, an independent resource for MBA candidates, interviewed five current Carroll School MBA students, all in their first year of the program.
Here is an edited and condensed version of those conversations. You could see the full survey and interviews at Clear Admit’s website.
Why did you make the decision to attend business school?
Bianca Adams ‘23: In March 2020, I was on track to open my first storefront. Covid-19 not only halted my plans, but completely changed the industry. After reflecting on my business goals, personal aspirations, and the way the world was changing, I knew it was time to take a leap [and] attend business school.
Christopher Bassett ‘23: After spending six wonderful years with Fidelity, I was ready to make a career pivot. I felt the need to take a step back and cultivate skills in business in the broader sense.
Janelle Reiher ‘23: I loved leading people and solving problems for organizations, but I knew I needed more formal training. When my spouse’s job transferred us across the country to Boston, I knew it was the opportunity for me to go back to school.
What factored into your decision to attend the Carroll School of Management?
RC: I grew up in New England—I knew I wanted to move back here after I left the military. The biggest factor for me was the culture. I was looking for a small, collaborative program. I think it’s the most conducive to learning and growing as a leader.
AQ: Apart from its exceptional curriculum, the school [also] has a strong alumni network that is more than willing to guide incoming students.
CB: My parents and older siblings attended Boston College and are proud alumni. The community takes care of its members. When looking at schools, I reached out to various alumni, [but] the alumni I contacted through Boston College were by far the most passionate and eager to help.
BA: I grew up and attended college in the Midwest. It was important to me to branch out to a new part of the country. Boston prioritizes education and there are many resources here for young professionals. The program structure at the Carroll School was exactly what I was looking for.
JR: I took the time to speak to current students and saw how down to earth, intelligent, and genuinely helpful everyone in the program was. Academically, the program is very customizable and offers electives in many different tracts. I saw this as a necessity to help me develop into a well-rounded future leader.
What is your initial impression of the school?
AQ: [It’s] an extremely diverse and friendly community that is willing to go out of its way to accommodate you in any way it can.
RC: The word “collaborative” is a buzzword on every business school website, [but] this program is truly collaborative.
BA: I was fairly nervous to start my MBA journey in a new city without knowing anyone, [but] the culture [here] is rooted in community over competition. The Carroll School has done a great job of facilitating events, pairing us with second-year mentors, and ensuring that we have access to the resources we need to achieve our potential.
JR: Everyone is hard-working and wants to learn from each other. Because the program is smaller, I’m getting to know my classmates really well. They are all people that I want to get beers with after school, which says a lot since I’m already spending most of my day with them.
CB: I am thrilled that my classmates are as driven and community-focused as I had hoped. The graduate admissions team really did a great job of bringing together a group of people with diverse backgrounds, but [with] similar aspirations and curiosity.
What about the Carroll School has surprised you?
CB: I knew the alumni network was strong, but I’ve been very impressed by the school’s ability to get the alumni involved in the classroom through guest lecturers and case studies.
AQ: The numerous resources at your disposal during, and after, your program.
JR: I was really surprised by the number of people in my program that are not from traditional business backgrounds—I really thought I would be at a disadvantage having studied and worked in engineering.
RC: When you connect with alumni, they will go above and beyond to help you out. This doesn’t happen at all MBA programs.
BA: I knew that [there was] a large emphasis on career development, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the vast resources. As someone who is striving to make a career switch, I am feeling very confident that I will be successful in finding a career path that is right for me.
Jaclyn Jermyn is Senior Content Writer at the Carroll School of Management.