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Interview with current Kellogg MBA Student

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Kellogg School Moderator
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Joined: 22 Jul 2018
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Concentration: Strategy, Finance
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Interview with current Kellogg MBA Student  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2019, 00:17
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Hi Everyone,

I had the pleasure of getting to talk with current Kellogg student Guilherme Blanski Kuster and he was happy to share his experiences with everyone on this forum. Please find the questions I gave to him and his responses below. A big thank you to him for taking the time during his summer to do this!

1. Can you provide a bit of background on yourself?
I’m from Brazil, where I completed a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Economics and worked for 10 years in Corporate Finance roles at ExxonMobil, ALL (largest railroad of Latin America) and Electrolux before coming to Kellogg. I also taught part-time 101 undergrad courses of Economics/Finance/Accounting for 5 years at the Brazilian branch of Spain’s university ESIC Business & Marketing School.

2. How would you describe Kellogg’s culture? Is it more competitive or encouraging?
Kellogg culture is about high impact and low ego. A very collaborative and inclusive space, more encouraging than competitive. That doesn’t mean we don’t disagree in classes’ discussions, but we do it in a respectful way. If you don’t like to work in groups and prefer working solo, Kellogg might not be the best place for you.

3. What is being a part of the finance club like? Did this club help you in obtaining your internship?
Finance club helps on recruiting, since we are exposed to companies’ representatives to host some on-campus events. It also helps to connect with other club members with similar career goals and engage with our faculty sponsor. But what helped me most on obtaining my internship was the CMC (Career Management Center) resources, support from second-year students, Interviewing Prep groups (IPG’s) and the alumni network that Kellogg provides.

4. Are there any other clubs you’re a part of?
During my first year of MBA I had leadership roles also in the General Management Club and the K-LATAM (Kellogg Latin America club). Since I’m the co-president of Finance club, I am not taking leadership roles in those other clubs. I have also a minor responsibility in the Latter-Day Saints Student Association.

5. What is one class that you think has helped you develop skills related to your career?
Definitely taking the Accelerated Corporate Finance (ACF) course right at the first quarter of the MBA (Fall 2018). Besides having an amazing professor (Mitchell Petersen), the course combines 2 courses into 1 (Finance I and II). Super fast-paced but provided a solid base of Finance that allowed me to pursue Finance electives in later quarters. Other courses that prepared me well to my internship in Microsoft FP&A team were Global Financial Management/Reporting and Financial Reporting & Analysis, both with professor Mark Finn.

6. How accessible are the professors at Kellogg?
Most professors are very accessible. Some have fixed office hours, others prefer to set up times ad-hoc, but all very opened to students. During my summer internship I sought advice from one of my professors and I was surprised at the promptness of his response. All professors assure us lifetime contact with them.

7. Is there a specific professor within the finance department at Kellogg that you think has been terrific?
Professor Mitchell Petersen, as I mentioned before. He has the talented explain even complex topics in a simple and fun way (reading this article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/groucho- ... l-petersen he recently wrote on LinkedIn can give you a sample). His ACF course is not easy at all but is very well structured and engaging.

8. Can you talk about the Global Hub a bit?
Global Hub is an impressively beautiful building. The big plaza and the Spanish steps are center where Kellogg community meets up. Beautiful views of the lake and of Chicago too. Go visit and make a tour!

9. What’s a specific class that you found really helpful?
It’s hard to pick one. Financial Decisions is a great elective in Finance. Negotiating in a Virtual World is a 100% online class with groups negotiations that I enjoyed. I loved 2 core courses too: Strategy (filled with class discussions, cases and examples of failures and successes in companies’ strategies) and Business Analytics (practical course on using data analytics and regressions to predict and explain businesses scenarios)

10. What is living in Evanston like?
Evanston allows me to be very close to Chicago (I took some classes in downtown Chicago Kellogg campus) but still enjoy the atmosphere of a smaller university town. Being in Evanston helps Kellogg having strong sense of community as people don’t immediately scatter after classes but are often around the Global Hub along the day.

11. Did career services help you at all in getting your internship?
YES. Kellogg CMC was crucial to me. I took advantage of the coaching appointments to shape my job search strategy. CMC gives many great resources, like VMOCK tool (to enhance your Resume and LinkedIn profile), CMC Library, with access to countless research tools like FactSet, Statista, IBISWorld, etc. I made recorded Mock Interviews and a Case Interview too. All of my internship offers came through CMC facilitated events, on-campus company presentations and interviews, and KNN (Kellogg Networking Night events).

12. Any advice you have for career switchers?
I am not a career switched, but since switching careers makes it a little harder on the recruiting process, my advice is to intensify even more networking efforts, be intentional in the job search and contacts with recruiters and alumns, have a clear story of what you want to do and why and show genuine interest in company’s cultures and people.

13. Is there anything you did that you believe really made your application stand out?
Storytelling skills. My essay was very well written, and I told in an evolving way how I have been a brave leader and created lasting value at my previous employer to the point of receiving a global award (you can read a partial version of my essay in my LinkedIn profile, feel free to connect too https://www.linkedin.com/in/gbkuster/). Visiting the school also made me write and talk with property about Kellogg on my Skype interview.

14. What is the best thing about Kellogg?
The sense of community. Kellogg provides innumerous opportunity to create life-lasting relationships with your MBA colleagues, more than I can take advantage of. KWEST and other student trips, parties, sport tournaments, Section connection events. For decades Kellogg even has a yearly hilarious play performed by students (the SPECIAL-K,). 30 years from now, I might not remember much of the content of classes, but I am sure my Kellogg colleagues will still be great friends.

15. What is one thing you would change about Kellogg?
Chicago winters are not easy for a Brazilian, so maybe moving the campus to Florida =). Or adding some extra restrooms on global hub (they get a little crowded in between classes). Jokes aside, I would change the core courses (Finance, Marketing, Business Analytics, Operations, Microeconomics, Managing Organizations, Accounting and Strategy) either to be easier to waive, or to be more integrated, with the same case analyzed through multiple courses’ lens, like I believe Yale SOM and some other schools do.
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Interview with current Kellogg MBA Student  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Sep 2019, 02:22
Hi, Thanks for uploading the chat.
Referring to the last answer (15) ,which other schools is he referring to besides YaleSOM
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Interview with current Kellogg MBA Student   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2019, 02:22

Interview with current Kellogg MBA Student

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