MARCH 2017

This month, we are featuring one of our AVPs of Outreach, Dan Kempson!

1) What motivated you to attend CBS? How has your experience so far helped you achieve your personal vision & goals? 
I wanted to go to school in NYC - but of any school I visited, the LGBT community at CBS was the strongest and most integrated.

2) What do you love about being part of Cluster Q?
Of all my clubs, Cluster Q has the most varied mix of events, from social retreats to campus activism to career networking events to community outreach.

3) Why do you think more LGBTQ+ should apply to CBS (or business school in general)?
A company's success is predicated on variety and diversity of thought. Thought is influenced by education, background, and personage. CBS understands this, and truly champions a diverse student body as the key to our future success as business leaders.

4) How would you describe the broader CBS community?
Open, adventurous, and intellectually curious.

5) If you were stranded on an island with 2 LGBTQ+ leaders, who would they be?
RuPaul and Barney Frank.

6) What advice do you have for applicants considering CBS?
I think Admissions wants to know what you will BRING to CBS more than what you will get out of coming to CBS. Share your talents, share your uniqueness, share your experiences.

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FEBRUARY 2017

Learn more from one of Cluster Q's Co-Presidents of 2016-2017, Annie Kurdziel.  Prior to CBS, Annie served as the Director of Talent & Recruitment for Building Excellent Schools, a national nonprofit organization committed to improving the academic achievement of under-served students in the nation's urban centers.  Upon graduating from CBS, she will be joining McKinsey as a management consultant based out of its Chicago office.
 

1) What motivated you to attend CBS? How has your experience so far helped you achieve your personal vision & goals? 
I was motivated to go to business school because long-term I want to work in urban education and help create an equitable system for all students across the United States. Schools are organizations, and although they are not a business the lessons of leadership, finance, operations, etc. are just as applicable to a school district as they are to a for-profit business. CBS was a great fit because not only is it the 'very center of business' but also the very center of education reform in the United States. The connections that we have to Columbia University as a whole - with programs like the Center for Public Research and Leadership - and the city of New York have helped shaped my vision for what educational equity can look like in the US. Additionally, CBS creates strong, analytical thinkers. I look forward to continuing to build that skill set as a consultant immediately after school, and look forward to returning to education reform as a strong leader in the future.

2) What do you love about being part of Cluster Q?
The people. The current students, alums, and network of Allies has helped make CBS a supportive environment before I even started at CBS.

3) Why do you think more LGBTQ+ should apply to CBS (or business school in general)?
Our world needs strong leaders who can change multiple aspects of our world. Business is one of the key drivers in society and the more we have strong LGBTQ leaders shaping that aspect of our world, the more I believe we can drive positive business change.

4) Who inspires you, and why?
My family. My mother - she's the hardest working, and most empathetic woman I know. My father - his faith and patience are unparalleled. My Aunts and Uncles - they support all of their nieces and nephews, and keep our family having fun (and my NYC uncles especially for feeding me). My cousins - I don't have brothers, but I always feel like I have people to look up to as advisors and friends because of them. My in-laws - I didn't know I could love new people so quickly because of their generosity and zest for life. My wife - she exemplifies what it means to live selflessly and is completely my better half.

5) What makes you happy?
Puppies, ice cream, silly YouTube videos and dancing. Lots of dancing.

6) What are you reading (other than cases and textbooks)?
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

7) How would you describe the broader CBS community?
Collaborative - everyone wants others to succeed.

8) What advice do you have for applicants considering CBS?
Come to campus. See a CBS Matters. Trust your gut.

JANUARY 2017

This month, we feature our VP of Careers, Lev Eldemir!  He was also actively involved as part of the ROMBA 2016 Conference Student Leadership Team. 

1) What motivated you to attend CBS? How has your experience so far helped you achieve your personal vision & goals? 
Community. The CBS community is extremely inclusive & supportive, and I consistently rely on both my LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ networks to help me think through my personal and career goals.

2) What do you love about being part of Cluster Q?
I've made some of my best friends at Columbia through Cluster Q!

3) Why do you think more LGBTQ+ should apply to CBS (or business school in general)?
The LGBTQ+ community has a very diverse perspective and that is something we need in senior management! This not only will drive change in industries a student cares about, but will also drive social change. Business plays such an important role in shaping the social environment in America and we thus need LGBTQ+ leaders in these roles!

4) What makes you happy?
Yoga, volleyball, and fun with my Qs!

5) What or who inspires you?
Generally, resilience - people who face adversity and failure, but can continue to push through any challenge.

6) How would you describe the broader CBS community?
Diverse, innovative, talented, supportive, fun.

7) What advice do you have for applicants considering CBS?
Don't be discouraged at all if you are waitlisted. Make sure to continue to show your interest and be proactive about working closely with Admissions to identify any areas of weakness in your application and a plan of action to strengthen your candidacy! I personally was waitlisted and I've seen a ton of current students also come off the waitlist.

DECEMBER 2016

As we kickoff our Spotlight On: Cluster Q activities today, we are excited to introduce Weiqing Shi, a first-year MBA (CBS ’18) from Shanghai and proud member of Cluster Q!

Prior to CBS, he worked for over 3 years at The Parthenon Group, advising corporate and private equity clients focused in the education space.Learn more about Weiqing below!

1) What motivated you to attend CBS? How has your experience so far helped you achieve your personal vision & goals? 
What motivated me to come to CBS is switching into consumer-facing industries as well as gaining international exposure which I think is valuable not only to my career but also to my life experience. 
So far, the core curriculum at CBS has been inspiring and has definitely helped me get more prepared for the future challenges. I never thought I would be interested in corporate finance, but it is now one of my favorite courses!

2) What do you love about being part of Cluster Q?
All of the support and friends I get from it! Everyone is so nice.

3) Why do you think more LGBTQ+ should apply to CBS (or business school in general)?
I think the visibility of the community in every aspect of life (not only the business arena but also many others) is very important for the next generation to build up their confidence and self-assurance.

4) Who inspires you, and why?
A partner at a consulting firm in Shanghai when I was recruiting at undergrad. He was representing the firm’s LGBT initiative which was not common in China. I still remember how excited I was at the moment seeing that someone from our community was out there being successful and confidently talking about his identity – this goes back to why I think more LGBTQ+ should apply to business schools and be there, been seen.

5) What makes you happy?
Weekend in bed reading or going brunch with friends.

6) What are you reading (other than cases and textbooks)?
Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China.

7) How would you describe the broader CBS community?
Connected and passionate. I also want to point out that CBS is definitely not a “finance school” (even though we are strong in finance). There’s a wide spectrum of background and interest among students and you can always find someone to talk to about your career, whether to learn from their past experience or to live through the recruitment hand-in-hand.

8) What advice do you have for applicants considering CBS?
Reach out to us and chat! It is definitely the best way for you to learn more about the school.