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Luke Nachtrab

Q&A with Luke Nachtrab, MBA '11

Luke Nachtrab, MBA í11, is the Chief Operating Officer at Northaven Development Group, which is a family-run private equity company with a diverse portfolio of business investments. As COO, Luke manages all administrative aspects of the company and sets strategy for its long-term growth.

Why did you pursue an executive MBA program?

As we continue to scale our company nationally and globally, sophisticated general management knowledge is vital. In addition, learning from like-minded executives in an MBA program was really important to me. Because of the high-caliber people in the Ross EMBA Program, Iím learning as much from my classmates as I do from the professors.

Why did you choose Ross?

When I was evaluating EMBA programs, I looked at all the top 25 schools ó everything from program curricula to formats. Rossí emphasis on general management and strategy were the main differentiators for me. Running a small business, the strategy behind every move we make is critical. If you just make decisions intuitively without using analytical methods, you can find yourself in a mess. Gaining strong strategic knowledge with an enterprise-wide perspective was key.

What has been the best aspect of the Ross EMBA program?

The quality of the faculty. The professors have been incredible. Theyíve profoundly impacted how I make decisions and improved my ability to analyze a situation quickly. For example, Professor Ahuja instilled practical tools for applying sophisticated strategy concepts. Theyíve really stuck with me. I use them frequently in my work.

What is the biggest benefit youíve gotten out of the program so far?

Iíve taken something from every single class. Every part of the curriculum has touched on an important aspect of my work. For example, Iíve stopped two major decisions that ultimately would have been bad for our company because of what I learned about strategic finance at Ross. The classes on cultural competence, global financial pressures, and currency fluctuations have also tremendously helped the way I manage our investments in Europe and Asia.

What has been an unexpected benefit of the program?

The talent pool of the EMBA program. At Northaven, weíre hiring. This group is the first place Iíll turn to when looking for the right person for a position.

As you approach graduation, what has been your greatest memory?

There are too many to count. The people here are amazing. My classmates feel like family now. There have been so many laughs. The program is first class in every way.

Itís been a great experience. Iíd do it all over again.

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