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Thomas Godfrey, Class of 2014, Evening MBA Student

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Career Focus: Entrepreneurship & Strategy
Undergrad: Kettering University; Mechanical Engineering
Graduate: Oakland University; Mechanical Engineering

Have you ever wondered why some businesses succeed and others fail? It is my dream to start my own business, but statistics show that 80% of all new businesses fail within 5 years. Consequently, Ross offers nearly 20 entrepreneurial courses, an Entrepreneur and Venture Club, and opportunities to participate in entrepreneurial Multidisciplinary Action Projects. In short, Ross is the only part-time program that offers their part-time students the same services and opportunities they offer their full-time students. I chose Ross because it allows me to keep my day job while I pursue my dream at night. Additionally, I would have never thought that attending class after a grueling day of work would be fun; in fact, it is the highlight of my day. It’s hard to pin point why that is…. Is it the charismatic personality of the professors? Is it because I enjoy chatting with my new friends? Perhaps, it’s the collaborative learning environment that is both competitive and nurturing. Needless to say, I am proud to be a part of the Ross community, and I would enjoy sharing my experience with you.

Sophia Luong, Class of 2016, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Marketing, Strategy
Undergrad: University of Michigan; Social Anthropology

I chose the Ross Evening MBA program because I know that the MBA will open up limitless opportunities for me. As a former Ross staff member, I had the pleasure of working with very engaged, enthusiastic students and alumni. It was truly inspiring to hear about their success in life, made possible by their Ross experience. I now know firsthand what these students and alumni were referring to. The classes I've taken and classmates I've met have already significantly impacted me professionally and personally. I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful, supportive community. furthermore, the flexibility of the Evening MBA program allow me to take my time and to be selective in the courses that are the best fit for me. I am more than happy to share my experiences with you.

Nikhil Dharwadkar, Class of 2015, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Supply Chain Management, Marketing & Sales
Undergrad: University of Mumbai, India; B.S. Electronics Engineering and Michigan Technological University; M.S. Electrical Engineering

The connections I have made with my classmates and the Ross faculty and staff are the highlight of my experience. Everyone challenges you to step out of your comfort zone while providing a world class support system. To complement my classroom education I participate in various student MBA organizations, case competitions and industry conferences. All together, these elements have strengthened my business acumen and my ability to add value in any situation.

Julie Strickland, Class of 2014, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Real Estate
Undergrad: Miami University, Business Administration

Earning an MBA has long been both a professional and personal goal. I chose the Ross Evening MBA program because it provides me with the flexibility to continue progressing in my current career while I work to develop my management and leadership skills. From the start, I have been immersed in a community with an exceptional reputation diverse student body and comprehensive academic curriculum. Almost daily, I encounter situations at work and in my personal life that enable me to use the skills, knowledge and relationships I have developed, which is incredibly exciting and rewarding! My life and career have been immensely enriched by my Ross Evening MBA experience.

Gary Newbold, Class of 2014, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Strategy, Consulting and General Management
Undergrad: Oakland University; Electrical Engineering

I debated early on in my undergraduate studies at Michigan State University whether I would eventually pursue an MBA or a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. The decision was fairly easy as I became aware of my interest in working with individuals of different academic backgrounds. I selected an MBA from the University of Michigan which will provide me with the knowledge to become a strong, strategic leader. The capabilities and experiences of each student combined with high caliber professors and action-based learning make the Ross School of Business a world-class MBA program that I am proud and excited to be a part of. The part-time program allows me the flexibility to attend class in the evening and implement the lessons the next day at work. Activities such as the Ross Leadership Initiative and Multidisciplinary Action Project only enhance the program further. I am having a great time being a part of this program and I am confident my Ross MBA will provide me with opportunities, networks, and lifelong friendships.

een immensely enriched by my Ross Evening MBA experience.

Daniel Rife, Class of 2014, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Entrepreneurship
Undergrad & Grad: University of Michigan; Chemical Engineering

The choice to attend Ross School of Business was easy for me, because it offers much more than a state of the art facility, and world-class faculty. From day one, I’ve been surrounded by a group of forward thinking peers that constantly challenge and encourage me to develop as a professional. The Part Time MBA experience at Ross enables me to integrate classroom discussions with real-time work situations, augmenting my technical knowledge and business acumen.

William Crane, Class of 2015, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Entrepreneurship and Finance
Undergrad: Western Michigan University; Integrated Supply Chain Management

As a serial entrepreneur who is always on the go I chose the Ross Evening MBA due to the flexibility of the program and the ability to select classes that fit my learning interests. The unique blend of attending class and working allows me to attend class in the evening and implement the lessons at my company the next day. Ann Arbor and especially The University of Michigan is a hotbed for innovation and students are offered a multitude of opportunities to collaborate across the many world-class schools within the University to start and grow companies. The unrivaled entrepreneurial resources Ross offers outside the classroom include clubs such as the Entrepreneur and Venture Club, startup grants, workshops and Multidisciplinary Action Projects. Further, the global perspective that the faculty, students and alumni bring is unparalleled and provides a pulse on where business is headed. Ross is truly a big kid’s sandbox that allows for experimentation in a safe learning environment where your fellow classmates want to be and, indeed, push you to be successful. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Go Blue!

Rashmitha Muralidhara, Evening MBA Student
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Career Focus: Strategy & General Management
Undergrad: VTU, India; Electronics and Communication Engineering

Graduate: University of Oklahoma; Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ross offered a superior MBA experience in all aspects. After contemplating enrolling in an MBA program for three years, I finally decided to quit my job in Chicago and move to Michigan with the dream of enrolling at Ross. I was looking for an MBA experience that not only had a world-class curriculum but provided as close to full time experience as possible. Ross evening MBA fit the bill perfectly. It provided opportunities for part time students to actively participate in student activities and clubs, as well as the flexibility of balancing a full time job, personal life and school work. In my experience at Ross to date, I have seen many opportunities that I never thought possible. It has been a constant fast paced learning experience for me through the lectures, class discussions and group studies and I have been able to apply these concepts to real life the very next day.

Johnathan Oswalt, Class of 2013, Evening MBA Alumnus
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Career Focus: Corporate Strategy
Undergrad: Wayne State University; Accounting

My interest in Ross began after learning that several authorities ranked the part-time program as the highest return on investment of any such program in the world. Looking back, I see that my experience was more than I could have dreamed of. I worked with fellow students and professors traveling throughout southern India, conducting primary research to develop a product launch strategy which was soon implemented throughout the country. I traveled to Bulgaria where I negotiated with Eastern European diplomats, business persons, and lawyers as part of the Ross/ Fulbright relationship. I received one-on-one coaching from the Chairman of a fortune 50, met the CEOs of 15 Fortune 100s, and studied under a former CEO and Chairman who oversaw one of the largest corporate mergers in history. Most importantly – I left Ross with three invaluable assets: lifelong friendships and an immense network, the confidence that my training has given me a toolkit and new lens through which I see the world, and a passion for continuing to explore and push the boundaries of my own thinking. I know all of these experiences will serve me well at McKinsey & Co., and in all other areas of my personal and professional life.

Brian Burstein, Class of 2009, Evening MBA Alumnus
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Career Focus: Strategy, Finance and Organizational Management
Undergrad: University of Michigan; Industrial Operations Engineering

Words cannot do justice to my MBA experience. While I expected to receive a top education, I was unprepared for an experience that would fundamentally change the way I think about solving problems. I believe that the thing that truly sets Ross apart is the people. Whether it was meeting with a professor outside of class to discuss a current business challenge, setting up time with alumni to help with a class project or helping fellow students prepare for case interviews, I found that every member of the Ross community was willing to bend over backwards to help each other. As such, the idea of co-creating your MBA experience is very real at Ross. You will get as much out of the Ross network as you are willing to put in. Attending the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan for my MBA is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am proud to say that I am a recent graduate of Ross and am willing to answer any questions you may have. Go Blue!

Weekend MBA Students

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Natalie Carne, Class of 2014, Weekend MBA Student, Cincinnati, OH
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Career Focus: General Management and Marketing
Undergrad: Miami University; Mechanical Engineering

Graduate: USC; Medical Devices and Diagnostics Engineering

When I was looking at schools to pursue an MBA, I wanted a school that would not only provide a solid foundation of business knowledge but also an experience that included diverse thinking and build leadership skills while having a global focus. Ross provides all of these; I am continually impressed how the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of students and professors create an educational environment that is challenging, interesting and applicable to my daily life. The professors are passionate about what they teach and make it exciting to be in class on weekends. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to obtain an MBA from a top program, interact with students from diverse backgrounds, and be a part of the Ann Arbor community while being able to balance my work and home life.

Omer Gozen, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student, Akron, OH
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Career Focus: Innovation Technology and Global Strategy
Undergrad: Bogazici University; Chemical Engineering

Graduate: MS and Ph.D. North Carolina State University; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Having trained heavily in academia and taken a position soon after in a corporate research institute, I quickly realized the importance of "business tools" to complement the science. The decision to join Ross was rather simple: a very special institution with an exceptional reputation, world-renowned faculty, action-based learning, and a collaborative environment. It is a real business environment that allows us to tackle real-life problems in business practices from diverse industries. The weekend program provides me the flexibility to balance my work, life and other activities while broadening my perspective in subjects to which I have always been attracted and appreciate in others. The extraordinarily well-designed curriculum and the opportunities and resources to engage with diverse, highly motivated students and alumni are impressive. The Ross MBA experience has been nothing but stellar and I am extremely proud to be a part of this exclusive club. Go Blue!

Erin Corcoran, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student OH & Pittsburgh PA
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Career Focus: General Management & Technology
Undergrad: Northwestern University; Industrial Engineering

I chose the Ross Weekend MBA program because of the reputation, people, location, and flexibility. Growing up in Ohio and attending another Big Ten school for my undergrad, I have consistently been impressed by University of Michigan alumni that I have met socially and professionally. When looking into potential programs, I researched the rankings, reputation, and overall program structure and found Michigan to be unmatched by any other weekend MBA program. The schedule and program structure allows me to successfully balance my career with my continued education while allowing me to pursue outside hobbies and interests. As I begin the program and continue to meet my fellow students, I know that Ross was the right choice and am extremely excited to continue my journey at the University of Michigan.

Ahren Cardosi, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student Chicago, IL
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Career Focus: Operations and Marketing
Undergrad: University of Arizona; Physiology

As a part time student and full time employee who is constantly traveling for work, the structure of Ross’ Weekend MBA program meant I didn’t have to sacrifice my career or the quality of my education. As with Ross’ full time program, I’ll receive my MBA in two years under the direction of the same world class professors who teach all MBA candidates at University of Michigan. Working and learning simultaneously, I’ve been struck by the relevance of my class conversations to the immediate challenges I face each week at my job.

Nikki Guglielmo, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student, Minneapolis, MN
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Career Focus: Corporate Finance & Strategy
Undergrad: University of Michigan, BBA

As a Ross BBA alumnus, many people have asked me “Why Ross again?” My answer to that is a simple “Why not?” My undergraduate experience created a lasting impression on me and provided me with an excellent foundation to start my career in Finance. I had no doubts the MBA program would help get me to the next level. While there would be similarities from my undergraduate experience – getting a top-tier education from world-class professors, having access to endless resources in great facilities, I knew getting my MBA would provide new challenging experiences especially since lessons in the classroom could be immediately applied to any real world business issue I may face. The Ross Weekend MBA program is the perfect fit for me because it affords me the flexibility to continue my career without sacrificing a best-in-class MBA experience. I especially love the cohort experience because I am able to develop strong networks and be part of a great community. Michigan prides itself in being the leaders and best and Ross truly is no exception. Go Blue!

William Ponkowski, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student, Plymouth, MI
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Career Focus: Strategy & General Management
Undergrad: Hope College; Psychology and Business Management

The Ross Weekend MBA program is a top tier program that fits my schedule, has a large alumni base, and focuses on action-based learning. The schedule allows me to work and limit evenings away from my family to two nights a month. Ross also tries to not only teach students management theory, but also how to apply it. They offer numerous opportunities from case competitions to MAP.

Brandon Pyle, Class of 2015, Weekend MBA Student, Cleveland, OH
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Career Focus: Operations Management & Strategy
Undergrad: Case Western Reserve University; Chemical Engineering

My initial experiences with the Ross weekend MBA program have far exceeded my expectations. Working for a Fortune 500 company, I had the option of considering executive MBA programs throughout the United States. The decision was simple when I researched the Ross curriculum and attended a weekend class with current MBA students. I was immediately impressed with the diversity and caliber of the students and the University’s accomplished faculty. The addition of an action-based learning setting that I could instantly apply to my professional career, the MAP course, and weekend schedule cemented Ross as my top MBA choice. Ross’ academic reputation combined with hands-on learning is currently providing me with the business acumen and leadership foundation required to continue advancing my career. I’m proud to be a member of the Ross network and to call myself a Wolverine. Go Blue!

Joshua Kirk, Class of 2014, Weekend MBA Student, Detroit, MI
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Career Focus: Finance and Strategy
Undergrad: Bowling Green State University; Math Education

I chose the Ross Weekend MBA program because of its commitment to leadership development, active engagement, and its focus on collaboration. Ross provides a number of avenues to grow as a leader: the Ross Leadership Initiative, the Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP), and the corporate sponsored case competitions. I have learned so much from my classmates and I truly value the relationships that I have established inside and outside the classroom. The most significant takeaway from the weekend program is that there are 80+ students who are juggling school, work, family… so we all support one another. We have unique experiences and have diverse backgrounds, but we unite for a common goal: to learn, to grow, and to make a difference. That’s what Ross is all about, “Leading in thought and action”.

Dana Washington, Class of 2015, Cincinnati, OH
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Career Focus: Consumer Packaged Goods & Supply Chain Management
Undergrad: Ohio State University; Operations Management & Marketing

I chose the Ross Weekend MBA program because I have an unrelenting bias for action. I've considered graduate study in the past, but as an industry professional, I didn't want to trade experience for education. The Ross MBA program transforms curriculum into real business challenges and solutions. This balance of classroom instruction and action-based learning is a great fit. Ross has been recognized as a pioneer in the action-based learning model, and built a reputation for excellence that differentiates itself from other universities. It was important for me to attend a top ranked program with best in class faculty and facilities. Ross has certainly delivered on those expectations. There are many resources available for entrepreneurship, career services and research and part-time ‘MBAers’ have full access to those resources as well! In addition, I am continually impressed by the talents and capabilities of my peers in the cohort. I look forward to spending the next two years learning with and learning from my fellow students. I am so happy I decided to invest in myself by attending the Ross Weekend MBA program.

Chris LaHurd, Class of 2014, Weekend MBA Student, Chicago, IL
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Career Focus: Strategy and General Management
Undergrad: University of Akron; Applied Mathematics

My bachelor’s degree has taught me how to dissect large problems, solve the individual pieces, and put the puzzle back together. I know that Ross can teach me how to further apply these problem-solving skills to real business problems. Ross’ scholarly and experiential approach and the superior quality of its faculty and students have helped me to see issues in and solutions to complex problems that I had not seen before. The faculty and student cohort have a unique way of leveraging their experiences to fuel debate, collaborate, and educate one another. Ross’ global brand, project based learning approach, and distinctive program structure bolstered my decision to join the Weekend MBA program.

Warren Reinisch, Class of 2014, Weekend MBA Student, Ontario, Canada
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Career Focus: Strategy and General Management
Undergrad: University of Manitoba; Economics and University of Windsor; Finance

Living in Canada, I’m often asked why I decided to pursue my MBA at Ross. I answer with four simple reasons. Structure: the weekend program allows me to not only progress my career while I study, but also apply concepts I learn on the weekend to real-life opportunities throughout the week. Quality: The part-time program is taught by the same world class faculty in the same world class building with access to the same world class support as the full time program, no compromises. Leadership: The Ross MBA journey starts with the RLI and the strong emphasis on leadership continues throughout the entire program. Community: Going through a two year program with a cohort provides an incredible opportunity to develop relationships with a diverse group of highly motivated, intelligent, and engaging people.

Shiva Dadfarmay, Class of 2012, Alumnus, Chicago, IL
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Career Focus: Management Consulting & Strategy
Undergrad: Indiana University, Kelley School of Business; Computer Information Systems

As an alumnus of the Ross School of business, I can look back and confidently say that the Ross MBA exceptionally prepared me for my current role as a Consultant within Ernst & Young Advisory Services. Through the Ross collaborative knowledge-sharing environment, I was able to network with the right individuals and recruit with leading global companies to land my current position and gain the key skills necessary to succeed in a career in management consulting. Furthermore, the emphasis on strategic and global thought leadership in the Ross MBA curriculum has given me the tools to soar as a leader in my industry.

Krissy Thompson, Class of 2013, Weekend MBA Alumnus, Chicago, IL
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Career Focus: Marketing Strategy
Undergrad: University of California, LA; Psychology

Having grown up in Ann Arbor, with a family history of Michigan alumni, I was extremely familiar with the University of Michigan. Initially, my search for a graduate program centered on Chicago, where I now live. However, after I visited the Ross campus and learned about the unique weekend program, I realized it was the perfect fit for my work and travel schedule. The Ross weekend program provides the opportunity to attend a business school with an exceptionally reputable full-time MBA program without having to give up my full-time job. So far I've been most impressed with the top notch faculty as well as the diversity of my classmates in both their educational backgrounds and work experiences. As classmates going through the rigorous demands of the weekend program and full-time work load, we've already established a unique bond that I know will last well into the future. In addition to the business concepts I can take back to the office the very next Monday, I'm excited to take advantage of networking with the diverse student weekend cohort as well as to be connected to one of the largest and most effective alumni networks.

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