The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the CBS MBA Class of 2024 » Page 4

Real Humans of the CBS MBA Class of 2024

Image for Real Humans of the CBS MBA Class of 2024

cbs mba class of 2024Kyle Macalinao, Columbia Business School MBA Class of 2024

Age: 27
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Florida; Finance
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years technology investment banking at Raymond James; 2 years strategy & finance at software & internet startup (Artsy)

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I pursued business school to expand my network, broaden my perspective, take challenging coursework, and transition my career. After working in M&A and corporate finance roles for six years, I thought it was the perfect time to transition into a management consulting role to learn more about strategy & operations. I hope to combine my finance experience with management consulting experience to further develop as a future leader. 

Why did you choose CBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Columbia Business School primarily because of the School’s incredible brand, network, and integration within New York City. Having lived in NYC for three years prior to starting at Columbia Business School, I knew I wanted to establish a lasting network in the city for the rest of my career. From there, I was eager to learn how collaborative, diverse, and helpful the student and alumni communities have been. I was attracted to how Columbia Business School leverages its NYC location to consistently attract industry leading speakers and enable students to take in-semester internships. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
Throughout my career I’ve worked directly with management teams on capital raises and acquisitions that have been integral to each company’s journey. I hope to contribute my finance, accounting, M&A, capital raising, and operational experience to any relevant classroom discussions and assignments. On the personal side, I’m very outgoing and genuinely enjoy making personal connections. I hope to be an individual that can bring our classmates together over these next two years.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I have a 60-pound Goldendoodle named Marco who lives with me in my tiny NYC apartment.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Thoroughly reach out to friends, family, and alumni to help with the introspection process. Collaboratively thinking about past experiences and how business school fits into the equation of reaching future goals is an integral part of the application process.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would have started studying for the GMAT earlier. The test was one of the bigger challenges for me and I could have benefited from the extra time.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the GMAT process. I got through the exam process with the support of my fiancé, family, and friends.

What is your initial impression of the CBS students/culture/community?
I’ve absolutely love how collaborative, diverse, and inclusive the class has been. Geographically and professionally, I’ve met amazing classmates with incredibly interesting backgrounds. Despite being in one of the busiest cities in the world, the Columbia Business School community is cohesive, tight-knit, and welcoming.

What is one thing you have learned about CBS that has surprised you?
I have been pleasantly surprised with Columbia Business School’s authentic focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through the cluster system and learning teams, Columbia Business School has done a phenomenal job in promoting diverse teams. This, in turn, promotes a real sense of duty within our class to be as inclusive as possible since we all come from very different backgrounds. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Due to the breadth of leadership, recruiting, and academic opportunities, I am anxious about learning how to say no to certain offerings and how to best prioritize my schedule.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am excited to develop deeper relationships with my classmates over these next two years!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.