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Real Humans of the CBS MBA Class of 2024

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cbs mba class of 2024Rebecca Glanzer, Columbia Business School MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Columbia University (Columbia College) and Economics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): I served in the Israeli Air Force for two years, after which I was a business analyst for a year at a boutique consulting firm in Tel Aviv, specializing in market research. I then transitioned to a Chief of Staff role, and later Director of Business Development, at an early-stage startup leveraging gene editing for sex detection in poultry. I was there for two years.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I decided to attend business school, because I wanted formal training in business subjects, such as Accounting and Corporate Finance. My work experience thus far had been in the military and in a really exciting startup, but I felt that in order to jump start my career I had to get a more comprehensive business toolkit. I was also moving back to the US after having lived abroad since college, so business school seemed to me the perfect way to build my network in New York City.

Why did you choose CBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
A big draw to Columbia Business School for me was its location. Being situated in NYC gives Columbia Business School students so many opportunities for in-semester internships and to connect face-to-face with potential employers and mentors. I think its location is also what draws so many international students to CBS, which in turn helps create a global atmosphere on campus.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I think my most unique contribution to the Class of 2024 is my experience at a tech startup in Israel. A lot of my peers have expressed interest in founding their own startups after working at larger firms, so it has been a lot of fun talking about common trends and challenges in the startup world.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:  
During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, my partner and I adopted a puppy named Leo. We even brought him with us on the flight from Israel, and we’re now teaching him to be an NYC pup! 

Post-MBA career interests:
I’m passionate about sustainability and the life sciences, so post-MBA I would love to stay in the agri-food/biotech industry, but transition to a function where I can develop my finance skills and engage with companies making a large impact.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would recommend taking a lot of time to speak with current students and alumni, because they are best positioned to speak to the culture of the school and help you distinguish between all of the top programs.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
One thing I would have done differently would be to start studying for the GMAT earlier. Because I took the GMAT in the fall, I didn’t get much of a breather between the GMAT and the essays. The earlier you can get the tests out of the way, the more informational interviews you can do and the more reflective you can be in your essays.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
One part of the application process that I was hesitant about was reaching out to current students and alumni whom I had never met on LinkedIn to learn from their experiences. What helped get me through it was to understand that building the muscle of cold calling would help me not only gain acceptance to business school, but also internships and full-time positions down the line.  

What is your initial impression of the CBS students/culture/community?
I am super impressed by the Columbia Business School community! I think Columbia Business School lives up to its promise of building a diverse class in an intentional way. It’s been really exciting learning about business and social cultures, as well as current events, from different geographies. In my learning team alone, we have folks from Greece, Japan, NYC, and the West Coast. 

What is one thing you have learned about CBS that has surprised you?
One thing that has exceeded my expectations is the new campus, which I didn’t have a chance to visit in person until orientation. Having studied economics in undergrad, I was very familiar with Uris Hall (the old business school). The new campus is modern, light, and conducive to team work. There are so many spaces for studying, taking meetings, and hanging out with friends.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
One skill I foresee putting to the test in the first year is time management. Everyone warns that the first semester is like drinking from a fire hose, so I am preparing myself for that. That said, I feel very supported by my learning team, and I have faith that what has worked for all of the classes before me will work for me too. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am super excited for CBS Matters. CBS Matters is an opportunity to speak in an intimate setting about something you care about with your cluster. Having heard snippets of other CBS Matters from our Peer Advisors, I’m excited to learn something new about my cluster-mates and get even closer as a group. 

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.