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At the first ever Kellogg on Growth forum, more than 60 influential thought leaders from a dozen industries came together to share their unique approaches to growth. One of the hot topics of the day was scaling and financing growth.

In the “Financing for growth,” session, Prof. Mitchell Petersen concluded the session by asking each of his three alumni panelists — who ranged from CEOs to one of the most powerful women in banking — how their Kellogg MBA helped them tackle issues related to finance growth.

Their responses are below.


Mike Sands ’96
President and CEO / Signal
Former CMO and COO at Orbitz

“What Kellogg really taught me — and it’s so important to any company’s success, but certainly for an entrepreneurial company — is teamwork. You learn at some point in your career to not be a great individual contributor but to rely on other people. You realize that you’re only as good as your ability to attract other great people to work with you and for you.

“I think that Kellogg is really extraordinary in both exposing you to really amazing people and then getting you to build the skills to work with those folks in a setting that amplifies your personal talents. The hardest thing that I find for non-executives to learn is the transition from being great personally to making other people great. I think that Kellogg is extraordinary in helping build that skill set very early on that so many people miss when they get into the business landscape.”


Lisa Earnhardt ’96
President and CEO / Intersect ENT
Helped Intersect ENT land on
Forbes’ list of “America’s Most Promising Companies” 

“Collaboration is something that has been at the heart of Kellogg from the very beginning, and I still see it being a key to who we are. As I see different alums from the various schools, I think that’s where we really do stand apart. I really am only as good as my people, and I just want to make sure I inspire them to do great things and (that I) get out of the way.”


Anne Clarke Wolff ’86
Head of Global Corporate Banking / Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Named one of the 25 most powerful women in banking

“Clearly collaboration is the word that quickly comes to mind, but I think Kellogg continues to underestimate the power of its humility and the power of thinking bravely. I think we all see MBAs come in from a variety of other programs, and yet people want to work with Kellogg people. I think that the collaboration takes the ego down to a level of realizing it’s the humility of the team’s success and how you really do leverage the great qualities.

“I continue to feel like Kellogg people will bravely raise points and bring a perspective that in many cases, other people are more concerned by, “How am I going to be viewed?” I’d really continue to take advantage of what is an incredible incubator here in terms of pulling all these great skills together with great peers and phenomenal faculty leading that inspiration.”

Learn more about Kellogg on Growth.