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By Lisa Sara Drew ’22, Executive MBA program, cohort 126 

People often wondered why I chose to travel for my Executive MBA (EMBA). It is a huge time commitment to go back to school as it is and to add travel to that, why?  

If you are reading this, I don’t have to tell you what Kellogg is known for: top ranked program, international experience, high-impact low-ego. What does that really mean, and how far am I willing to go…or travel for the experience? And what does that experience look like for me?  

I am located in Minnesota, and when I set out to find the right MBA program. First, I had to identify what format would work for me: Full-Time, Part-Time or EMBA. Each program offers something specific and has its own set of pros and cons. I felt I had too much experience to relate to the Full-Time program. I wanted a network and cohort experience, so the Part-Time didn’t feel right either. I stumbled across the EMBA program not really knowing what it was but after learning more it felt right.  

The next choice was a matter of which school, why, and…where. I decided I would travel for the right program. 

Just like looking at the different types of MBA programs, looking at different schools was about fit for me. Carlson School of Management is close and convenient, Wharton is another top-ranked school and has strong brand recognition too, but Kellogg…Kellogg felt like me —it felt like home.  

It wasn’t that it was top-ranked, though it’s a bonus for sure, it was how I was treated by everyone I met—with respect and kindness—as an equal.  

Lisa Drew with Peter Cheng and Alejandro Recio at KEMBA Global week in Evanston
Lisa with two of her peers at the Global Hub during Global Network Week, a weeklong event welcoming students from the entire Executive MBA program. 

When I was officially admitted to the program, during our Welcome Weekend I learned there was someone else at my company attending Kellogg who was a couple of cohorts ahead of me. He was a director of finance, two levels above me at the time, so I set up a time to ask some questions about his experience so far thinking he would probably cancel on me with how busy someone at his level was and probably wouldn’t want to waste time on someone he doesn’t know. When he didn’t, I thought he might just give me a general overview and provide some niceties since we would now be at the same school and company. But when he came down to the lobby to meet me, he greeted me with the biggest smile, hug and said “Welcome to the family.” That’s what makes it feel like home, the people. No matter if they are in your immediate cohort or from around the world, it’s the people that Kellogg attracts globally and the lifelong relationships you will make that is the difference.   

Kellogg Executive MBA students at a dinner during their global elective course in Portugal
Kellogg Executive MBA students attending their closing dinner for their global elective course in Portugal. 

That culture, that group of people, that global experience. How far would you go to be a part of that? 

For me, it was a no-brainer.  

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