Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Jacob Gleason, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

My insatiable curiosity learner first generation College graduate, dog lover, Traveling, A loyal family man. “

hometown: Springfield, Illinois

Fun fact about yourself: Even though I live in 4 different cities after graduating, I always commute by walking to and from work.

Undergraduate school and major: Illinois State University, Economics and Finance

the most recent employer Job title: Wells Fargo, Business Director, Commercial Investment Portfolio Group

Regardless of your classmates and location, What is the main part from Northwest Kellogg Which MBA programs made you choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The program is for one year! The Kellogg 1Y program was the perfect blend of everything I wanted in an MBA at the current stage of my life and career. I had over 9 years of work experience prior to being accepted, and was not looking forward to re-entry into core classes focusing on areas I had direct work experience in both academic and professional. Having the flexibility to take electives from day one was really important to the specific goals I had in my MBA education, and the 1Y program structure uniquely caters to that without sacrificing any of the benefits of a traditional MBA.

what or what a path, The club or activity excites you The most in Northwest Kellogg? Kellogg Worldwide Exploration Student Excursions (KWEST!) Like many business schools, Kellogg has a variety of fun activities and excursions during the year, but KWEST is a unique starting and mentoring experience that I found unique to the Kellogg student experience. During KWEST, incoming students take a trip with a group of their peers, with the goal of not sharing anything about your background until the third night to help inspire deeper conversations and eliminate bias. The rest of the trip is filled with bonding activities, fun events, silly costumes, and more. The atmosphere creates a very interesting bond with a diverse group of people across all of Kellogg’s programmes. I set the tone for what to expect and look forward to throughout my time at Kellogg.

What is the best word to describe the Kellogg MBA students and graduates you have met so far and why? openness. From day one at CIM (Kellogg’s Directions), everything has been rooted in collective learning, growth, and shared experiences. Although I’ve always seen education as an individual exercise, Kellogg consistently encourages group activities, which more reflective of how the “real world” works. This requires a commitment from all students to give as much (or more!) of what they take in and that is what makes the whole experience so enjoyable.

What makes Chicago a great place to get an MBA? You mean Evanston, right? Chicago is one of the most amazing cities in the world with access to all the “world city” attractions of dining, entertainment, and diverse people, but at a totally reasonable cost (even for a student). It’s worth noting that Kellogg’s location in Evanston is, in my opinion, a “best of both worlds” approach where you can spend as much or as little time in the Windy City as you want with the rest of your time. Embrace the coastal (lake) vibes of the college town of Evanston.

Kellogg is known for its team culture. What quality do you offer as a teammate and why is it so important to success? I like to act as the “ends of the book” by helping to organize things to start and to put everything together at the end. Lots of team-based work gets everyone moving in the same direction and I love coordinating the chaos.

Describe your biggest career achievement to date: While I’m not a momentary, I’m incredibly proud of my constant hubs between wildly different jobs throughout my career. I’ve gone from small business lending to risk management analytics to buying lateral investment research. Recently, I moved into the operational management of a vital team within one of the largest banks in the world, I did my best at every opportunity and always found a way to add value while giving me the greatest opportunity to learn. I hope to be able to continue this approach towards work throughout my career.

How has COVID-19 changed your view of your career and life in general? Professionally speaking, COVID-19 hit completely when I was applying to Kellogg in early 2020, and I was very fortunate to have been able to defer for a year before I registered. During that year I had the opportunity to work as a Venture Capital intern before MBA in two great funds with some absolutely wonderful people and it was the perfect “taste test” to give me all the information I needed to make an informed decision about my career goals after the MBA.

Personally, the pandemic has reaffirmed all the ideas I’ve been struggling with about sacrificing personal relationships and closeness to family and friends for faster career growth. My wife and I moved back to Chicago to be closer to family in late 2019 and this hub was fully validated, despite a professional setback, once the shutdowns happened and we were so close to all of our friends and family.

What motivated you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I reached an inflection point in my career after nine years in banking and felt that the business world was changing so rapidly while many older organizations were stuck in a virtual Jurassic Park egg. I like the complexity of financial services, so I didn’t want to leave the industry entirely. However, I wanted to approach some innovative technology companies to create a more efficient and effective delivery of those same services. I look forward to spending my time building and investing in the fintech companies that are shaping the future of financial services.

What other MBA programs have you applied to? Nobody! I focused exclusively on the Kellogg Show for one year for all the reasons described above.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants get accepted Northwestern Kellogg’s MBA Program? Ask your colleagues, mentors, and/or family to read your articles. If they don’t hear you as a narrator, rewrite the content to be more personal to you and your story. Most everyone who applies to business school has a great background with plenty of personal awards and professional achievements, but no one has your unique story. Those moments of openness and reflection scattered throughout your essays will be absolutely vital to connecting the dots in your application.

Don’t Miss: Learn about Northwest Kellogg’s MBA 2023

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