After completing her undergraduate education with a focus in Political Science and Anthropology, Cleo Miller found herself working at McMaster-Carr in the world of business eager to discover how the skills and passions she’d developed over her college years might now apply. Curious in particular to learn about academic approaches to the intersections between business and people management, she began looking into business classes as a way not only to expand her skillset but also as a way to more deeply engage with the new world she’d entered. Cleo insists that throughout this period she never stopped hoping she’d find a way to rekindle the excitement and fascination she’d had while in the classroom in college.
“The GSALB was an amazing discovery,” she says. “It fit all the checkboxes. The program was extremely high caliber and also gave me the freedom to choose from all the classes on offer.” Cleo readily admits that her primary concern in taking the step to business school was whether her math and quantitative backgrounds were strong enough. She had no idea what it meant to be part of that environment before the GSALB. While there, however, it wasn’t just her ability in these areas that was affirmed. Even more essential was how her sense for the scope of a business education radically expanded. In fact, the breadth of what business involved became clear in the first class she took as a student at the GSALB.
Professor Heather Caruso’s ‘Power and Influence in Organizations’ was an immensely eye-opening experience for Cleo. She calls Professor Caruso a “phenomenon” and “force of awesomeness”. The class didn’t so much change her life as decisively affirm the ways in which her life was already on the right track. Through the lens of behavioral development and social psychology, she was able to reconnect the interests of her undergraduate years to the world of business and organizations. In fact, though the class took place on Friday evening, Cleo says she couldn’t have looked forward to it more. “It became the highlight of my week,” she says. “Being surrounded by interesting people pursuing these complicated and rewarding projects firmed up any doubts I might’ve had about my life and allowed me to take the next step.” That next step was business school. Cleo is now in her second year at Booth, having begun in the fall of 2015.