Real Humans: Columbia Business School’s Executive MBA

Elizabeth Arnall, Columbia Business School, Executive MBA

School and Program: 

Columbia Business School Executive MBA Program


New York, NY

Elizabeth Arnall, Columbia Business School, Executive MBA

Undergraduate Institution & Major: 

Trinity College, Hartford, French

Pre-MBA Work Experience:

24 years of work experience in financial services.

Why Business School?  Why Now?

After 24 years in financial services, this is the first question I get asked, as a lot of people assume I am approaching the peak of my career, but I feel I’m not even past base camp! I love to learn and to be challenged, and couldn’t imagine a better time to start my MBA at Columbia Business School: I have enough work experience to appreciate and absorb what I’m learning, while at the same time, I feel that I have so much more ahead career-wise, and my CBS experience will be key to the journey.

Why did you pick your school/program? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?

I chose Columbia Business School for its reputation and location: like its tagline says, Columbia is “at the very center of business.” The quality of the professors, guest lecturers, and student population that Columbia attracts is unparalleled and provides an incredibly rich learning environment.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to your graduating class?

I hope that my work experience will be a resource to my classmates, both in terms of knowledge as well as for perspective on career development. And I am not shy about asking questions in class and hope that this is helpful as well!

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?

I had to dig deep into the cobwebs of my brain to refresh my memory on Algebra II for the Executive Assessment. And I really enjoyed it.

Advice to current prospective applicants:

It’s never too late to apply, career-wise. I have been blown away by how much I’ve learned in the last six months and look forward to all that lies ahead.

What is your initial impression of the school’s students/culture/community?

Columbia Business School’s students, culture and community are amazing. The school attracts and values people who have different and unique perspectives – among my classmates are engineers, scientists, doctors, marketing specialists and attorneys. While we are all looking to get different things out of the program, we have two traits in common: intellectual curiosity and the feeling that we are all in this together. It is a true community and one that I am proud to be a part of.

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About the Author

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