Real Humans of MBA Students: Michigan Ross Part-Time MBA Class of 2023

Tianhao Guo, Michigan Ross Weekend MBA Class of 2023

Age: 31
Hometown: Toronto, Canada (born in Xinjiang, China)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Windsor, Engineering Materials
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, Automotive

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Before Ross, I spent 4 years with an automotive manufacturer where I led a small engineering team to improve the customer-perceived quality of the sports vehicles. I enjoyed solving challenging problems and working with a talented engineering team. However, as I progressed in my career, I noticed that I am gradually falling into my comfort zone, and I felt an increasing urge to explore different industries and organizational verticals, hence I choose to pursue my MBA at Ross.

Why did you choose Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Ross because of my personal experience of working with “Rossers.” In my previous company, Ross MBA graduates are always the most innovative and hands-on leaders. Seeing that impact, I knew that is what I want for myself, so I applied for Ross without hesitation.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to your part-time MBA class?
During my first semester at Ross, I found marketing to be very interesting and I decided to devote my career to the marketing field. With great help from Ross’s career development team, I walked into my first day as an MBA marketing intern at Johnson & Johnson before the start of on-campus recruiting. My experience helped my peers to better understand how to efficiently utilize Ross’s resources to make an early career change.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I am an advanced open water scuba diver and a recreational pilot, but my family has no idea about it.

Current job or Post-MBA career interests:
MBA Intern- Enabling Technologies Marketing at Johnson & Johnson

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would definitely connect with current MBA students to learn more about Ross and the program.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
If I can go back in time, I might apply for Ross slightly earlier in my career, rather than waiting for my 4 years mark. I would definitely purchase the Michigan Wolverine season tickets.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I might not be so anxious before the admission interview if I knew how nice the admission team is.

What is your initial impression of Michigan Ross’s students/culture/community?
The students at Ross are an energetic, social community that emphasizes innovation, practicality, empathy, and inclusion.

What is one thing you have learned about Michigan Ross that has surprised you?
I was surprised about the amount of, and the variety of resources Ross provided to its students to help us succeed both academically (with world-class professors and knowledgeable staff at Kresge Library) and professionally (with the career development office, FACT groups, and Clubs). 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Thanks to the efforts of Ross’s admission team, I did not experience much impact on my application or admission process.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I was anxious about the classes in my first year. As I have no business background, I was afraid that I might have a hard time catching up. However, my anxiety was gone after the first weekend, as the professors made all courses so interesting and easy to follow.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I was excited about meeting new people in my class, and I was not disappointed. The cohort style of the program has already enabled me to form connections with a variety of people and facilitates a great learning experience at Ross.


About the Author

Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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