Katie Cordes Cella Clark University, International Development, 2007 Simmons School of Management, 2016 Hometown: Shoreview, MN Pre-MBA Work Experience: Director of Strategic Development, Thomson Safaris After years in product development, sales, marketing, and strategy, I recognized the importance of data as a reflective and predictive tool. Organizations gather an incredible amount of data and now need people to analyze it, gather significant findings, and then also understand how to apply the insights to their business model, products, services, and clients. With classes in statistics, negotiation, and leadership, an MBA provides the basis to rapidly apply insights from gathered data. While one can study these topics independently, the rigor and pace of a specialized program cannot be matched. Perspectives of other professionals and expert knowledge shared by world-renowned professors provide the backdrop for rich discussions from which I daily apply ‘a-ha moments’ in my career. I see challenges and opportunities through new eyes, confidently make very difficult decisions, and continually recognize that a Masters in Business Administration is a foundational base from which I can operate in any industry. Understanding this mix, MBA applicants should highlight their skills and successes in both the qualitative and quantitative realms. From the outside it appears to be all about the numbers (and a large portion is), but these numbers funnel down to decisions that affect people, and leaders need to be ready to make informed and principled business decisions.