Student Profile: Alumni Network
Kristen Ghattas '10
Joint JD/MBA student
Post-MBA position: Management Development Program, Exterran
After college I went to work for JP Morgan doing mergers and acquisitions investment banking. I worked on several major M&A transactions, including the merger of Sprint and Nextel and the sale of MCI to Verizon. I learned a ton, but after two years I wanted to move on to more of a principal role rather than an agent role. I went to work at Time Warner doing mergers and acquisitions, and I liked the media industry a lot, but I wanted to transition to general management and decided to go back to school and pursue a JD/MBA.
Yale just started a three-year JD/MBA program — I’m in the first class. It combines my interests perfectly. One of the things I really like about SOM is the diversity — not just where people are from but their career interests. I love how many joint degrees we have — law, forestry, architecture, medicine. It gives you an abundance of viewpoints in and out of class. In every conversation I find that someone has prior experience to draw on and that's very valuable in a business school setting.
The integrated MBA curriculum is good for someone doing a joint degree because it forces you to get that broad perspective. It's very easy when you’re doing a joint degree to just focus on what is most relevant to you. It's also perfect for me because I'm going into a management development program where I'll be doing a little bit of everything.
At SOM, I changed my industry focus from media to energy and decided to relocate to Houston. The CDO was a great resource for me in my job search. I worked with the relationship manager dedicated to the energy industry. We spent a lot of time thinking through companies I would target. With the CDO's help, I reached out to alumni in Houston, which was a huge benefit to me. I talked to several alumni on the phone and met with many of them when I went down to Houston on one of the Energy Club's job treks.
SOM alumni are very eager and willing to help and to share their contacts and knowledge. I reached out to a CFO of an energy company in Houston and he basically went through his Rolodex and put me in touch with people. He was an amazing resource. Through him I was able to talk to one of the board members at Exterran outside of the recruitment process and I got an incredibly valuable perspective on the company.
Interviewed on April 7, 2010.