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Hannah Schrader: Business Edge Program was the Stepping Stone on her Path to a Master’s in Management

Having just graduated from Barnard College with a degree in European History, Hannah Schrader is starting her Master’s in Management graduate program at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business in Manhattan. One step on this journey from European History to Business was Schrader’s experience in the Columbia School of Professional Studies’ Business Edge, which offered her supplementary business study during the summer of 2019. 

“I always knew that I did not want to pursue an academic career in history,” Schrader said. “After taking courses in economics, accounting and finance, I started to consider a career in the business world.”

That’s what brought Schrader to Business Edge, offered by the School of Professional Studies during Columbia Summer sessions. 

We caught up with Schrader to learn more about her experience in the program and how it helped her move forward in her academic and professional career:

What drew you to Business Edge?

I saw Business Edge as an opportunity to immerse myself in a business school environment and to find out if a business career was the right direction for me. I also thought that Business Edge would sharpen and apply the knowledge I had gained from economics and finance courses, as well as introduce me to other unfamiliar aspects of business such as leadership and marketing.

What was your experience in the program like?

I loved everything about the program. Classes were always engaging and the professors were always eager to answer questions. After class, my fellow students and I would grab lunch and go to Butler Library to work on our projects together. I truly enjoyed the collaborative aspect of the program and enjoyed learning from my peers, so many of whom had fascinating and diverse backgrounds.

I entered Business Edge uncertain about pursuing a career in business. However, because of my experiences at Business Edge, I discovered that I had an aptitude for finance and leadership. This made the decision to apply to graduate programs in business very easy.  

What were your favorite courses?

My favorite courses were Finance, Leadership, and Marketing. 

How did this coursework help you in your academic/professional goals? 

I entered Business Edge uncertain about pursuing a career in business. However, because of my experiences at Business Edge, I discovered that I had an aptitude for finance and leadership. This made the decision to apply to graduate programs in business very easy.  

What are you up to now? 

I graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in May 2020. In the fall I will be attending, on scholarship, the Masters of Management graduate program at the Gabelli School of Business. 

What advice would you give to future students in the Business Edge?

Business Edge is a thoroughly engaging and immersive introduction to the skills and knowledge used in the business world program and will help you decide whether a career in business is right for you. The coursework is intense; so don’t be afraid to ask your teachers and your peers for their help or advice. 

One of the best aspects of group work in the program is the fact that every student has a different skill set and level of experience. You will get the most out of the program if you draw on your classmates’ individual strengths and creativity, as well your classmates’ collective knowledge.

Learn more about the Business Edge at Columbia.