May 17, 2019
Couple Graduates From CMU a Second Time
By Laura Kelly
Graduate school is unlike any other experience. That uniqueness grows even more when your spouse joins the same cohort in an MBA program.
"Before coming to business school, I knew we were a great team, but I've learned that even more so here," said Alexandra Gerson, who along with her husband, Gabriel, will graduate this week from the Tepper School of Business.
"We really complement each other's skills and help push each other even further. I think we were as successful as we were here in business school because we had each other."
While based in Pittsburgh, the Tepper MBA program allows students to explore business throughout the world, something the Gersons took advantage of.
The pair's studies took them to New York City this past summer for internships and to Hong Kong this spring for the Hong Kong-China Study Abroad Capstone. The capstone partners with the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School and covers topics like banking and governance in China.
"The Hong Kong capstone was a great way to cap off our experience here," said Gabriel. "We were able to leverage a lot of the information we learned in year one and the beginning of year two and apply that into the Chinese economy and landscape."
Speakers from Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia presented guest lectures to the capstone class, giving the Gersons and their fellow students a unique perspective on the global business community.
"We could go on forever about this experience," Alexandra said, "It was incredible. Being immersed in the culture and not just learning the content, but hearing the opinions the speakers have about policies around the world was really fascinating."
The Gersons, who met at Carnegie Mellon as undergraduates in the College of Engineering, chose Carnegie Mellon twice for the caliber of the faculty and curriculum.
"One of the reasons I wanted to come to Carnegie Mellon, even as an undergrad, was the expertise here across so many different disciplines," said Alexandra.
"One of the professors (during Welcome Weekend) said that Tepper does a great job in going deep into certain studies," Gabriel added.
"Coming from industry having seven years of work experience, I saw a lot of value in that. Not just having a high-level understanding, but being able to create the product yourself is truly invaluable."
After graduation, Gabriel will be joining Deloitte Consulting and Alexandra will be joining Bain & Company, both in New York City, where they will take what they have learned over the past two years and put it to work.
"I've grown in so many ways I never expected. I think differently and very critically about problems," Alexandra said. "I've refined my leadership style, and I've also met a lot of friends along the way."