I am currently attending Stanford Business School, where I am in the first year of my MBA. Before school I worked as a product manager at Kespry, a drone hardware and software startup, and my ultimate career goal after business school is to become an astronaut. 

How CORe supplements an engineering background in business

As a product manager at Kespry I did a lot of analytics, so Business Analytics had the most immediate impact on my career. I had no formal business training, so I had to supplement the engineering training I gained through my undergraduate coursework and internships with business knowledge. At one point I managed a junior analyst, so Business Analytics was a timely refresher and helped me think about how to run experiments on-the-job. HBX was my first experience taking business-related coursework and helped me decide to make a career move and go to business school.Carolina Ragolta; width: 200px; align: right;

Using CORe to jump-start business school

I had been considering business school as the next step in my career. I saw HBX CORe as a great opportunity to learn business fundamentals, gain exposure into the kind of content I would learn in business school, and help determine if going back to school was the right choice for me.

In CORe, I enjoyed how the principles in the courses were grounded in concrete applications to the real world. I majored in engineering and minored in economics as an undergraduate, but the content of Business Analytics and Economics for Managers showed me new ways for using the theoretical foundations I already had. Plus, I had no background whatsoever in accounting so I was excited to finally understand what financial statements meant!

I've been fortunate to apply what I learned in HBX both in the professional world and back in school. Going back to school, I have referred back to my accounting and economics notes in my foundational accounting course and an advanced pricing class. HBX made me feel confident in pushing myself to take more challenging courses in these topics.

HBX was immensely helpful in preparing for business school. I refer back to my notes for Financial Accounting, Business Analytics, and Economics for Managers frequently as I've had courses in all these areas. Although I had no prior work experience in accounting, I was motivated to take a more difficult accounting course because I had the foundational coursework from CORe. I am also currently taking an advanced-level pricing course, and it is great to have my notes from Economics for Managers as a refresher on concepts like elasticity.

Credential of Readiness (CORe) - Master the fundamentals of business. Learn more!

From business school to outer space  

Before starting at GSB, I was the first product manager at Kespry, a drone hardware and software platform for enterprise. At Kespry, I helped launch our system to the insurance and construction industries, and led a redesign of our web-based analytics application. Using my professional experience and my business school education, my ultimate career goal is to become an astronaut and help NASA collaborate with the private sector on jointly developing new technologies.

Carolina Ragolta

About the Author

Carolina Ragolta is a current MBA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business and aspiring astronaut. Prior to Stanford she worked in the tech industry, including a big data company and a drone startup. In her spare time, she is a licensed private pilot and long-distance runner.