Hundreds of students enroll in the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business each year, so what about Kellstadt attracts them and how is Kellstadt helping them achieve their goals? In this Q&A series, we’re inviting students as well as recent alumni to share their perspectives on why they chose to study at Kellstadt and why they’re glad they did.
First up is Randa Mahmud Ulankiewicz, who is in the Master of Science in Marketing Analysis program and expects to graduate in December 2022. Ulankiewicz is an experienced industry researcher who currently works at Adtalem Global Education as a senior analyst, providing consumer insights to medical and nursing school clients. She’s also a volunteer with the Insights Association, a market research association, for the North Central chapter, and co-founder of the charity Refugee Life Foundation.
Why did you choose Kellstadt?
I had an amazing experience attending DePaul as an undergraduate student. I received my BS in marketing in 2006 and loved the curriculum and faculty so much that it made sense to come back to study at Kellstadt. I knew that I was going to receive an education from professors that have experience in their field. I also knew that I was going to get the support I needed to succeed.
While it’s a little different being a student as an older adult, the experience continues to surprise me as it has been better than what I expected. Everything I loved about DePaul’s business school as an undergrad has remained the same since I left. I’ve kept in contact with some faculty from my undergraduate career and love seeing the amazing work they continue to do.
Other reasons I chose Kellstadt: I enjoy the pace of DePaul’s quarter system, I feel that DePaul professors are invested in their students, and I’ve greatly benefited from the connections I made and continue to make here. Some have become lifelong friends, and others have become colleagues in the industry or at work.
Last but not least, I have a lot of pride being a DePaul alumna, so I would love to hold the Double Demon title.
What about Kellstadt stands out to you?
The professors. Most of my professors either had or continue to work in their respective fields, and it is extremely valuable to learn from people who actually practice what they teach. Their knowledge and passion for what they do is shown in their classes. They aren’t assigning work for the sake of assigning work, they are ensuring you understand the fundamentals and tell you how to apply it at your job, when the time comes. DePaul professors are invested in their students’ futures and will continue to check on you after you graduate. My suggestion is to always stay connected with the professor that has influenced you. I plan to do so.
Which professor has made the biggest impact on you?
The most important person in all of my DePaul experience, undergraduate to graduate, is Dr. Stephen Koernig. Because of him, I chose to practice in this field. I’ve utilized him as a resource at Kellstadt and have always received honest feedback. Dr. Koernig’s knowledge and passion for marketing research and insights can’t be matched. Not only did he give me the opportunity to explore this field, but he continues to advise, influence and mentor me as I navigate life as a graduate student and full-time employee in my organization. While many people in my life didn’t think I was going to succeed, Dr. Koernig continued to remind me that hard work and continuous learning is why I will achieve any goal I set for myself. My gratitude to him is immeasurable and I cannot say thank you to him enough.
There are many other great professors at Kellstadt who have made an impact on me, but Dr. Koernig stands out.
Ulankiewicz (far right) with Marketing Department Chair Stephen Koernig and fellow alumna and friend Lena Hanson Zickus (BUS ‘05) at the 2017 Driehaus College of Business Marketing Advisory Council Rising Star Award ceremony. Ulankiewicz received an award that year for her exemplary work in market research.
What would you to say to someone who is considering studying at Kellstadt?
Kellstadt has a great reputation, an abundance of resources, fantastic faculty and a terrific location! Having the DePaul name on your résumé does wonders and is a conversation starter at networking events. To be able to put Kellstadt on my résumé is a badge of honor because of the hard work I put in to earn my degree. The resources are amazing here and you continue to have access to them as alumni. DePaul has TWO libraries (in the Loop and in Lincoln Park), the software programs are at our disposal, and DePaul has done a great job in transitioning in the pandemic to online learning [with classes currently offered online, in-person and in hybrid modes]. The faculty is one of the many reasons why I came back. Kellstadt has its reputation because of the intelligent professors who have real-world connections and experiences in the business community.