Profiles in Leadership

MLA students share how their learning has advanced their leadership.

As part of the 30th Anniversary of the Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in 2022, we invited 12 students to share their profiles of leadership and to describe how the MLA has guided their development. We are proud to share their stories below.

Cara Brennan Allamano

Chief People Officer, Lattice

"Deep learning in Leadership and Ethics through the liberal arts lens is a dream come true for me as a student. The UChicago MLA program allows me to transfer my real-world experience in scaling startups to the realm of academic thought and beyond, all while being a part of an exciting learning community that challenges my current notions and helps me grow as an individual and executive."

Meet Cara
Cara Brennan Allamano

Kaushik Bhattacharya

Director, Data & Analytics, North Highland

"As I grew in my consulting career, I realized that EQ becomes increasingly important over IQ as one assumes leadership responsibilities. The MLA program gives me a unique opportunity to get formal classroom training in the liberal arts, especially in the disciplines of classical philosophy and ethics that have helped me hone my leadership skills."

Meet Kaushik
Kaushik Bhattacharya

Fatema Burhani

Mathematics Teacher, UChicago Laboratory Schools

"School has always been a happy place for me, and I had desperately wanted to study literature. The MLA program has made that possible and opened me up to a broader skillset. I have formed connections with students from all over the world, including Columbia, India, Australia, and China. I look forward to my class each week and can’t wait to discuss the readings with my professor and peers."

Meet Fatema
Headshot of Fatema Burhani

Sarah Hope Marshall

Founder and Principal, Profound Hope Industries

"I pursued an MLA because I wanted to satisfy my interest in asking tough questions in a structured yet flexible, and rigorous learning environment. The program more than met expectations. It taught me to ask better questions, dig deeper for answers, challenged me to consider perspectives outside my expertise, and connected me to a community of talented and curious individuals."

Meet Sarah
Headshot of Sarah Hope Marshall

Fei Ni

Chairman & CEO, Pingyuan App-Ark Education

"The MLA has provided me with an unparalleled intellectual feast without requiring relocation that might interrupt my professional life. Waking up early in the morning here in Shanghai and immediately diving into the prescient geniuses of Weber or Kant, I am able to discover time-tested insights that help me think more clearly and make better decisions in this time of unpredictability."

Meet Fei
Headshot of Fei Ni

Brian O'Connor

Head of Embedded Banking, JP Morgan

"If you want your idea to win in today’s fast paced, time-starved, and technology-driven workplaces, the ability to communicate and advocate your position coherently and concisely is a key differentiator. The MLA program helps you develop skills to better organize your thoughts, sharpen your points, and deliver a strong argument."

Meet Brian
Brian O'Connor

Natalie Schreyer

Freelance Journalist

"The MLA is a unique opportunity to challenge myself to think differently, explore new fields of study, and enrich my life by building robust intellectual relationships with colleagues and professors. The magic of this program is the way in which it teaches you, through rigorous study and debate, to become the most passionate and empowered version of yourself."

Meet Natalie
Headshot of Natalie Schreyer

Mark Heaney

Chief Executive Officer, DTRT Health Acquisition Corp

"I am sure the motivation to enroll at the Graham School differs from one student to the next. For me, my hope was that I would be exposed to new and challenging thought during my time there. It isn’t just that my hope was realized—it is how the experience seems to have changed the way I think, listen, read, and write."

Meet Mark
Headshot of Mark Heaney.

Fabiola Delgado

Assistant Vice President for Finance and Chief of Staff for National Laboratories, University of Chicago

"Each deep conversation with my professors, each vivid discussion with my classmates, and each page of the books I read, help me to better articulate my worldview, understand what may have been holding me back previously, and paint a vivid picture of the future destinations that I want to explore."

Meet Fabiola
Headshot of Fabiola Delgado

Kelly Martin

Senior Director, Investment Banking, William Blair & Company

"I pursued the MLA because I was looking to satisfy my curiosity about a range of topics and complement my other interests and activities. In addition to achieving these objectives I appreciate the exposure I have received to a range of opinions and perspectives. I feel I am a better listener and have improved my critical reasoning skills as a result."

Meet Kelly
Headshot of Kelly Martin.

Joseph Monaghan

Partner, Holding Redlich Lawyers

"As a midcareer professional whose role is increasingly focused upon leadership and management, I wanted to undertake further study and the MLA with its concentration in ethics and leadership was a perfect fit. I had always felt that I could enrich my life experience through further study in the social sciences and humanities. I have been rewarded so greatly in these areas through my MLA studies."

Meet Joseph
Headshot of Joseph Monaghan.

Andrew F. Schorr

Division Head, Pulmonary, Critical Care, & Respiratory Services, Medstar Washington Hospital Center; and Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University

"I have always had a passion for learning and a desire to challenge myself. The MLA program presented a way to enhance my skills—not only as an individual but also as a participant and leader in our society. The MLA attests to the fact that there is inherent value associated with studying the humanities and in developing a background and comfort with the diverse topics that comprise the liberal arts."

Meet Andrew
Headshot of Andrew F. Schorr.