Leslie Thornton,
Professional Evening Public & Nonprofit MBA’15

Cohasset, Massachusetts

“What I have learned at the School of Management thus far has helped me in my current role to be more confident in quantitative areas and to be a better leader and co-worker.”

Finding the real value in her MBA

Leslie Thornton researches hedge fund managers and the funds they manage. This means she spends her time sourcing, assessing, and monitoring asset managers for her clients to invest in. What makes her job a little different than most research consultants is that the majority of her clients at Cambridge Associates, LLC, are endowments and foundations. It was that non-profit niche that drew her to Boston University School of Management.

“As I was doing my research on all the part-time programs in the Boston area,” she says, “I felt the most ‘at home’ at BU and was further attracted by the PNP program, which differentiates BU from others. I thought the PNP program would be a great fit for the foundation I was seeking to create.”

Leslie came to BU already in a “I like to help people” frame of mind. That’s because she was a double major in peace and conflict resolution and Spanish and Latin American area studies at American University in Washington, DC.

While she’s enjoyed her classes so far, what’s really made BU such a transforming experience has been her fellow students. “My favorite part of SMG so far has certainly been my experience in my cohort,” she says. “It was great to be with a group of people for the entire first year. That’s because we really had to work together and get to know each other well. We would gather at each other’s houses and camp out for several hours until we felt confident in our work. It was a good feeling once we were done and had all come together to complete the task at hand.”

One of Leslie’s “a-ha!” moments came in her first semester organizational behavior class and it still resonates. “We were talking about how to recognize and manage personalities of co-workers, including your boss,” she says. “I had always been aware of different personality types but the applications our professor suggested for how to best get along with certain types was really helpful and made total sense once I thought about it. It has helped me at work ever since.”

As someone who spends her days sussing out the value of investments, Leslie gives SMG her highest rating both now and in the future. “I believe an MBA will give me an edge above competition and will make me an attractive candidate in a variety of roles,” she says. “I feel that my work experience coupled with my education will allow me to explore a variety of options going forward.”