JD-MBA Profiles

Northwestern JD-MBA Profile #1

When I was applying to and choosing between programs, I ultimately wanted to know two pieces of information 1) who were the people in the program now and 2) what were they doing after they graduated? While many top MBA programs have students profiles on their sites, historically, JD-MBA programs have not been as transparent. My hope is that this series of profiles about the Class of 2012 will explicitly help people find the answer to the first question about the Kellogg JD-MBA program.

For reference, I will not be posting the students in any particular order or based on any previous employment or future career goals. Rather I hope to profile a variety of classmates to best display the diverse skills, backgrounds, and interests of the JD-MBA students at Northwestern. Up first, is entrepreneur, Divya Narendra.


Name: Divya Narendra
Home: New York, NY
College: Harvard College ‘04
Major: Applied Mathematics

Previous employment:
• SumZero LLC, Founder and CEO
• Sowood Capital, Hedge Fund Associate
• Credit Suisse, M&A Analyst
• ConnectU, Founder

Plans After Northwestern:
• Entrepreneur

In his short career, Divya has worked both as a financier and as an entrepreneur. He has worked on transformational M&A deals as a banker at Credit Suisse, analyzed equity and credit investment opportunities at Sowood Capital (a multi-billion hedge fund), and created two internet companies in the social networking space. One of his start-ups played a role in the formation of one of the biggest companies in the world today.

Passion for Entrepreneurship
Divya started his first company while a senior at Harvard, named ConnectU, which was an online community for students and alumni of colleges and universities. The idea eventually turned into Facebook and plays a central role in the recently released book, “Accidental Billionaires,” not to mention an upcoming Hollywood movie.

When turmoil in the credit markets forced Sowood’s shutdown in August 2007, Divya passed on the opportunity to take another high paying hedge fund job and instead launched his second start-up, SumZero. Playing on the idiom “Zero Sum” game, SumZero is an exclusive social networking company focused on helping top tier analysts and investors share actionable ideas and grow their professional networks in the investment industry. Divya will continue to work on SumZero during school. For those of you who aspiring to be buy-side professionals, check out www.sumzero.com/guest.

Why a JD-MBA?
Divya notes that “exposure to legal theory and legal thinking are invaluable to any entrepreneur given the substantial overlap between business issues and the law. Because much of my work experience post college has been in finance, I wanted to fill in the intellectual holes that only a JD could provide, while still benefiting from networking and educational benefits of an MBA. Getting both degrees in three years at two top ranked schools was a no-brainer.”

JD-MBA Academic Interests
Finance, Investment Management, Entrepreneurship, Transaction Law, IP Law

Rock Guitar, Tennis, Value Investing, Art, Running, Formula 1

* For more information about the Northwestern JD-MBA program, please see the JD-MBA Program website or the JD-MBA Association website.


Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 Uncategorized No Comments

Northwestern JD-MBA Class of 2012 Profile

Northwestern recently announced the JD-MBA Class of 2012 profile. (Click here to see the official stats on Northwestern’s website) I wanted to take the opportunity to post the profile stats here and also mention a couple of observations I had on the program. I think this will serve as a good introduction, and will lead into profiling some of the individual incoming students in the program.

Admissions Statistics:
1. Applicants – 246
2. Admits – 36
3. Students – 28
4. Average GMAT – 724
5. Median GPA – 3.5
6. Avg. Work Experience – 5 years
7 . Women – 29%


  • Class size increased this year to 28 students. Historically, the program aim for 24 or 25 students, but this year we ended up with a larger class. I chatted with admissions, and turns out the difference in number is mostly a matter of yield and less a change in admissions strategy.
  • Applications also went up dramatically this year, increasing by about 50% to 246. It will be interesting to see if this is a temporary change based on the economy or a permanent one given that JD-MBA programs are continuing to gain momentum. I suspect and hope it’s more closely linked to the second, and I personally intend to be a strong advocate for Northwestern’s program and hope to see the numbers go up by another 50% over the next few years.
  • The median work experience of those accepted is 5 years. While many MBA programs are trending younger in terms of applicants, Kellogg and the JD-MBA are not. There are rarely any folks in the program with less than 3 years experience, and it’s much more common to see those with 4 and with 5.
  • Our program has 29% women, which is higher than other years for the program, but still a bit lower than our MBA-only counterpart programs, which are usually closer to 33% to 35%. With the 5 years average work experience and no signs of trending downward, I suspect the program is still trying to find a way to get more woman applicants to the program. I also suspect that JD-MBA students across all schools, where average age at entry is varied, still favors the male population.
  • Incoming Northwestern JD-MBA students collectively come from more than 20 different schools , of which a very large majority are considered the best programs in the world. This year, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton each have more than one student in the class.

    Ultimately the class of 2012 is a sharp and really diverse class — in background, nationality, interests and ambitions. I believe that these differences are critical in an interdisciplinary JD-MBA program, which thrives by having folks with various perspectives, unique life experiences, and broad professional goals spanning both business and in law.


    Sunday, August 30th, 2009 Admissions 3 Comments

    JD-MBA Website and Profiles of My JD-MBA Classmates

    Hey everyone! Every since I began my blog about two months ago, I’ve gotten a large number of questions about Kellogg and the JD-MBA program. First of all, thank you for reading my blog and for reaching out to me with your questions. Second, this is definitely great news to see the interest in the program. Although I’m not affiliated with the admissions office, I do hope to use my blog to bring a lot more visibility to the JD-MBA program at Northwestern. It’s an amazing program, filled with the highest caliber of students in the world who will certainly be doing incredible things in business and law in the future. For all of you who are interested in the program, I strongly encourage you to do lots of research and really consider applying if the program is a fit for you.

    As a first step, you should take a look the JD-MBA Program Website. This site has been revamped this year, and provides a lot information related to admissions, the program itself, and the people in the program. As a second step, you should also take a look at the JD-MBA Association Website. The site has also been updated this year. Finally, I suggest that you continue to check out My Blog regularly. In my blog, I plan to continue sharing information firsthand about my experience in the program, provide calculated tips on getting into b-school and JD-MBA programs, and respond to thoughtful questions my readers have.

    As part of my blog, I’ve also decided to share some information about my current classmates in the class of 2012. First, we have a lot of interesting and talented folks that I suspect you’d be interesting in hearing about. Also, you’ll see the types of people that actually apply and get accepted in to the JD-MBA program, and you can assess if you have what it takes to do the same.

    So keep an eye out for my blog and stay tuned for the JD-MBA profiles.

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    Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 Business School, Law School No Comments

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    Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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    The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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