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Real Humans of Michigan Ross: Clear Admit Features Five Members of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2023


Clear Admit kicked off its annual “Real Humans of MBA Students” series by featuring five members of the Ross School of Business Full-Time MBA Class of 2023.

The series provides insight for prospective students into the academic and student life of real MBA students at leading business schools. 

The Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2023 consists of 398 students, of whom 46 percent are women, 28 percent are international students, and 36 percent identify as U.S. students of color. Forty-two percent had graduated with business degrees, 32 percent with STEM, and 28 percent with humanities.

Meet the Michigan Ross MBA students featured as ‘Real Humans’: 

Lamia Aroni, MBA ’23

A global marketer from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who has diverse experience working in sales, trade marketing, brand building, and brand development. 

Jonathan Clement, MBA ’23

An expert in advertising from Round Rock, Texas, who worked as a media buyer for multiple ad agencies in Chicago, serving clients including Kraft-Heinz, Stacey Abrams, and Chicago State University.

Liz Krane, MBA ’23

A New York native with 10 years of experience in theatrical management on Broadway, who aspires to pivot into the tech industry. 

Thomas DeClercq, MBA ’23

A former computer scientist from Melsele, Belgium with four years of experience working at UNESCO in Paris, France.

Melissa Gibson, MBA ’23

A former U-M graduate who has worked in the impact space across the public and private sectors including UN World Food Programme in Johannesburg, the Boston Consulting Group, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Why they chose Michigan Ross and what they are most excited for

Each student featured by Clear Admit answered questions about why they chose Michigan Ross to pursue their MBA, their advice for prospective students, and what excites them most about their first year in business school. 

For Krane, Michigan Ross checked every box of what she was looking for in an MBA program. Krane told Clear Admit she chose to attend Ross because:

“First, a compassionate community of impact-driven change makers who are genuinely invested in each others’ success. Second, a curriculum that balances theory and case studies with action-based learning (special shout-out to MAP, which is essentially a second internship during your first year–a true boon for this career changer). Third, the in-depth leadership training offered by the Sanger Leadership Center that doesn’t prescribe one ‘best’ leadership style, but rather brings out the best in individuals’ styles. I’m only a few weeks into my first year, and I’m thrilled to say I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Aroni told Clear Admit she wanted to pursue an MBA to show “the power, potential, and grit of people from my country, Bangladesh.” She decided to attend Michigan Ross when she heard that an undergraduate classmate went to Ross.

“He was one of the smartest from his cohort which made me believe that the school must have a lot of smart individuals like him. However, when I was doing my research during MBA admission, I learned that Ross is so much more. People often forget to mention that Ross is part of University of Michigan, which is one of the best universities globally. The university has 630,000 living alumni worldwide and as a Michigan student, I can guarantee that if one fine morning you wake up and decide to reach one of the alumni for help, she/he will help you.”  

Clement shared that the strength of the Michigan Ross community is what compelled him to pursue his MBA at Ross. 

“Once I formally began my MBA admissions journey, Michigan Ross was instantly on my shortlist due to the caliber of past interaction I had with Rossers. The further I got through the process, the more great people I met -- from current students, to alumni, to the admissions office,” he told Clear Admit. “I also knew the alumni network and pay-it-forward culture would give me access to the top employers in multiple industries.” 

DeClercq echoed the four other students by sharing how welcomed he felt by the Michigan Ross community during the admissions process and during his first year.

“Immediately, I was captured by how friendly and involved all the members in the Ross community are. Every subsequent call, Zoom session and networking event, this feeling did not subside,” shared DeClercq. “During my applications, I shortlisted schools based on employment numbers, class statistics and the multitude of rankings that exist. In the end, when it was actually time to decide which school to attend, the more important question was which network I wanted to be part of for the rest of my life. And the answer to that was without a doubt Michigan Ross. Go Blue!” 

The energy I get from being around my very well-accomplished peers is immeasurable. The Ross faculty is absolutely world-class, I have been consistently impressed with our core classes, and can’t wait to start exploring electives. Above all that, the Ross sense of community is very real, and has made me feel incredibly welcome to everything I’ve been involved in so far, be that clubs, classes, social activities, trips, etc.

Thomas DeClercq, MBA ’23