The Tweet That Won A Free MBA

The tweet that won a 33-year-old business trainer a free MBA education was succinct and direct:

Globally minded (5) 
Innovative and driven (7)
 Tippie can sharpen (5)

With those few characters, John Yates, who has global experience working in China and Thailand, was given a full-tuition financial award to attend the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business this fall.

Yates, who lives in Houston, Texas, was among 58 MBA hopefuls who submitted tweets for consideration in the novel contest. Of those, eight came from applicants who were accepted into the program after meeting the admission

What made Yates’ tweet stand out? The judging panel weighed in, noting the discipline required to compose a Tweet that revealed something about the candidate himself while limiting his message not only to 140 but to just 17 syllables. “He has taken one of the newest modes of communication in Twitter and one of the oldest forms of poetry in Haiku and combined them into one winning entry,” the judges said in a statement.

Other submissions considered in the finalist group included:

All that Twitters is not Gold yet Everything under the Sun can be Sold. ‘Twas either This (Behold!!) or Twenty-Four Ounces from my Billfold.  – Aaron (AJ) Honoré of Yonkers, NY

10yrs as top corporate atty, know my deals, have plenty of stories but tired of staring blankly @ financials. Time to upgrade @TippieMBAIowa.  – Michael Thompson of Iowa City, IA

A passion for discovering intrinsic value combined with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge results in excellence as a student and beyond.  – Seth Goldstein of Dublin, OH

Go to and click “India” to see my blogs. While I study the world, I love where I am: the Midwest and Iowa. Go Hawks!  – Michael Bouts of Iowa City and Troy, MI

Schafer said that other Tweets submitted were from individuals who didn’t plan to apply but just wanted to take a crack at the challenge of creating their own Tweet.

The school also highlighted one other Tweet which it said came from Ryan Jennings, who is starting at Tippie this fall as a first-year MBA student. Ryan worked for many years in China and India before returning to the Midwest for his MBA.

Experience in 3 markets: China, Mexico, and India. Passion in 2 fields: Operations and Finance. Ready for 1 MBA: Tippie.