2015 MBA To Watch: Louis Mistretta


Louis Mistretta


University of Rochester, Simon Business School 

At Rochester’s Simon School, Louis Mistretta learned the motto,Be smart. Be fast. Think big.” That, along with “make a difference,” could sum up Mistretta’s time as an MBA student. A prolific leader and volunteer, he headed up the Simon Marketing Association, along with serving as vice president of Career Management for the Graduate Business Council and founding the Student Career Leadership Board. His legacy includes developing a marketing boot camp for his fellow students and drawing several prominent employers to campus. As a testament to his efforts, Mistretta received the Simon Leadership Fellow, a full-tuition scholarship package awarded to the top candidates from each class who are interested in making a significant impact on the world. He will be joining Johnson & Johnson after graduation.

Age: 34

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Undergraduate School: University of Rochester

Undergraduate Degree: BA, Clinical & Social Psychology

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Blue Dandelion Creative, LLC. This was the restaurant consulting company I founded to help restaurant owners who were new to the business. It’s also where I fell in love with branding.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Johnson & Johnson, McNeil Consumer Healthcare

Where will you be working after graduation? Johnson & Johnson, Associate Brand Manager

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I got a taste of what re-branding a business was like. I knew I wanted to do it on a national and then global scale, so business school was calling.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…opening my own restaurant. A small, French inspired place with delightfully simple food. That dream isn’t off the table though; dreams never should be.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I would love to take a global role overseeing a brand’s expansion into a developing market. Making sure that process is done well, with the proper respect for the indigenous culture, would be an amazing project in which to be involved.

Favorite Courses: Marketing Analytics, Market Research, Brand Management Workshop

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I am proud to leave behind at Simon a series of initiatives and programs that will help prepare future students for career success, and forward momentum to continue to enhance the student experience at Simon.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? I thank my parents for raising me to be curious, ambitious, and always moving towards my goals in a way that is respectful and responsible. We’ve had a whole lot of fun too, which always makes life better.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Simon because its smaller size fosters a sense of community that makes the school shine. In a rigorous, high-stakes environment like an MBA program, having that environment also be cohesive, collaborative, and supportive makes all the difference. It is the best decision I could have made.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I loved all the opportunities to be heard and make change happen. Simon is very student-driven, so the chances of seeing your ideas come to life are quite good. Taking a great program and helping to make it better has been incredibly rewarding for me.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? Watching my friends land jobs at companies they love. Being there to see someone get that phone call is the best thing in the world. It makes my whole day.

Fun fact about yourself: I spend most of my free time studying Yoga philosophy.

Favorite book: The Sacred Depths of Nature by Ursula Goodenough

Favorite movie: The 1963 classic, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The comedies from that era are fantastic. They are still just as funny today as they were then.

Favorite musical performer: Right now I’m pretty obsessed with “The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.”

Favorite television show: Danger 5. You have to look it up on Netflix. It’s completely bizarre and entirely brilliant.

Favorite vacation spot: Tamil Nadu in South India. You’ll meet some of the most genuine people on the planet, and the food is phenomenal. I crave Vada Sambar.

What are your hobbies? People always look at me funny when I tell them, but I’ve taken up woodcarving. I actually really love it.

Twitter Handle: @LouisRMistretta

What made Louis such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015? 

“The Simon Business School’s Louis Mistretta MBA 15’s impact on the school in the time he has been here is significant. His ideas will have lasting impact long after he leaves Simon in June to work for his summer 2014 employer and one of the top MBA hiring companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson.

 Louis was an Undergraduate at the University of Rochester. He could have gone to any graduate school of business but came to Simon because he wanted to support his alma mater, liked the School’s small size and reputation for community building, and he knew he would receive an excellent education here.

In the almost two years Louis has been here he has been a constant force for positive change.  Louis is extremely intelligent, highly creative, a role model for leadership and inclusivity. He is enthusiastic, honest, straightforward, a strategic thinker, and really has his pulse on what’s best for his fellow students, for the School’s culture, and the overall quality of the Simon student learning experience.

 Louis is very involved in numerous organizations and change initiatives on campus. As President of the Simon Marketing Association, which under Louis’ leadership is one of the best-run clubs at Simon, Louis initiated corporate tours with several prominent companies, offered new opportunities to students for professional development, and created a new Marketing Boot Camp which helped his classmates to prepare earlier for the competitive job market. As a Simon Career Advisor and often on his own time, Louis devoted dozens of hours to assisting his fellow students with resumes, interviewing, and internship and job search strategies. Other activities that are arising through a partnership with this club are an Executive in Residence program, an Advisory Board, a Brand Boot Camp, and visits to campus by key executives such as the CMO Worldwide of Eastman Kodak.

 As Graduate Business Council Vice President for Career Management and Chair of the inaugural Student Career Leadership Board, he arranged for the School to have constant feedback from students on important new initiatives that would benefit the School such as the new Day 1 on-line career preparation program implemented by the Career Management Center; the upcoming Simon MBA “Edge” program, championed by the new Associate Dean for the MBA Program, Professor David Tilson, and a facilities improvement initiative through which opportunities for improving the students’ classroom and gathering space experience at Simon are being identified.

In working on these and other projects, Louis demonstrated maturity, patience, bluntness, integrity, perseverance, and a host of other personal leadership qualities that exemplify the best of Simon, and hence this nomination.” – Karen O. Dowd, Assistant Dean, Career Management & Corporate Engagement


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