2015 MBA To Watch: Robert McMahan Woods

Robert Woods

Robert Woods

Robert McMahan Woods

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business

How is this for an example of perseverance and courage? Three years before starting his MBA program, Robert McMahan Woods suffered a gunshot wound in Afghanistan, causing a traumatic brain injury that cost him nearly 30 IQ points. He needed to “learn how to study, take notes and just manage how to learn again.” Undaunted, and against the advice of doctors, Woods entered a highly challenging graduate program in business. Fast forward to 2015 and Woods is now a graduate of the Terry College of Business, where he was the recipient of the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation Scholarship and the Chandler and Pat Barton MBA Scholarship. He has since founded BMWoods, an investment firm based in Athens, Georgia.

Age: 29

Hometown: I am a military brat but I have adopted Athens, Georgia as my hometown.

Undergraduate School: University of Georgia

Undergraduate Degree: B.S Psychology, B.A. Criminal Justice

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Captain, United States Army

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? McMahan Woods Properties, Rising Fawn, Georgia

Where will you be working after graduation? CEO, BMWoods Enterprises

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized it was the most prudent way to combine my desire to both start a business and continue intellectual therapy from my injury. I felt like business school would be the best conduit for both.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…an entrepreneur with far fewer skills.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to be able to continue working but not doing the same thing for too long. Toward that end, I plan to continue my current businesses and develop a consulting firm in the field of leadership development with my father Brigadier General (ret.) Bob Woods. I feel that this role will enable me to see/experience many different types of businesses.

Favorite Courses: New Products Development and Brand Management

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? Despite my doctors’ strong advice that it was too soon after my traumatic brain injury to attempt college-level work, I enrolled and completed this very rigorous program.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? I would say my mother because she walked away from multiple businesses to stay with me and help for two years of rehabilitation due to my gunshot wound. She had trained her subordinates in the way that I hope to in my business. Also and most important, she reflected a balance between family and business that I want to emulate.

Why did you choose this business school? They have a top-notch business school and yet they had compassion to assist me with my special needs due to my recent combat traumatic brain injury.

What did you enjoy most about business school? This school fosters an environment where students feel safe to share and learn from everyone’s real world experiences.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? My most memorable moment was the moment I realized that I would be applying much of what I learned as I began my own business while a student.

Fun fact about yourself: I am a huge Darth Vader fan and have quite a collection of memorabilia from childhood till today.

Favorite book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Favorite movie: Wedding Crashers

Favorite musical performer: Eric Church or Jamey Johnson

Favorite television show: Rescue Me

Favorite vacation spot: Any new location

What are your hobbies? Travel, working on cars, motorcycles, grilling/barbeque, reading (classics to comics)

Twitter Handle: @RobertW0819

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

“The spirit and drive that Bobby brought to our program was immeasurable. Watching him overcome the challenges he endured in the service to our country has been an inspiration to every person who has met him. I know that we can expect big things from Bobby in the future, just as he’s accomplished great things in the past.”   Santanu Chatterjee, Director of the Full-Time MBA Program and Associate Professor of Economics