Meet Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper Class of 2017

Robert Southern

Rob Southern 

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business 

Hometown: Concord, MA

Undergraduate School and Major: Emory University, BA in Political Science

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

– Lucid Design Group, Director of Operations

– HealthCPA, Operations and Account Management (Contractor)

– EnerNOC,

Energy Markets Region Lead

Energy Markets Specialist

Energy Markets Associate

– Nobska Partners Search Fund, Private Equity Intern

– Prisma MicroFinance, Intern

– MetroRock, Climbing Instructor & Routesetter

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Hire a personal tutor or study in the smallest group possible (or affordable) and plan to study 20+ hours per week for six to eight weeks…minimum. Practice time management, basic algebra (including mental math shortcuts), probabilities and inequalities, and word problem solving setup steps in particular. Do thousands of real problems from old GMATs.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Don’t ignore the middle of the country, and don’t write off entire cities, states or schools simply because of what you think you know about them. Reach out to programs you find interesting and try to learn what really sets them apart.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?  Visit schools in person, introduce yourself to the admissions staff, and correspond with them throughout the process. Be sincere and passionate and specific. Walk through every step of the online application forms several months before the deadline to ensure that you account for all requirements (the essays are not the only time you will enter subjective, free-form text).  Assume every application will be unique.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? A family friend who teaches entrepreneurship for a top-tier school strongly recommended Tepper – and it is highly ranked by graduates for its entrepreneurship program. It is also one of only a handful of top programs that teach entrepreneurship through acquisition. Also, the fact that literally every person that I spoke to about Pittsburgh said it was an incredible place to live sealed the deal.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I hope to prepare myself as best as possible for executive leadership and management and find a future business partner.

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