Meet Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper Class of 2017

Torrell Jackson

Torrell D. Jackson

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Hometown: DeBary, FL

Undergraduate School and Major: University of South Florida

Majors: Finance and Management

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Bank of America


Assistant Manager Leadership Development Program-Assistant Manager Associate- Atlanta, GA

Assistant Manager- Atlanta, GA

Financial Center Manager- Atlanta, GA

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Find a method of study that works best for you. Do you prefer self-study or group study? Do you prefer utilizing test preparation companies? Regardless of which method you choose, be sure to stay committed to it. Even though the GMAT is just one component of your entire application, you want to achieve the best score you can in order to remain competitive.

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? The first step involves identifying your purpose for applying to business school. Are you looking to change careers? If so, are you looking to change industries? Having an understanding of what your career path is allows for you research schools and programs that are strong in attracting recruiters for particular industries or careers. In my case, I was looking to change both careers and industries. I started my search by identifying top programs that offered concentrations or dual programs in Health Care Management. Carnegie offers a dual Master’s of Business Administration and Master’s of Science in Health Care Policy & Management program that best aligned with my future goals.

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? People often get too caught up in the GMAT. The GMAT is just one component of your application. It’s an important part nonetheless, but what is most important is your ability to portray your vision in a way that is both genuine and passionate. Is your vision for your future well thought out? How well are you able to communicate and articulate your vision? Can the interviewer envision what you envision? Ultimately, when you are selected to interview, it shows the school is interested in you and it is up to you seal the deal. With that being said, be yourself. Don’t be afraid to show some personality. At the end of the day, it’s about fit. One of the best ways to demonstrate your fit is by being personable.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Fit. I wanted to be in smaller program where I could take full advantage of my resources. I wanted to feel like a person and not a number. I wanted to be able to know all of my professors and classmates by name and know them on a personal level. I also wanted to feel valued. I met a Tepper recruiter in Orlando about five years ago and spoke with him extensively about what Tepper had to offer. One year ago. I sat with another Tepper recruiter and had a very similar conversation. After both interactions I felt like I belonged at Tepper and after visiting campus, I knew Tepper was the perfect fit for me. It had everything I wanted and I felt at home.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? My goals are entrepreneurial in nature. My first goal involves an invention I have been working on for the past several months. My wife, who is in Chiropractic School, and I have been working on an instructional medical device for Chiropractors that I am looking to get developed and produced before the completion of the program.

My second goal involves developing a Chiropractic Practice Management Company that enables Chiropractors to learn how to operate and manage a practice. I am looking to have the first office opened in fall of 2017.

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