2016 Best MBAs: Wyatt Batchelor, Columbia Business School

Wyatt Batchelor Columbia

Wyatt Batchelor


Columbia Business School

“Have you ever met a super hero in real life? Wyatt’s super power could very well be his strength of character, but it could also be his ability to inspire. Wyatt’s deep care for and attention to every person he encounters is remarkable. Wyatt has the supernatural ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Education: B.S. United States Military Academy

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? United States Army- Fire Support Officer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Credit Suisse Financial Sponsors Group, New York

Where will you be working after graduation? Burger King, Global Operations

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School Co-President- Military in Business Association

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Leading the veterans club at Columbia Business School. The Co-President role is an elected position and I am humbled that my peers had enough faith and trust in me to elect me into the position.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Serving with the men of 2nd Ranger Battalion. The U.S. Army Rangers are America’s most elite special operations infantry unit. The selection and vetting process to get into the unit are grueling and the everyday life in the unit is equally as tough in order to maintain the high standards demanded of everyone. The precedent these men established is one that I will adhere to in years to come in whatever organization I work in.

Who is your favorite professor? Dean Glen Hubbard. As Dean of the Business School, there must be substantial demands on your time. However, Dean Hubbard shows his commitment to the school by teaching a one week block week course on Entrepreneurial Finance every semester. His teaching style is incredibly engaging and he turns a seemingly technical course into a class that everyone can understand and enjoy. Furthermore, he takes the time to learn every person’s name in the class and their backgrounds. His commitment to the school is unparalleled and exceptionally impressive.

Favorite MBA Courses? Everything entrepreneurially related; Entrepreneurial Finance, Intro to Venturing, Entrepreneurship through Acquisition

All of these classes offered comprehensive insight into what it takes to be an entrepreneur from a conceptual side and reinforced by successful entrepreneurial speakers

Why did you choose this business school? Columbia truly is at the center of business. I’ve leveraged the brand of the school to conduct meetings with people like General Petraeus, Paul Volcker, Coach K, Tom Brokaw and General McChrystal all because I am attending the best business school in the country that happens to be located in the center of everything important going on in the world. I chose Columbia because I knew it had unparalleled access to anything that may interest me.

What did you enjoy most about business school? By far and away, it is the people. CBS does an incredible job of creating a wonderfully diverse environment. I have had the unbelievable opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Every one of these people I call friend. This exposure to different cultures, ways of thinking, and social environments has invariably made me a more holistically developed person.

What was the hardest part of business school? Prioritizing your schedule. There are so many competing activities and only so much time throughout the day. School may be important one week, while getting a job is more important the next. Leaning on second years to help you sift through this problem makes the process much easier.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Very straightforward: CBS wants people that are smart, driven, and humble. But even more than that – and this is where I believe CBS stands apart from any other b-school – CBS wants team players that will strive to make the organization better and not just themselves. By perpetuating this mentality, CBS has manifested an environment that is incredibly collaborative, colorful, and unified. By each individual improving the efficacy of the organization, we all leave that much better off as individuals.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized the army doesn’t teach you much about financial statements.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…head down in a pile of books wondering why I chose to go to law school.”

What are your long-term professional goals? To run my own business one day, whether it’s a well-established company or something I start on my own. My next career step is going to be a phenomenal way of learning about the nuance of company operations. This experience, combined with my military background and an MBA from the best school in the world, will set me up for success as a business leader in the near future.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife, Brenna. I have put her through so much more than what most spouses go through their first five years of marriage: three deployments to Afghanistan, weeks spent away from home for training, and now having the pleasure of attending the greatest business school in the world while she works to keep food on the table. She’s the most supportive person I have ever known and there is no way I would be here without her.

Fun fact about yourself: I once threw the football with the President of the United States before the Army-Navy game. I became nervous at the last second and under hand tossed it to him instead of throwing a spiral. I didn’t want to hurt the leader of the free world. He wasn’t impressed.

Favorite book: Endurance by Alfred Lansing – an incredible true story of survival and leadership

Favorite movie: Tombstone

Favorite musical performer: Robert Earl Keen

Favorite television show: Modern Family

Favorite vacation spot: Alaska, Montana, or Wyoming

Hobbies? Fitness, fly fishing, scuba and shooting

What made Wyatt such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Have you ever met a super hero in real life? Wyatt’s super power could very well be his strength of character, but it could also be his ability to inspire. Wyatt’s deep care for and attention to every person he encounters is remarkable. Wyatt has the supernatural ability to make you feel like you are the only person in the room. When we welcomed Wyatt and his lovely wife Brenna to Columbia Business School, I had no idea how much a part of my own family they would become. Wyatt came to Columbia, having made his Ranger community proud as a proven leader with integrity of the highest order. As a member of the Columbia family, he has taken the utmost care to leave Columbia an even better place than it already was through his dedication to our veterans, to his cluster, and our admissions efforts in bringing more veterans into the Columbia fold. We are so proud to recognize Wyatt, a hero who inspires those around him to want to be better and strive to be better.” — Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Columbia Business School


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.