2016 MBAs To Watch: Duncan Dickerson, Rice University (Jones)

Duncan Dickerson-Rice-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Duncan Dickerson

 
Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

Age: 24

Hometown: Houston, TX

Undergraduate School and Degree: Columbia University Bachelors in Economics and Political Science

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Morgan Stanley – Trading Intern; KKR – Analyst

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Tudor Pickering Holt & Co – Investment Banking Associate

Where will you be working after graduation? Lazard Ltd. – Investment Banking Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School NCAA Division I Conference USA Track and Field Champion – Hammer Throw; NCAA National Qualifier – Hammer Throw; Rice University Most Influential Athlete of the Year 2016; Rice Coaching Assistant, 2015; Financial Executives International Scholarship Winner

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My involvement with Division I athletics at Rice has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. I vastly underestimated the amount of energy it would take to be a part of the track team, maintain the academic rigor of my first year, and recruit for investment banking. However, the support from the faculty and coaching staff made it all possible. My second year has allowed me to understand that while winning as an athlete was certainly rewarding, it pales in comparison to my current experiences with the team. I am most proud of helping my fellow throwers compete at a level that Rice has never experienced. My continued work with my teammates has led to them breaking my indoor record and I will do whatever it takes to help them repeat their performance this outdoor season. I have won conferences and set records prior to business school. While I would trade nothing for those experiences, I believe that my greatest achievement at Rice will be establishing a theme of excellence that persists long after I am gone.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at Tudor, Pickering and Holt, I was the sole associate on a fairness opinion for a $3 billion transaction. The deal was very public and had to be highly scrutinized by shareholders with competing interests. TPH took a big risk letting me work on the deal, especially since the entire process was to take just shy of 100 sleepless hours of work and they would be legally accountable for my valuation. It was an amazing opportunity to show that I can perform under pressure and I learned a lot about how to communicate in stressful environments.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Balaji Koka is my favorite professor at Rice because of his contagious passion for strategic analysis and his ability to encourage others to think creatively. I truly enjoyed all of my strategy courses with him and am still learning from him about negotiations and game theory through our occasional board gaming sessions.

Favorite MBA Courses? Strategy (Balaji), Corporate Financial Policy (Orzu), Real Estate Capital Markets (Mastandrea)

Why did you choose this business school? Rice was the perfect combination of academic prestige, professional development, and athletic prowess.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Partio! Our weekly parties on the main patio at the business school.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Apply the rule of diminishing marginal returns to everything you do in life. You will get a lot more out of your academics, career, and relationships.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? The value of having a small class size where everyone helps one another.

What was the hardest part of business school? Having to compensate for my lack of full-time business experience during recruiting.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Know what Rice is best at and what you would like to do. If the two do not match, go somewhere else.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I snuck into a core strategy class at CBS during undergrad.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… working for KKR.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Herb Kelleher (Southwest). His passion for excellence and commitment to his employees is unparalleled.

What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to open my own middle-market restructuring/M&A firm.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents, for always supporting me.

Fun fact about yourself: I have logged 1,314 hours playing video games during my undergraduate and business school classes.

Favorite book: The Fountainhead, I don’t agree with Ayn Rand’s philosophy but she does great character development.

Favorite movie: Tie between Young Frankenstein and The Prestige.

Favorite musical performer: Yo-Yo Ma

Favorite television show: “Rick and Morty”

Favorite vacation spot: Kauai

Hobbies? Hammer throw, debate, video games, cooking

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

“I had the pleasure to coach Duncan for his one year of eligibility at Rice University. Duncan was such a valuable member of our team because of his relentless pursuit at chasing his passions. He worked hard, was enthusiastic, and led by example. He accomplished things that no one in the history of the university has done in his specific event area, including establishing a new school record and winning the school’s first-ever conference championship in the hammer throw. His infectious personality and blue-collar work ethic will continue to inspire those around him and ensure he leads a successful and fulfilling life.”

Brek Christensen
Men’s Assistant Track Coach
Rice University

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