2016 MBAs To Watch: Dale Tolley, Brigham Young (Marriott)

Dale Tolley-BYU-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Dale Tolley


Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management

Age: 29

Hometown: Kalispell, Montana

Undergraduate School and Degree: Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management, BS in Business Management

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Farm Bureau Financial Services (HR Specialist, Recruiting), LANDESK Software (Senior HR Generalist)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, OH

Where will you be working after graduation? Procter & Gamble Co., as an Associate HR Manager for Family Care (household paper products including the brands Bounty®, Charmin® and Puffs®)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: OBHR Sherpa Track Lead (leading a team of 12 second-year MBAs to train and secure internship placement for 25 first-year MBAs in the field of OBHR); and MBA Recruiting Manager (managing the recruiting pipeline for the BYU MBA program, hosting on-campus tours and networking events, creating collateral and social media campaigns to communicate the BYU MBA value proposition to prospective students)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Receiving the Hawes Scholar award has been the pinnacle of my BYU MBA experience. This prestigious award is given to second-year MBA students in the top 5% of their class. Criteria for the scholarship include academic excellence, leadership maturity, a proven commitment to ethics and values, and a demonstrated devotion to the mission of the Marriott School of Management.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Becoming a globally published board game designer is one of my proudest professional achievements. In pursuing my combined passion for business and my interest in the toy and game industry, I demonstrated business acumen across the disciplines of marketing, sales, HR, supply chain, and entrepreneurship. I consider this experience a holistic, learning-intensive dive into many facets of business that now informs how I manage my professional HR career across a variety of business functions.

Who is your favorite professor? Dr. Troy Nielson. No other professor was more involved and supportive of my career in HR prior to and during my MBA. I fully expect to collaborate with Dr. Nielson as my ongoing mentor as I return to BYU to network with and encourage future students to guide their HR careers as well.

Favorite MBA Courses? Corporate Governance, Team Management & Consultation, Managerial Accounting, Power Influence & Negotiation, Strategic Organizational Design, and Advanced Consumer Behavior.

Why did you choose this business school? The BYU Marriott School is a unique environment where I can combine my passion for business with my strong priorities for my faith and family. I am able to bring my whole self to school as my faith lends perspective to my ethics and the way I will always do business, which is with the utmost level of integrity. Since the Marriott School delivers exceptional employment opportunities with world-class, multinational companies while also offering me leadership opportunities within my community, I have found everything I want academically and professionally from this school.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Taking two years to complete a full-time program allows valuable time for focused career meditation and experimentation that is not usually available in the normal rhythm of work life. I have had the opportunity to travel extensively and see a number of businesses in several countries during my time in business school. Having this opportunity has opened my eyes to the leadership possibilities ahead of me and makes me excited to begin the first step of a fruitful and now accelerated career.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school?  I have gained a lot of practical training in what it will take to truly be an effective leader of people from business school. Remembering that people will always remember how I made them feel — but not necessarily what I said — is a key managerial implication I will take from my dealings with my classmates and other colleagues. I feel confident that I have built a relationship of trust with a number of my colleagues that will benefit my career for decades to come.

What was the most surprising thing about business school?  The most surprising — and refreshing — aspect of business school was the focus on practical learning for the sake of learning itself. While one may expect to have all the key answers to business’ pervasive and cyclical problems revealed during business school, I was surprised to learn that the key is in fact to learn how to learn and solve problems more effectively. I feel I have set myself up for success with a plan and set of habits for continued learning that will keep me relevant in an ever-changing business world.

What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school for me was dealing with the opportunity cost of paths I chose not to take. I could have launched my post-MBA career in a variety of industries and geographies. I am very excited and pleased to be joining Procter & Gamble Co., a world-class company known for developing exceptional leaders. Learning to make long-term, wise career choices and patiently allowing time and experience to mold my opportunities is key as I take the next step on my career journey.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Get involved with students and alumni early. Go on trips and see how the world really works. Do not limit your knowledge of the workings of business to what the news chooses to tell you. Go see it for yourself. Get out and see business happen. Ask questions constantly and keep refining your questions until you truly begin to grasp the complexities of the business world. Finally, assemble a diverse personal board of directors with trusted mentors who can grant you career perspective beyond your own abilities.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I lived in Central Europe for two years from 2005 to 2007 and discovered that my leadership potential could truly span national boundaries.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… happily working in the blossoming tech industry in Utah’s Silicon Slopes while working on my various entrepreneurial pursuits in the toy and game industry on the side.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I admire Muhammad Yunnus, a social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. At the end of the day, I will draw the greatest satisfaction from actually improving the lives of customers and employees within my span of control. As we all share this world — experiencing life together and hoping for and working to always create a better world — I feel that my skills in business are best utilized to increase others’ opportunities, happiness and self-esteem. Social entrepreneurship is not a hobby for the wealthy to pursue when there is nothing left to conquer. Rather it’s the discovery and pursuit of what is truly important about life.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to experience the globalization of business firsthand by becoming an HR executive for a multinational company. I intend to enlist the best mentors across a number of industries so I can prepare to strategically direct an organization to improve its culture and deliver value to all stakeholders — investors, employees, and the community alike. I aspire to eventually serve on the board of directors for admirable companies looking to unleash the potential of their talent in the workforce. Eventually, I intend to enter the consulting world at the latter end of my career so I can combine my love for travel with a more customizable work schedule, allowing me the opportunity to chase family and other pursuits as I reflect on a fruitful and satisfying career.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? First and foremost, I owe my success to my intelligent and beautiful wife Alana. She is my best friend and closest adviser. Alana has been continually supportive of my pursuits, including the rigorous demands of transplanting our family for the sake of developing my career. My parents also sacrificed continually to give me the very best education and professional opportunities that have led to the opportunities I now enjoy. Finally I want to thank all of those individuals who serve on my own personal board of directors (you know who you are!) — your continued support and wisdom will remain invaluable as I develop my career.

Fun fact about yourself: I am completing my LEGO MBA (Master Building Academy) concurrent with my BYU MBA to expand my credentials and continued passion within the toy and game industry.

Favorite book: The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes

Favorite movie: The Truman Show

Favorite musical performer: British rock bands, including Muse and Coldplay

Favorite television show: “Sherlock”

Favorite vacation spot: Prague, Czech Republic. National parks in the U.S. and Europe in general are also areas I consider my playgrounds.

Hobbies? Tropical cruises with family and friends, live British rock concerts, hiking in national parks and celebrity-attended conventions.

What made Dave such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016? (Please include administrative or faculty member’s name and title)

“Over the past eight years I have worked closely with more than 300 BYU MBA students. Dale is definitely in the very top percentile of that group. He exhibits strong leadership and interpersonal skills, business acumen, and HR expertise, a passion for developing others, as well as a willingness to explore and implement new ideas to make organizations better. His passion for exceptional performance and innovation set him apart in a population of really talented individuals.”

Troy R. Nielson

Associate Professor of Management

Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management



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