2016 MBAs To Watch: Matthew Meads, Arizona State (Carey)

Matthew Meads-Arizona State-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Matthew Meads

 
Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

Age: 30

Hometown: Sandy, Utah

Undergraduate School and Degree: Brigham Young University, B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Becton Dickinson Company, Project Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle, Washington

Where will you be working after graduation? Intel as Commodity Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Assistant Scoutmaster for my local Boy Scouts of America Troop; Co-Director of the W. P. Carey MBA Ambassador Program.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of taking on the additional workload of a second master’s (Master in Business Analytics) while completing my MBA.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Qualifying and setting up a new supplier that helped reduce transportation costs and production costs that resulted in an approximately $1.1 million cost savings.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Reynold Beyers has been my favorite professor for several reasons. He is a professor that really cares that his students understand the material, but doesn’t spoon feed the answers. Each of his classes challenged me and helped me push myself to take chances and not be afraid to make mistakes. This helped me ultimately embrace a learning approach to my education, which has helped me make the most of these two years. Even though some of his classes’ workloads seemed unreasonable, he always made himself available to discuss concepts in a way that helped me to understand and helped me stay on top of the course work. He not only has been a great teacher in the classroom, but also a great mentor as I have considered pursuing a PhD.

Favorite MBA Courses? Strategy, Organization Behavior, Marketing, Supply Chain Operations, Managerial Accounting, Negotiations, Negotiations and Contracts, Ethics, Decision Models, and Strategic Management

Why did you choose this business school? I know that I have always thrived in a smaller classroom setting, but also wanted to feel like I belonged and fit within the culture. W. P. Carey’s smaller class size and family-like culture was a perfect fit. I also was drawn to W. P. Carey because of the MBA Ambassador Program. It was something that I saw as way to give back.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I loved going to class and learning new concepts and hearing my classmates’ (friends’) comments that would help to open my eyes to new ways of looking and analyzing things.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? There are multiple ways to approach every problem that need to be solved and there is no right answer in an ambiguous world. At the same time, you sure as hell better be able to back up your assumptions that you use.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I have been blown away with the willingness of my fellow students to help me with understanding difficult concepts, as well as finding an internship and a full-time job. I was expecting a more competitive environment, but was surprised with an environment of “co-opetition” (cooperative competition).

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Be yourself, be polite and respectful and do your research about W. P. Carey (or any school you are applying to). The application process doesn’t just start when you submit your online application, so be on your “A” game whenever you interact with admissions. Ask questions that will really help you see whether you are a good fit because those who don’t feel like they fit into the culture will struggle and not get the most out of their education. Asking a lot of questions will also help assess whether or not W. P. Carey can and will help you achieve your goals out of business school. This is great practice as you prepare for finding an internship and later a full-time job.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I realized I wasn’t the stereotypical engineer and loved working in cross-functional team in a collaborative manner to solve complex problems.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… working at Becton Dickinson, still trying to make a lateral move out of engineering into a strategic role of some sort, such as strategic sourcing or working on my Six Sigma Black Belt project.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Tony Hsieh is both an executive and an entrepreneur that I most admire. After reading his book, Delivering Happiness, I got a glimpse of an executive who is doing something differently by concentrating on creating an environment and culture where people feel like family and want to work. To me, culture is everything and it is refreshing to see someone as successful as Tony value culture above creating value for the stockholders.

What are your long-term professional goals? I would like to eventually become a director of strategic sourcing for a small- to medium-size company or be the owner of my own small company

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My wife deserves the greatest thanks for any of my successes. She is the love of my life and my greatest support. Prior to business school, she moved around the country with me, sacrificing a steadying and consistent career and now she has more or less been a single mother of two children throughout this business school experience. She is the reason why I am where I am today.

Fun fact about yourself: I love to knit. I find it very therapeutic and relaxing. Plus, there are endless patterns you can create yourself or try out.

Favorite book: How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen

Favorite movie: Goonies

Favorite musical performer: Mat Kearney

Favorite television show: “The Office,” but currently running “The Blacklist”

Favorite vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii

Hobbies? Wakeboarding, snow skiing, basketball, building projects (for my wife)

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

“Matt is a positive force in the W. P. Carey program, building spirit in the group. He leads the class in applauding at the end of a good class and cheers on his classmates in events ranging from case competitions to MBA Olympics. At the same time, Matt never hesitates to share his ideas about how the program could be even better. I appreciate a student who can be critical while remaining committed to the success of the school.

“Matt’s belief in the school and the program made him a great choice as co-director of the student MBA Ambassador group. In that role he coordinates campus visits and mentoring contacts between current students and prospective students. He is playing a critical role in bringing in the next cohort of W. P. Carey MBA students because he helps them understand the program and determine whether it is a good fit with their goals and aspirations. Matt intends to continue this support as an alumni ambassador post-graduation.

“Matt is an eager learner, wanting to soak up all the knowledge he can from both faculty and classmates. At the same time, he has contributed to class discussions and team work that helped his classmates learn from his experiences. He shares his time and knowledge generously. Every cohort needs a Matt Meads!”

Kay Keck
Director, Full-Time MBA
W.P. Carey School of Business

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