2016 MBAs To Watch: Michael Gumz, University of Wisconsin

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Michael Gumz


Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Age: 28

Hometown: Eau Claire, WI

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Finance Major

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Bilingual Accounting Associate at Turck Inc. (3 years); Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (1 year)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Peregrine Capital Management, Minneapolis, MN

Where will you be working after graduation? TBD

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School Tutored statistically at-risk undergraduates in finance

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Americas Regional semifinalists of the CFA Investment Research Challenge (2015). We made it as far as anyone in our school’s history of the competition. It gave us the satisfaction that the many, many hours spent on the competition were worth it.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At Turck, I was responsible for designing a product costing model. When completed, it allowed the company to make more profitable decisions regarding its manufacturing processes. The company’s second largest product category was actually brought from Mexico back to the U.S. as a result of my cost analysis.

Who is your favorite professor? Dan Pickett and Brian Hellmer

Favorite MBA Courses? Intro to Applied Security Analysis, Applied Security Analysis, and Portfolio Management

Why did you choose this business school? I chose to come to Wisconsin because of the Applied Security Analysis Program. I felt that it was one of the best places to learn about the investment profession and that it offered an excellent ROI.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I most enjoyed getting to know my classmates as well as professors and alumni.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? I have become much better at strategic thinking. You always go through a lot of case studies in B-school, but I’ve also gained from doing real-time investment research and thinking strategically about the world as it is today and how it is likely to change in the future.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I was surprised by how well I really got to know my classmates from all the different MBA specializations.

What was the hardest part of business school? There were times when I really had to take my time management skills to the next level and prioritize things that were more important than others.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? The MBA curriculum here is very specialized. Make sure you know what your long-term career goals are and be able to clearly articulate how this specific MBA program will help you attain your long-term goals.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I’ve always wanted to go to business school. The investment management industry is so competitive that it is basically a requirement to join the profession as an investment analyst (along with the CFA).”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… applying to business school somewhere else.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I most admire the ASAP alumni base. They have become very successful and they all started in the same spot as I am in today. I have found them to be very accessible and helpful throughout my time here at UW.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to run my own investment fund and eventually fund a scholarship that helps kids go to college.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my family for supporting me throughout my life, my high school teacher, Ms. Krisan Hug, for getting me excited about the business world, and Randall Blum, my undergraduate adviser, mentor, and friend.

Fun fact about yourself: I speak Spanish.

Favorite book: Predictably Irrational. You’re always taught in finance and economics the classic assumption that people are rational. I think the book raises some very good points about irrationality and its effects on finance, economics, and our daily lives, and presents the material in an easy-to-read, anecdotal format.

Favorite movie: I like action movies, dramas, and documentaries.

Favorite musical performer: I listen to pretty much everything — classical to top 40 and everything in between.

Favorite television show: “Game of Thrones,” “Suits”

Favorite vacation spot: My family cabin

Hobbies? I love to play sports of any kind, but mostly soccer.

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

“Michael Gumz has been a wonderful MBA student as he consistently models the kind of technical and interpersonal skills necessary for success. His passion for learning is quickly apparent and adds a level of enthusiasm to classroom discussions. His sense of responsibility, his calm demeanor under pressure, and his willingness to work hard have made him an excellent teammate on group projects. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Michael is simply a nice guy — kind, funny, and interested in listening as much as talking. It is not often all of these traits exist in the same person, which is why Michael has been an invaluable part of the Class of 2016.”

Brian Hellmer

Director – Hawk Center for Applied Security Analysis

Wisconsin MBA, University of Wisconsin-Madison



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