Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Analytical, intellectually curious, accent free Bostonian who loves dogs. Unapologetic Patriots fan.
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can’t swim, and don’t care to learn because of Shark Week.
Undergraduate School and Major: Babson College – Finance and Strategic Management
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Children’s Hospital (Boston) Pediatric Association – Financial Analyst
EMC Corporation – Financial Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While at Children’s Hospital, I had the opportunity to monitor and report on the performance of their pension and endowment funds. Being that investment management was a passion of mine, I put together a dashboard to track the performance of our three asset management firms. After calling management’s attention to one particular firm, which was consistently underperforming, I was asked to spearhead the effort to find a replacement firm to takeover this $20 Million portion of the endowment.
Admittedly, I was a little nervous feeling that they had suddenly entrusted me with a sizable portion of the endowment, but I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. That project allowed me to engage with accomplished portfolio managers, digging into investment strategies, risk profiles, and fee structures, and truly solidified my desire to pursue investment management as a career.
At the conclusion of the project, I made my recommendation to the financial board as to which firm I felt was best capable of delivering on our investment goals for this portion of the endowment. And to my knowledge, the firm I recommend is still managing that account today. This, for me, is kind of the “cherry on top” of a great learning experience.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? From having gone through the application process, I can tell you that there are a lot of great resources covering the mechanics of applying to b-school (GMAT Club, Accepted, etc.). So I will try and highlight some of things I learned during my application process:
You vs. the story of you: Focus on your story. Your application will be read by a human being at some point. Realizing that, as humans, a story is a lot more compelling and memorable than a list of accomplishments was huge for me. If you think about your accomplishments as the bones of an application essay, I would liken the “story” as the connective tissue that ties everything together.
Know your goals: Understand what the daily demands are like in your dream job. Talk to those in that field, and understand the industry trends that those professionals are dealing with. Being able to communicate these things will not only help you show your passion and commitment to your career goals, but it is also a great way to start networking.
Know your schools: I’m sure you’ve read in 100 different places to “do your research,” but what exactly does that mean? For me, I found two things that helped me translate that directive. First, the admissions folks you engage with already know where they work. It adds little value to be able to recite stats and names without a more compelling context. Secondly, what I found was that admissions folks didn’t want to see how much of the website you’d consumed, but rather what part of their program sparked that ember of curiosity in you. And furthermore, what have you done to feed that curiosity. For me it was the investment management clubs. I was genuinely excited about stock pitch competitions and the chance to manage a real money fund while in b-school. So I talked with as many people as I could to find out what that experience was like, and how should I be preparing now to maximize that opportunity. When the interest is genuine, it became much easier to express my interest in a school. And it didn’t feel like having to cram for an exam.
Know your fit: As many people have said, there are many great resources at b-schools, but what I’m beginning to learn first-hand is that your peers will be just as impactful to your growth as the school itself. Everyone enrolled at a program showed their competence, but also showed what they uniquely bring to the table. Read about your target schools. Try your best to understand what value you’ve showed in the past that you can bring to program. Being qualified will get you an interview; having something to contribute will greatly improve your odds.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose Tepper for a host of different reasons. Primarily, it was because I felt the school would best prepare me for the quantitative rigors in my desired post-MBA field. Also, Tepper had checks in all the right boxes as far as a world class career services department, very engaged and accomplished alumni network, and a curriculum that dedicated time and resources to helping students develop the soft skills as well as the technical expertise.
From a more personal lens, Tepper has some of the most caring and hardworking people in their admissions department. These folks were extremely busy, yet they found a way to always be available to answer a question or help connect me to current students. It truly felt like they wanted to get to know me as a person, and not strictly in an evaluative sense. The people enrolled at the school went above and beyond as well. I heard back from every student I reached out to within 48 hours and almost all of them were able to set aside valuable time to help me through my application process. Additionally, what stood out about the students at Tepper was that they didn’t just help me get a better understanding of the school, but they also provided me with career guidance, networking contacts, and amazing resources to help prepare me for my career. And all of this detail was provided before I had even interviewed with admissions. There was no concern or pressure as to where I would end up enrolling…the Tepper students just wanted to be of assistance to someone who was in the same position they were a year or two earlier.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be managing a value-oriented concentrated fund, driving investment strategy and identifying opportunities for long term value investing. For me, this would be stock picking in its truest sense. Being able to synthesize vast amounts of company data, drilling down to the true value in a firm, and project how this company will be positioned in the future is extremely appealing to me.
Additionally, as a “collaboratively competitive” person, the chance to manage a team of analysts responsible for identifying creative solutions to beat the market is an ideal fit. Also, the challenge of managing investments in today’s dynamic economic environment provides promise that there will always be new challenges to tackle and difficult problems to solve.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Great Teammate. Had unique opinions and ideas and always helped us come to a better answer. And he was a fun guy to hang out with outside of class. And we thank him so much for introducing us all to the greatness of Tom Brady!