Meet Carnegie Mellon’s MBA Class Of 2018

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business

TEACHING DEEP DIVE ANALYSIS WITHOUT LOSING SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE

Dean Robert Dammon is fond of saying that the program has two years to prepare students for a 40-year career. As a result, the program stresses the multidisciplinary nature of business. The first year of the MBA program opens with BaseCamp, a month-long orientation that provides deep dives into both soft communication skills and the integrated nature of functions like operations, finance, and marketing strategy. The program also leans towards experiential learning, with the second year culminating in a capstone course where students partner with a leading employer for 12 weeks on a consulting project, with one capstone shipping second years off to Silicon Valley for seven weeks to learn how to raise capital for startups.

Still, Tepper’s quantitative bent ranks as the program’s biggest allure according to the 2018 Class.

“We are in a world that is increasingly dependent upon “big data,” and those who succeed will know how to use this data to make sound business decisions,” explains Mukasa. “The Tepper School of Business is a school that thrives itself on its ability to breed forward-thinking and innovative leaders with its analytical and quantitative rigor.”

Tepper MBAs listen to an employee of VMware at VMware's Palo Alto campus on their Bay Area Tech Trek

Tepper MBAs listen to an employee of VMware at VMware’s Palo Alto campus on their Bay Area Tech Trek

For Jacquillat, the real difference at Tepper was its ability to connect analytics fundamentals with the trappings of leadership. By blending these elements, she believes that she can gain an advantage by cultivating a management style that’s both data-driven and people-oriented. “I want to be able to perform and understand technical analyses in business, and I want to have the business acumen to have the vision for it and see the big picture,” she says. “Both of these are important (we need good technical people and good managers), but neither of them are sufficient alone, and we need people who can bridge these two worlds. That is the role I want to play.”

Beyond mixing the technical with the interpersonal, the incoming class also reaps the benefits of the larger Carnegie Mellon community.  Founded in 1900 by famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the school ranks among the top American universities, renowned for its collaborative and cross-curricular approach and excellence in fields like the arts and cognitive science. The business school alone has produced eight Nobel Prize winners. The volume of options and quality of synergies were impossible for students like Jacquillat to pass up. “Electives at the Heinz College would expand my knowledge of information systems and policy making to bring change in private, public and non-profit organizations. As a leader, this would help me unlock the potential of integrating technical analytics into comprehensive management and policy solutions.”

LEGACY: “THAT’S A GUY I CAN TRUST”

What does the Class of 2018 hope to accomplish after graduation? Mukasa, for one, hopes to make a difference no matter what field or role she chooses. “In some of my past positions, it was difficult to not feel like just a cog in a wheel while others were given the true power to make business-critical decisions. In my dream job, no matter the function, I would be a true strategic partner with the business, consistently taking part in making the corporation’s strategic imperatives come to life.”

Tepper Interior

Tepper Interior

Others were more specific. Jing Liu, who comes to Pittsburgh after working in finance in China, lists digital consultant as her dream job. Her goal: “eventually guide C-level people to build a digital mindset that will institutionalize cross-functional collaboration, flatten hierarchies, and build environments that encourage the generation of new ideas.” In true quant fashion, Price hopes to manage a fund, where he can “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.” Galiyas’ economics background and overseas Naval experience has kindled an interest in economic development and microfinance. “I would like to see how I could apply those interests at institutions like the World Bank, IMF, USAID or the non-profit sector.”

Every MBA class imagines leaving a legacy for future students to follow. When it comes to how they want to be remembered, Saravanan seemingly covers every angle: “A highly dependable team member who pushes boundaries while fostering strong relationships in the process. A leader who has the business acumen to identify and seize opportunities, and to work towards globalizing businesses. Most importantly, a good friend who learns, adapts and inspires.” Then again, maybe all of these points can be boiled down into one succinct statement: “That’s a guy I can trust,” says Edwards.

DON’T MISS: THE STEREOTYPE-DEFYING MBAS IN THE CLASS OF 2018 OR MEET CARNEGIE MELLON TEPPER’S MBA CLASS OF 2017

To read profiles of incoming Tepper MBA students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.  

Ademola “Demmy” Adeogun / Lagos, Nigeria

David Edwards / Pittsburgh, PA

Dave Galiyas / Dexter, MI

Luis Garcia Jurado / Cancun, Mexico

Catherine Hidlebaugh / Naples, FL

Claire Jacquillat / Paris, France

Aaron Kapur / Cortlandt Manor, New York

Jing Liu / Tianjin, China

Stacey Mukasa / Sharon, MA

Greg Price / Boston, MA

Aparna Saravanan / Bangalore, India

Danielle L. Vermeer / Chicago, IL