Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m an 18-year-old MBA candidate and former NASA intern looking to start my own business
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Fun Fact About Yourself: I acquired my private pilot’s license last summer.
Undergraduate School and Major: UCLA ‘13, Pure Mathematics; Brandeis University (Graduate) ‘17, Information Security
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Student Intern, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Successfully commercializing collision avoidance software within 6 months of arriving at NASA.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? This would depend from person to person, but there’s generally three pieces of advice I would give:
- Don’t sweat the admissions interview… too much. Most MBA prospects are looking to change careers so having direct experience with business operations is helpful, but not required. What’s more important is your display of collaborative ability, adaptability and flexibility, as well as your comfort in dealing with ambiguity.
- Get ready for recruitment and career events. Those start right away, pretty much as soon as you start your first quarter or semester. The sooner you prepare, the more career and company events you can attend. That means you can be pickier as to what you want to do in the future.
- And that leads me to my third advice: Get ready to feel the opportunity cost. Spreading yourself too thin can be a real issue in business school; that is, going to too many company events (such as positions or roles you’re not interested in), joining too many clubs, and doing too many extracurricular activities. That also goes for academics as well. There will be times where you should be willing to accept not doing a certain reading or task for a certain class in order to accomplish and learn more in another one.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Besides the fact that a fully-funded MBA program would attract anybody to attend, such as myself, it’s the intentions and ambitions having a type of program like this signaled to me. It really opened the doors and allowed for a kind of diversity that wouldn’t usually be seen in really any other MBA program or business school. It’s this diversity and group of people from differing backgrounds as well as cultures that attracted me the most because I was excited at the prospect of getting to hear and learn from these awesome, talented people from around the globe.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job at this point of my life is to be a project/program manager in the aerospace or tech industry. I enjoy the prospect of leading a team of talented people with differing backgrounds through a complex project, overseeing every aspect from start to finish and bridging the gap between technology and business.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I provided them with a different perspective and forced them to think differently about various things. Not just in the respect that age doesn’t have to make such a massive difference, but in general coming from a different circumstance (a relatively young, determined student with a STEM/engineering background having interned at NASA) provides them with a new way of thinking.