2017 Best MBAs: John Masline, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

John Masline

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

Age: 26

“Bringing energy, curiosity, and hard work to anything that I’m passionate about.”

Hometown: Burlingame, CA

Fun fact about yourself: I won a contest as a child to become a Radio Disney “Kid Correspondent” and got to record commercials and be on a talk show.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of California, Los Angeles, Majored in Business Economics (Minor in Italian and Specialization in Computing)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Los Angeles Galaxy, Account Executive

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? PetSmart, Phoenix, AZ

Where will you be working after graduation? PetSmart, Merchandise, Planning & Allocation Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Donald W. Jackson, Jr. MBA Scholarship recipient
  • MBA Association, VP of Events
  • W. P. Carey School of Business Student Ambassador
  • UCLA Alumni of Arizona Board Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the Welcome Back Event I coordinated and hosted for the Full-time MBA program at the beginning of my 2nd year in the program. Previously, there was no formal or informal event at the start of the school year to bring 1st and 2nd year students together to get the year started. As VP of Events for the MBA Association (our student government), I felt like there was a major opportunity to bring students together in a casual environment to network and decompress after a week of orientation for 1st years and a summer of interning for 2nd years. So over the summer prior to my 2nd year, I researched, coordinated, and set up an all-inclusive bowling event for our program. As this was the first event of its kind, I wasn’t sure how popular it would be, but in the end the response was so great that we ended up renting out the entire bowling alley. I am most proud of this achievement because it was a new event that achieved its goal of building community between students in both years of the program, and because it is something that I have been told will become a tradition in the program in the years to come. I always look to leave organizations better than they were before I arrived and I am proud that this event will become one of my lasting legacies on the program.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my time as an Account Executive with the Los Angeles Galaxy there would be different sales contests throughout the year. One sales contest at the beginning of the season offered a grand prize of a trip to Portland, OR to see the Galaxy play the Portland Timbers. I had always wanted to visit Portland, so I made it my goal to do whatever I could to win the sales competition and put a plan in place to ensure that would happen.

Under the rules of the competition, as long as a certain percentage of the ticket purchase was paid by the end of the contest, the entire value of the tickets sold would count. With this in mind, I reached out to my biggest ticket partners, communicated the importance of them to pay a portion of their balance in advance, and put incentives in their contracts that spurred them to put deposits down early. With this strategy in place and continuous positive communication with my clients, I was able to win the contest, provide the organization with revenue that would not normally be realized until much later in the year, and go on an amazing trip to Portland. I am proud of this achievement because it shows how strategic thinking and careful planning can lead to great success. I was able to understand the business goal of having clients pay in advance, and was creative and persistent in ensuring that happened.

What was your favorite class and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? My favorite course in the program was Negotiations with Professor Kevin Corley (Management). I enjoyed this class so much because it was incredibly hands-on and it taught the universal skill of negotiating in a very detailed, thorough manner. Negotiations aren’t something you can just learn from reading; you have to get out there and actually do it. Professor Corley very much understood this and almost all of our class time was devoted to mock negotiations between classmates and then discussions about those negotiations. Being able to practice what we were learning with fellow classmates was not only educational, it was fun too. What I took away most from this class — and is one of the biggest business insights I’ve gained throughout my time in the program —  is that in any business relationship you need to put yourself in the other party’s shoes. If you are able to understand what the person across the table from you wants, what their limits are, what their leverage is, and what other factors are on them, you are able to be much more effective and successful in business. Doing business is a two-way relationship, and this class taught me that knowing the other side is just as important as knowing your own side.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose the W. P. Carey School of Business because of the personal nature of the program. I was incredibly impressed with the level of interest the program showed in getting to know me better during the application and interview process, and that level of personal attention and interest has continued throughout my time at the school. I feel as though I can speak openly with any staff or faculty in the school and my voice will be heard and receive attention. I could tell that this level of personalization in the program would not only provide me the opportunity to grow myself as a leader, but also the opportunity to give back to the program andshape it in a way that will make it a better program moving forward.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Understand and own your personal business proposition. As much as you want to get into your school’s MBA program, they just as badly want to have great people in their MBA program. If you are able to express a concise, valuable, and interesting personal value proposition in your essays and interviews, you will be able to turn the tables and have them fight for you to enroll rather than having you fight to be accepted. Understand yourself and what you can provide to the MBA program, and if that is what they are looking for, they will do whatever they can to make sure you say “yes.”

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think the biggest myth surrounding our school is that it’s “easy.” However, I can honestly say from experience that the Full-time MBA program at the W. P. Carey School is anything but easy. The program demands a lot of time and effort from its students. The challenges it puts its students through develop business leaders who can go toe-to-toe with any other business school in the world. This myth may exist now, but I sincerely believe that as the program continues to develop talent and rise in the rankings it will become more recognized as the top program it is today.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret is not becoming more involved with research. There are some incredible faculty in the program who are doing ground-breaking research in their fields of study, and I feel as though I didn’t take the time to learn more about what they were doing and how I could get involved. If I was able to re-do my business school experience, I would somehow get involved with a research opportunity.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I realized that I was not going to be professionally satisfied until I was in a position to make a positive impact on my organization.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… working for the Los Angeles Galaxy or another sports organization.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate professional goal is to become a C-Suite executive or a CEO of a B2C company that has over $1 billion in revenue. I am someone who sincerely enjoys leading teams and wants to make organizations better, and I feel like that level of leadership would provide me with the ability to make my vision become a reality. I would want the organization to be B2C because I take real pride in my work when I am able to have it recognized by others, and I want my accomplishments to positively impact as many people as possible.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt, it is my wife. My wife Emily has been so supportive throughout the entire business school process that I sincerely couldn’t have done it without her. She encouraged me to take the risk of applying to full-time business school programs; she was supportive of us uprooting from Los Angeles and moving to Phoenix; and she has been there for me whenever I felt the pressure of the program’s demanding curriculum. It would not have been able to have had the success I’ve had without her being there for me, and I am so lucky to have her in my life.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? “John was someone who I could always count on to get something done really well and to have fun while doing it.”

Favorite book: Slaughterhouse Five

Favorite movie or television show: Breaking Bad

Favorite musical performer: The White Stripes

Favorite vacation spot: Fiji

Hobbies? Watching any and all sports, craft beer, and exploring new cities.

What made John such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“It is my pleasure to recommend John Masline for the “Class of 2017: The World’s Best & Brightest MBAs.” I have watched and supported hundreds of students shuffle through the MBA program at the W. P. Carey School of Business, but there are few students who make such a significant impact on the program in such a short amount of time.

John has incredible work ethic in the classroom — completing a marketing concentration within the MBA, along with a concurrent Master of Science degree in Business Analytics. John has maintained a 4.0 across all coursework in his graduate career. Faculty members and members of the administration frequently gain constructive insights from John about his experience. Beyond the classroom, John holds work responsibilities as a graduate assistant with glowing feedback from his supervisors. He is also involved in many student organizations, including our Ambassador program which works with prospective students from application through orientation. His feedback as a part of the Ambassador program helps to shape the profile of the incoming class of our MBAs.

While these achievements set John apart, his impact as the MBA Association’s VP of Events has made a significant difference in the program. Typically, the same events are scheduled year-over-year: happy hours, intramurals, picnics. John embraced the opportunity to launch a new series of events that reinforces the spirit of our new Forward Focus curriculum. He thought creatively about how to better integrate and build relationships between his class and the first year class. These new events appeal to a larger, more diverse population of students. The family-friendly movie night and the MBA Takeovers are just a few examples of events where he embraced the rapid changes of the program to create a more cohesive student experience. Where many students in this leadership position have been satisfied with the status quo, John’s innovative mindset has allowed more students to get involved in the extracurricular programming that is such an important aspect of the immersive Full-time MBA experience.”

Jeanne Sims
Program Manager
W. P. Carey Full-time MBA

DON’T MISS: THE COMPLETE HONOR ROLL: BEST & BRIGHTEST MBAS OF 2017