U.C.-Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Gritty, values-oriented family man who started from the bottom and is striving for the top.
Hometown: Originally from the small town of York, PA
Lived in Philly for the past 12 years
Fun Fact About Yourself: I scored 1,000 plus points in high school basketball and was the first person in the school’s history to reach the 1,000-point mark. In full disclosure, it was a very small school, and I started on the varsity team as a freshman.
Undergraduate School and Major: Temple University, accounting, risk management, and insurance
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
The Graham Company
Employee benefits consultant, account manager
Willis Towers Watson
Consultant, People Manager
Mercer Health and Benefits, LLC
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far was helping to launch an employee resource group (ERG) across 12 offices as a regional co-lead at Willis Towers Watson. My co-lead and I built out the multicultural ERG from the ground up. We started by developing a framework, implemented the ERG across the offices, and communicated it to leadership and associates. I see this as a highlight of my career, because I made a substantial impact on the organization and learned a lot through the project. I was even selected to deliver a presentation to some of the most senior leaders of the firm to educate them on one of the new initiatives and seek their buy-in. That project was a great lesson in project management, team work, managing up, and building consensus.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? My one piece of advice for future business school applicants is to know yourself, and be yourself. It is easy throughout the process to get caught up in what others are doing, but at the end of the day, you are the one who will experience two years of business school and build the lifelong network that comes with it. B-school is a huge investment, and it is important to make it count. To really do that, it is essential that applicants stay true to themselves and have fun with the process. If you can’t be yourself through the application process for a particular school, do you really want to be at that school? This advice holds true professionally as well, when one is considering employment opportunities.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The key factor that led me to choose Haas, aside from the strength of the program, was the authenticity I experienced at all levels–through interactions during the admissions process and with staff, faculty, current and incoming students, and alumni. Everyone is encouraged to come as they are, and the Haas Defining Principle of confidence without attitude is truly embedded in the culture. In all, I felt that Haas would help me to grow into the type of leader I’d like to be–one who is competent, confident and collegial.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I decided to pursue an MBA so that I could encounter new challenges in my career and make a larger and more meaningful impact through my professional work. Through business school, I hope to develop a more global business view and different approaches to problem solving. I was previously a manager of six direct reports, but I never had any formal training. I would like to truly learn about human behavior and how to effectively manage people and organizations. If I can hone these skills, while deploying them in a challenging and engaging internship over the summer, I’ll be quite pleased.