The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: An adventurer that dances and skies. An electrical engineer turned VC, then founder of DAF Technologies.
Hometown: Mitchellville, Maryland
Fun Fact About Yourself: My first business was selling golf balls at the golf course near my house. I would find golf balls, clean and package them in egg cartons, and sell to golfers. I would often order a pizza, go out to the golf course and sell golf balls with the goal of having enough money to purchase the pizza by the time it was delivered.
Undergraduate School and Major:
Howard University, Bachelors Science Electrical Engineering
Stanford University, Masters Science Electrical Engineering
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab – Signal Processing Engineer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – Communications Engineer
In-Q-Tel –Technology Associate
DAF Technologies – Founder, Director of Innovation & Technology
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Founding DAF Technologies, a technology consulting firm that partners with companies looking to maintain their market position and not get outmaneuvered as a result of new technologies, has been my biggest accomplishment so far. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and going from thinking about it to executing on it has been so fulfilling. My creativity has grown in finding opportunity and new ways to bring in business. My grit has developed through hearing no and pushing through to something that works. My persuasive speaking has grown leaps and bounds through the many talks I have given at conferences, conversations with innovation executives, and convincing subject matter experts to work with our team.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Talk to people who are doing what you want to do. Lots of people will have opinions on if you should go to business school, if this is the right time, or what school you should attend. However, the most meaningful advice for me came from conversations with partners in venture capital firms or people raising their own funds. Understand where you want to go in your career, develop relationships and seek advice from those that have done it, and listen to what they tell you.
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? I chose Wharton because it is a school that produces many great VC professionals. There are many prolific investors amongst the alumni. Also, I liked the location in Philadelphia and being a city with a lower cost of living.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year of business school success for me would be landing an internship at a top tier venture capital firm, developing great friendships, and gaining global experience in the world’s top entrepreneurial ecosystems.