Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m a warrior, a kiwi, news junkie, and 7/9 of the way to fatherhood.
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a Chicago Cubs fan living in a Cardinal’s world
Undergraduate School and Major: Brigham Young University, B.A. in English Literature
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Concerned Veterans for America: Interim State Director
Deputy State Director
The Corporate Executive Board: Account Management Specialist
Army National Guard: Field Artillery Officer
Representative Matt Salmon, Arizona 5th: Congressional Staff
National Republican Senatorial Committee: Political Team Member
Gabriel Gomez for U.S. Senate: Deputy Field Director and Military & Veterans Liaison
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: For the past two years, I’ve played a role in pushing for reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs which led to passage of recent legislation in Congress entitled the 2017 VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Through hundreds of meetings with lawmakers, veterans, and VA officials, our team was able to secure crucial support and buy-in. This included the majority of veterans organizations, as well as solid bipartisan backing in Congress, to ensure clean passage through the House and Senate. This legislation will help veterans to receive better care from more accountable institutions and hospitals.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Don’t let your doubts dissuade you from attending business school. Looking back, I can remember doubting whether I was a good candidate for an MBA program or could afford the expense and opportunity cost of two years outside the job market. However, as I progressed through the application, interview, and program selection process, I received a lot of clarity that resolved my initial concerns. I’m now 100% confident in my decision to reinvest in myself by pursuing an MBA.
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 strength of the Olin community was the primary reason I chose to attend Washington University’s full-time MBA program. In particular, I was impressed with the time that Olin students and faculty freely offered to discuss the strengths and benefits of the program with me. While I was travelling in Slovenia, an outgoing Olin grad was willing to arrange his schedule, despite the difference in time zones, to answer my questions and provide his perspective on the program for over an hour on the phone. No other program I evaluated came close to matching the level of peer engagement and support I received from Olin. This generosity of time from students and faculty, combined with the sense of personalized interest I felt from the admissions team, was the key determinant in my decision to attend Olin.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I will consider myself to be successful if I can contribute to and be a resource to others in the program or to those evaluating attending Olin. In the Army, we used to start our days repeating our warrior creed, which contained a line I’ve always loved that states: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” In the military, our success was not heightened when a comrade failed, and here at Olin I really believe that the more success we individually and collectively experience, the better off we all are. If I can be a resource and not a liability to both the program and my peers, I’ll feel successful.