Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2019

Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business


While offering fully-funded scholarships generated headlines, it didn’t necessarily yield results for Carey. During the 2016-2017 cycle, the school generated 634 applications, down 46% from the 1,159 applications it received when it rolled out the program last year (though up over 443 applications in 2015-2106). It also enrolled 10 fewer students as its acceptance rate fell nearly 10 points to 24%. The percentage, however, still puts Carey in the same league as Chicago Booth, Michigan Ross, and Virginia Darden). Even more, the school’s yield – the percentage of applicants who ultimately enroll after being accepted – stood at 72%, one of the highest rates among Top 50 MBA programs.

That said, the school managed to entice the same caliber of applicants as the vaunted 2017 Class. The average and median GMAT scores held steady at 682 and 690 respectively, though the percentage of students applying with a GRE rose from 39.5% to 45%. Although the percentage of women slipped by four points with the incoming class, this gap was offset by a four point jump with the percentage of international students.

Being exposed to this global cohort struck a nerve with Medina Perez. “I do not know when I will have the time and money to travel to more than 20 countries all over the world and when I will have a chance to spend two years in those countries and know how people live and think in those countries,” she admits. “What I do know is that at W. P. Carey this is possible. Plus, it’s probably even better because if you become part of this community your classmates will be young professionals just like you but that were born in a different part of the world.”


The academic backgrounds of the 2019 Class differed, to some extent, from the previous year. Business again represented the largest proportion of students at 26%, up two points over the 2018 Class. However, it barely edged out engineering, which rose five points to 25%. Alas, the humanities and social sciences suffered the biggest declines, falling four points each to 16% and 7% respectively. Math and Sciences accounted for 15% of the class.

Arizona State Carey’s School of Business

Last year, W. P. Carey acted as an outlier as the only Top 30 program where non-profits and education professionals constituted the largest bloc of the class. That trend continued this year, with the percentage even rising from 15% to 17%. The percentage of consultants was cut in half to 7%, while financial services tumbled three points to 10%. The biggest move was made by consumer products, which now takes up 13% of the class. Petroleum and energy (12%), technology (7%), healthcare and pharmaceuticals (5%), and media and entertainment (5%) are also represented in the class.

The outlook for the class also appears bright based on the performance of the outgoing class. This year, 96% of the graduating class landed jobs within three months of graduation – one of the highest rates among Top 30 MBA programs. Base pay nearly beat the six figure mark at $98,633, as bonuses averaged $14,907. Overall, the 77.5% of the 2017 Class found work in the western or southwestern United States.


If you asked the graduating class why they chose W. P. Carey you would probably hear about the intimate class sizes and personal attention – not to mention its leadership in supply chain curriculum and year-round sunshine. It is a place, says admissions director Pam Delany, where school leaders, faculty, and alumni invest heavily in students. “Students will say I didn’t realize that people would know who I am this much and that I matter at this school,” she tells Poets&Quants in a 2017 interview.

This gives the school motto extra resonance says McAlpine. “W. P. Carey seeks out people with fascinating and varied life experiences. “Where Business is Personal” isn’t just something they say — they recruit students to align with the school’s values.”

Not only do they recruit, but the school also takes great pains to develop students once they arrive. One example is a new offering this fall called Executive Connections, where each student partners with a volunteer senior executive over their two years. The network currently boasts over 60 leaders in areas ranging from venture capital to real estate to licensing. As part of the initiative, these executives work one-on-one with students, with the goal of equipping them with the operational, political, and communications know-how to navigate their way to the c-suite.


It is another example of Carey’s never-be-satisfied mentality that churns out innovations both practical and far-reaching. Executive Connections was particularly relevant to Leybman, who hopes to become a big data CEO. “I knew that ASU’s W. P. Carey School, with its unique teamwork and collaborative learning ecosystem, would not only provide me with the proper CEO toolkit, but also prepare me to become a better leader in the technology industry.”

When it came time for the 2019 Class, the Forward Focus scholarship often tipped the scales in Carey’s favor. For Jared Richards, a police officer and National Guard captain, the package evens the playing field, with the school “investing in talent that otherwise would not be able to attend.”

W. P. Carey Classroom

It also enables W. P. Carey to better hand-pick the best candidates, creating a more talented class that will only enrich the entire experience. “I wanted my MBA to be an experience of transformation and growth, says El Boukhari. “I knew that one of the most effective ways to inspire and provoke growth would be to surround myself with a diverse group of high-caliber peers. In launching the Forward Focus MBA program, W. P. Carey has gone to great lengths to attract brilliant individuals from different cultures who have very diverse professional profiles.”


Be warned: Just because the program is free doesn’t make it a breeze. Just ask John Masline, a 2017 Best & Brightest MBA.”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.”

Looking ahead, the class will be evaluating the success of their MBA from a range of criteria. Del Rossi plans to pursue her passion – sustainability – in the food and beverage sector. Labios’ dream would be to learn the processes for turning his ideas into action. At the same time, Thomas hopes to use a leadership role to drive impact in her community.

In short, the Class of 2019 is striving for what Zoesch calls “influence.” To do this, he plans to adopt the foundation of innovation: identifying what is needed and using what’s available to change what’s possible. For him, that process starts with empathy. “My personal goal is to look at people each day and see someone who is only deserving of compassion and kindness, even if the world tells me to see something different. I am confident an MBA from the W. P. Carey School will help me influence others around me to think similar.”

To read profiles of incoming W. P. Carey students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.


Student Hometown Alma Mater Employer
 Sergey Chipilenko  Tashkent,   Uzbekistan  University of Wales  TQFM
 Jennifer Del Rossi  New Orleans, LA  Tulane University  Emission Monitoring Services, Inc.
 EL Mahdi EL Boukhari  Marrakech,   Morocco  Al Akhawayn University  Roche
 Remund Labios  Los Baños,   Philippines  University of the Philippines Los Baños  Toyota Tsusho Philippines Corp
 Jacky Leybman  Tel-Aviv, Israel  Holon Institute of Technology (H.I.T)  XpoLog
 Allen Matsika  Rusape,   Zimbabwe  St. John’s College  Housewise
 Jennifer McAlpine  Woodbury, MN  University of Minnesota  U.S. Department of State
 Maria Fernanda Medina Perez  Mexico City,   Mexico  Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education  Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education
 Jared Richards  Apex, NC  University of North Carolina at Charlotte  Phoenix Police Department
 Michelle Slifcak Villa  Woodstock, GA  Kennesaw State University  Teach For America
 Shalini Thomas  Iowa City, IA  Georgetown University  Comité de Justicia Laboral / Texas Civil Rights Project
 Luke Zoesch  Park Falls, WI  University of Wisconsin-Madison  NCCU

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