2018 Best MBAs: Kyle Verash, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Kyle Verash

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

Perseverance, duty, honor, and integrity are what I hold dear.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Marshfield, MA

Fun fact about yourself: I was fortunate enough to work with several military and civilian organizations to construct treatment units in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.

Undergraduate School and Degree: United States Military Academy, BS Civil Engineering

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? United States Army, Construction Management Officer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ

Where will you be working after graduation? Chevron, Business & Commercial Development Program Analyst

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Secretary, MBA Military Veterans Club of Notre Dame; Student Ambassador; Teaching Assistant, Graduate Career Services.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  Throughout the program, I’ve been able to engage my peers in many positive experiences both in and outside of the classroom, but I’m most proud of being selected to serve as a mentor and teaching assistant in the career development course for first year students. The course was going through a revamp and had not included student mentors in an official capacity before; it gave me the opportunity to work directly with 25 motivated individuals, aiding them in refining their interviewing skills and focusing their job search. I’ve always sought to share my lessons learned, if for no other reason than to save others from the setbacks I endured, and this position allowed just that.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m most proud of my time leading a platoon of combat engineers on patrols in Afghanistan as a junior officer. I wasn’t interested in self-accomplishment or achievement, but I was and remain incredibly proud of my men and the outstanding job they did to ensure the safe passage of coalition forces along our 85km route that stretched through the most kinetic portion of the country.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor F. Asis Martinez-Jerez taught a course on strategic cost management that was both challenging and insightful. His unwavering dedication to pushing us intellectually deeper was inspiring and I hope to make as significant an impact on others in business as he made on me.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Besides Strategic Cost Management, which I’ve already mentioned, my favorite course was Professor Barry Keating’s Business Forecasting and Predictive Analytics. The material was dense and the time commitment was substantial, but the knowledge gained formed the building blocks to my understanding and implementation of analytical concepts to real world business problems. It’s amazing how the core concepts and techniques from this course have emerged in marketing, finance, strategy, and analytics courses alike.

Why did you choose this business school? The most important criteria for me in choosing an MBA program was to find an institution whose values resonated with me. My entire adult life has been driven by purpose and meaning, from “Duty, Honor, Country” at West Point to the seven army values.  Mendoza’s commitment to the core tenants of leadership, excellence, and community was a natural fit, as well as the program’s “Ask More of Business” mentality and strong collaborative environment.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be committed. Making the decision to attend b-school isn’t easy, nor is deciding on the right program for you. Mendoza has exceeded my lofty expectations and the alumni network is spectacular. Be committed throughout the application process and the program will reward you with an unrivaled experience.

 What is the biggest myth about your school? Consistent placements in the mid-20s on P&Q’s list of best MBA programs can cause some to doubt whether the return for attending Mendoza is comparable to that of other top-25 programs, but I promise you that we punch well above our weight.

What was your biggest regret in business school? An advantage to our program is that we’re about 300 strong between the two classes and one years. That makes us just small enough that we’re still able to know one another on a personal level while still being large enough to draw top employment opportunities. If I could change one thing about my experience it’s that I would have put more effort into developing stronger relationships with a larger contingent of my peers.

 Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Without a doubt I most admire Sam Butler, an active duty Army officer who’s heading to work in the Army Acquisition Corps after graduation. This is a man who could have easily focused on his own priorities and those of his family throughout the past two years since he isn’t able to be recruited and has a set career path for the next few years, but he took it upon himself to coordinate the Student Ambassador program and work outreach for our MBA Military Veterans Club. Beyond his achievements within the program, he undertook an unpaid and non-required internship within the Congressional Research Service as a Research Fellow over the summer, a position that he had to petition the Army to allow. Sam’s unwavering dedication and humility are true testaments to his character.

 Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My wife was the biggest influence in the decision, she worked in marketing before our twins were born and would constantly impress me with her business acumen and insightful observations. I had very little business experience before attending Mendoza and discussions with my wife really drove me to pursue more and to eventually ask more of business.

 If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a project engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or a private contractor in the central Texas region.”

 If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Although the program does a great job of including the spouses and significant others of students in extracurricular activities, I would expand the outreach by allowing spouses to audit classes.

 What are the top two items on your bucket list? To be an impactful leader in my career at Chevron and to take my family on vacation to Australia.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone who truly cared to make an impact on others.

What is your favorite movie about business? Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room because it reaffirmed my belief in Mendoza’s mission to produce business leaders that will challenge the status quo and ask more of business in regards to social responsibility and honorable dealings.

What would your theme song be?She’s with Me” by High Valley since I’m always in awe that I was able to snag my wife, Kendra.

Favorite vacation spot: Dublin, Ireland

Hobbies? Squash, hiking, spending time with my wife and young twins.

What made Kyle such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Kyle Verash is an invaluable member of Mendoza’s MBA Class of 2018. Kyle joined Notre Dame’s MBA program after serving as a U.S. Army officer for five years (during which he was awarded a Bronze Star and earned a number of other accolades), and it was immediately clear that he personifies the values that the Notre Dame family holds so dear:

Excellence. Kyle excels in the classroom and is on track to graduate with high honors. He has also excelled from a career management perspective, earning an extremely competitive internship with Johnson & Johnson, followed by a full-time slot in Chevron’s coveted Business & Commercial Development Program. There is no doubt that Kyle will continue to excel as a full-time employee at Chevron.

Leadership. Kyle has been a dynamic and engaged leader since he got to campus. The most visible example of this is his work with Notre Dame’s MBA Military Veterans Club. As a first-year student, he was actively involved in planning and executing several high-impact events, including Notre Dame’s first-ever MBA Veterans Preview Weekend. Later that year, Kyle was elected to serve as the club’s Secretary and played a key role in shaping its 2017-2018 strategy. He got a chance to bring that strategy to life as a second-year student when he stepped up to lead the club while its President and Vice President were studying abroad. That he did so successfully while handling a tough course load, managing his own career search, welcoming new twins to his family, and serving as a teaching assistant for the first-year Career Leadership course came as a surprise to nobody; that’s precisely the kind of servant leader Kyle is.

Community. Kyle is a key contributor to many aspects of Notre Dame’s MBA community. He partnered with our Admissions team to identify and attract high-potential candidates through his efforts with the MBA Veterans Preview Weekend, and by attending the annual Service Academy Career Conference to represent Mendoza. From an academic perspective, he was chosen to be a teaching assistant for the Career Leadership course, during which he served as a mentor to 25 first-year MBA students, providing coaching that will help them achieve their long-term career goals. Finally, after experiencing tremendous individual success as a first-year MBA, he created and executed a preparation plan that helped 20 fellow ND students position themselves to succeed at the annual MBA Vets Career Conference.

Achievements aside, what makes Kyle really special is the incredible humility with which he carries himself. He’s selflessly dedicated to Notre Dame and its MBA community, he prioritizes collective accomplishments over individual ones, and he’s a consummate team player. The Mendoza College of Business urges its students to ask more of themselves while building careers with impact. Kyle’s done exactly that, and the impact he’s made on Mendoza will be felt for years to come.”

Shawn Pulscher
Associate Director, Graduate Business Career Services

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST: CLASS OF 2018