2018 Best MBAs: Ryan Ripp, Columbia Business School

Ryan Ripp

Columbia Business School

“Notre Dame football fanatic, former investment banker, and equity research analyst transitioning into management consulting.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Short Hills, NJ

Fun fact about yourself: I am a self-taught wakeboarder and love spending weekends on the water at the Jersey Shore.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

  • Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Analyst, Securitized Products Group
  • Barclays, Assistant Vice President, Equity Research
  • Citigroup, Senior Associate, Equity Research

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? McKinsey, New Jersey Office

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey, Associate in the New Jersey Office

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Community Interview Outreach
  • Vice President of Education, Management Consulting Association
  • Career Management Center Fellow
  • Columbia Fellow Merit Scholarship Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of co-leading the education initiative for the Management Consulting Association. Having gone through the consulting recruiting process last year, I remember how challenging and stressful it was to learn the finer points of case interview preparation; many second year students generously spent a lot of time helping me to prepare, and I wanted to pay it forward this year. My co-Vice Presidents and I organized and drove all of the initiatives to teach first year students about the ins-and-outs of consulting interview prep. We also managed Columbia’s Case Coaching program, through which second year students gave over 1,900 mock case interviews to first year students preparing for consulting interviews. This year, I conducted over 150 mock interviews with first year students, and it was extremely rewarding to see many of my classmates that I worked with earn offers from the top consulting firms.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at Citi, my manager and I developed a proprietary methodology that our team used to determine the value of Instagram as a standalone entity within Facebook’s stock price. We were the first bank on Wall Street to create such a methodology, and our analysis was featured by Jim Cramer on CNBC.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It’s a tie between Professor Bruce Usher and Professor Ray Horton. They both work to establish personal relationships with their students that extend far beyond the classroom. Professor Horton even invited all his students to his home for a holiday party.

Why did you choose this business school? Columbia’s academic reputation and location create an unmatched combination of on-campus experiences and off-campus networking and extracurricular opportunities. Our Manhattan campus allows the school to attract incredibly accomplished adjunct professors who are leaders in their respective industries, as well as guest speakers who lead some of the world’s largest companies. For example, Columbia’s Consulting Immersion Seminar is taught by Professor Barry Salzberg, the former CEO of Deloitte. The class featured visits to the New York offices of the world’s largest consulting firms and meetings with senior partners at these firms. Additionally, students can easily participate in part-time internships. I have personally taken advantage of this, managing a part-time internship at a credit investment fund, while taking a full course-load.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Most prospective students cast a fairly wide net of applications. Take the time to really get to know CBS and find out if the location and culture fits what you’re looking for. Come visit campus, ride the subway with current students, meet with Columbia’s Executives in Residence, and determine whether Columbia’s Manhattan location provides the business school experience that you are looking for. When it comes time for your essays and admissions interview, you will be able to speak to all the specific aspects of CBS that make it the best fit for you and your career goals.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Through the Chazen Institute, Global Immersion Programs, and Pangea Advisors, Columbia offers students a broad array of opportunities to travel internationally and learn about industries and business practices abroad. I unfortunately did not participate in any international programs through the school, but if I had more time I would have definitely done so.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The classmate I most admire is one of my closest friends at school, Dave Amstutz. Dave worked in government and politics before coming to CBS, and as a result he did not have the background in accounting, economics, and finance that many students have upon arrival. Rather than shy away from classes and activities focusing on these topics, Dave threw himself into courses and activities that focused heavily on these topics. He’s worked extremely hard and has been very successful in school. His efforts and learning curve are a testament to how much one can learn in business school when they challenge themselves. As a result of all his work, Dave will be moving into a job in finance upon graduation.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father worked in insurance and my mother worked in banking. When I was growing up, the latest business and economic news was a frequent conversation at the family dinner table, and I just naturally became interested in pursuing a career in business as I got older.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working as an investor on the buy side.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? As Dean for a day, I would increase the emphasis on service to the community. As President of Community Interview Outreach, which conducts mock interviews and resume reviews for welfare-to-work individuals, I’ve seen first-hand that MBA students have a wealth of knowledge and a skillset that is invaluable to many people in need. I would work to foster a culture that encourages broader participation by the student body in initiatives such as Community Interview Outreach and the Harlem Tutorial Program.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1) Learn to kiteboard

2) Visit Milford Sound in New Zealand

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would hope my peers remember me as someone that really enjoyed working with my classmates and helping them prepare for interviews and achieve their career goals.

What would your theme song be? “Knee Deep” by Zac Brown Band

Favorite vacation spot: The Jersey Shore

Hobbies? Skiing, wakeboarding, Notre Dame football and recruiting blogging, craft beer sampling

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

“What made Ryan an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018 was the impact he had on both the student community and the Morningside Heights/Harlem community around Columbia University. Like many MBA students, Ryan’s career path led him to consulting. From the day he came to CBS, he has had a give back mentality. He is the Co-President of the Community Interview Outreach program here at CBS, formerly known as I-Prep. This volunteer mentoring program is aimed at helping special needs, underemployed, or unemployed persons in the community prepare for the job market and become comfortable with the interview process. Mentees work on interview skills, resume feedback, but most importantly mentors support and help them to build confidence.

What makes what Ryan has done for the school and program so impactful is that he has taken a program that was in existence for several years and able to partner with other student clubs, faculty and administration, to also get them involved in the process. Columbia University has given students so much, imagine what sharing knowledge for 90 minutes can do for community members who could benefit from our expertise. Ryan also manages the Case Prep program for the Management Consulting Association. He wants his peers and students coming behind him to be successful. He volunteered and devoted countless evening, weekend hours and time during the winter break to help students prepare for the rigors of case interviews. Lastly, Ryan has been a thoughtful partner in sharing feedback to the administration but also offering solutions. Far too often students complain but rarely take the time to have a conversation, understand how things work, then offer thoughtful solutions. Lastly, on top of all that Ryan has done for the community, he has excelled in the classroom maintaining an A average. (CBS doesn’t have letter grades we have numbers but his GPA is equivalent to an A).”

Zelon Crawford

Assistant Dean and Dean of Students

Columbia Business School


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