2018 MBAs To Watch: Greg Dougherty, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Greg Dougherty

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

Open-minded and curious. Proud veteran, loyal friend, somehow both pragmatic and idealistic.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Gillette, Wyoming

Fun fact about yourself: Thanks to my time working for my dad’s company as a kid, I have been paying taxes and Social Security since I was 12 years old. Thanks, Dad!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Virginia, Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Foreign Affairs (2016)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

  • Engineering Services Network (2012-2014) – Systems Analyst: Developed operating and safety procedures for the U.S. Navy.
  • United States Navy (2005-2011) – First Class Petty Officer: Divisional supervisor and weapons technician onboard USS Donald Cook (DDG-75).

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

Schlumberger – Houston, Texas

Sustainability Intern – Researched trends in environmental, social and governance reporting; developed recommendations and implementation strategies for corporate sustainability reporting.

Where will you be working after graduation? Schlumberger in Houston, Texas, as a Sustainability Specialist

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

MBA Student Association Executive Council – VP of Community Service: Leader of 30-member Community Service Committee. Facilitator of community service and fundraising initiatives for the MBA Program, and liaison between students and administration.

Business Communication Center Consultant: Member of small group of second-year consultants selected to assist Undergraduate Business, Master of Accounting and MBA students to enhance their communication and presentation skills. Edited resumes and cover letters and led mock interviews and impromptu presentation workshops.

Community Core Value Award: Awarded for exemplifying the UNC Kenan-Flagler Core Value of Community, through both inclusiveness and community outreach.

YES Consortium Partnership: Leader of bi-weekly program sending 20 MBA students to a local elementary school to teach basic business lessons and assist in a start-up challenge; program generated over 60 volunteer hours, and helped over 90 fourth-grade students develop an early interest in business.

Business Cares Committee Member: Volunteer and recruiter for fundraising and outreach events for Business Cares, a UNC Kenan-Flagler community service organization backed by faculty, staff and students. Supported children’s health charities by providing toys for children with pediatric cancer, and meals for their families.

MBA-BSBA Mentorship Program: Mentor of Undergraduate Business Program student; provided academic, career and recruiting guidance and preparation.

Global Scholars Academy Start Up Challenge: Assisted in organizing start-up challenge for a local charter school; through 5 basic business lessons, our 12 volunteers helped a class of 18 sixth-grade students learn about business and inspired them to become entrepreneurs.

Global Scholars Academy Start Toy Drive: Co-led toy drive for local charter school; raised $1,638 in donations and delivered 136 toys for 68 kindergarten- to second-grade children from disadvantaged communities.

Energy Club – VP of Club and Campus Relations: Primary coordinator of events between Energy Club and other career and diversity clubs.

Veterans Association – VP of Community Outreach: Promote community and volunteer programs to Veterans Association members.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of winning the UNC Kenan-Flagler Core Value Award for Community. The award is funded by the MBA Class of 2005 Fellowship to recognize students who exemplify the Core Value of Community. Giving back to is something that is very important to me, and it felt great to be recognized for the work I have done within UNC Kenan-Flagler and the surrounding community.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I came to business school interested in sustainability and the energy industry, but was unclear exactly how to direct my job hunt based on those niche interests. I thought about traditional paths like consulting or leadership development programs, but ultimately knew that I would be happier in a role closer suited to my interests and priorities. Following graduation, I’ll be joining the Global Stewardship team at Schlumberger as a Sustainability Specialist, allowing me to contribute to rapid changes in the oil and gas industry, particularly in the area of sustainability reporting. I’m proud that I found a unique role aligned with my interests, and that I’ll be able to drive new trends in the energy industry, helping to meet essential needs while not comprising long-term sustainability.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is a difficult question given the awesome faculty at UNC Kenan-Flagler, but I would have to say that my favorite professor was Olga Hawn. She teaches courses in strategy and sustainability, and is passionate about proving the business case for corporate social responsibility and how companies engage stakeholders. Her class inspired me to think critically about how companies approach sustainability. Additionally, she was generous enough to take the time to discuss my career options and provided me with valuable insight and resources regarding careers in sustainability.

What was your favorite MBA Course? This one is definitely a tie. My two favorite MBA courses were Energy Value Chain and System Thinking for Sustainable Enterprise. In Energy Value Chain, I gained a great deal of insight into the complexity of the energy industry, how it is currently transforming, and what that means for energy companies. Systems Thinking for Sustainable Enterprise inspired me to think deeply about the impact of climate change and ways in which businesses can confront the greatest challenge of this century.

Why did you choose this business school? When I started looking at business schools, one of the most important things for me was the course and concentration offerings. UNC Kenan-Flagler had a lot of courses in my area of interest, and I was really drawn to the Sustainable Enterprise and Energy concentrations. Additionally, the school offers a lot of opportunities for leadership development, such as the Hodges Leadership Capstone that I will be participating in this spring. Finally, the people I met played a huge part in my decision to choose UNC. Of all the schools I visited, UNC Kenan-Flagler was by far the most welcoming, and I could tell right away that I would be happy here.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? It important to sincerely think about what you want to gain from your two years as an MBA student. I would try to rank which aspects of the MBA experience are the most important to you – i.e. academics, student environment, recruiting opportunities, etc. Then, while visiting schools, make sure to just be yourself. It’s only by being yourself while interacting with current students and the administration that you will be able to decide if UNC Kenan-Flagler, or any other school, is the right place for you.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I often hear that UNC is considered the “nice MBA.” From what I’ve experienced, it is very true. While this is still an MBA program and people are competitive, students are collaborative and there is a strong sense of community. We want to see each other succeed, and we help each other to be successful in any way that we can.

I think a great example of this comes from internship recruiting during my first year. I was applying to many of same internships as my fellow Energy Club classmates, and there was a company offering two internship spots. Instead of being selfish with our information, time and expertise, I and three of my classmates got together to help each other prepare for our interviews with the company. We knew that at best two of us could get the internship, but earnestly helping each other succeed was far more important than getting the role ourselves.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret is not getting to know more of my professors outside of class. We have amazing facutly at UNC Kenan-Flagler, and they enjoy engaging with students and providing professional advice. I wish I would have been more proactive and taken advantage of the opportunity to build stronger relationships with them earlier on in my time at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate I most admire is Tina Jeffress. As the President of the Energy Club, her leadership and insight were invaluable to both first-year and second-year Energy Club students. She always put others before herself, and was dedicated to helping her classmates learn, improve, and achieve in everything from career development to networking. Additionally, her commitment in leading various Energy and Net Impact conferences was inspiring. Tina has a kind heart and is determined to improve the world and all those around her. I feel lucky I got to know her, and feel privileged to call her my friend.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad had the largest influence on my decision to pursue business in college. I am a first-generation college student, and graduate school wasn’t something I even considered until I was in the military. Nonetheless, my dad has had a major impact on my work ethic and interest in business. He started a welding company nearly 30 years ago, and through hard work and dedication grew it into a successful enterprise. From a young age I worked at his company and was given the opportunity to learn about management and leadership. I’m very proud of everything my dad has accomplished as an entrepreneur, and without the lessons he taught me and the work ethic he instilled in me, I would not have made it to business school.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working in international trade and investment policy in Washington, D.C.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? If I were the dean for a day, I would adjust the first-year orientation to ensure that first-year students had a greater opportunity to build relationships with second-year students. Second-year students provide valuable guidance to first-year students, and it is important for class integration to happen early in the process. UNC Kenan-Flagler provides opportunities for first-year students to interact with career and diversity club leaders – and also has a second-year career mentor program. However, by hearing a wider range of perspectives right from the start, new MBA students will be more informed about the options available to them, and more prepared to balance the fast-paced Core curriculum and internship recruiting.

This could be accomplished during orientation in an all-day, second-year student led event. The day could include career and diversity club information sessions; networking sessions separated by career interest; team building exercises for teams containing both first-year and second-year students; and could culminate with a large networking social.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

#1: I want to go to all seven continents – I will be heading to Australia over spring break, and it will be my fifth!

#2: I want to go skydiving – it sounds a bit cliché, but I’ve always wanted to and the opportunity has eluded me.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I want my peers to remember me as someone who was kind, dependable and completely dedicated to everything I did, from coursework to leading community service projects for the school.

What is your favorite movie about business? My favorite movie about business is definitely Office Space. The movie is hilarious and it provides two essential lessons about the workplace and careers: 1) you will more than likely encounter a Bill Lumbergh and have to put up with TPS reports; 2) If you really want to be happy, it is important to find a career that you truly enjoy.

What would your theme song be? My theme song would be “Good Times” by Chic. I think it is important to have fun and keep a positive attitude, and this song definitely represents that.

Favorite vacation spot: Costa Rica. The beaches, biodiversity, culture and people are all amazing.

Hobbies? Music is a big part of my life. I love to play guitar and bass, and I’m always up for a good concert, especially if Modest Mouse is playing. I also like hiking, playing disc golf, and watching historical and scientific documentaries.

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

“At UNC Kenan-Flagler, we are continually humbled by and grateful for the contributions from the women and men that join our program from the United States Armed Forces. Hard work, the highest levels of integrity and a commitment to service are those characteristics exhibited by our veterans. Even among this outstanding group, Greg Dougherty shines as the epitome of these traits and our core values; we are grateful that he chose to lend his leadership and work ethic to the betterment of UNC Kenan-Flagler.

One of the most amazing and impressive elements of Greg’s personality is that his values are inextricably linked to all facets of his life. A competitive candidate for a number of prestigious roles, Greg is choosing to contribute is tremendous talent to enhancing sustainability efforts in the energy sector. As a Sustainability Specialist at Schlumberger, he will be able to drive data-driven innovations in the rapidly changing energy industry to accomplish the goal of meeting energy needs without compromising long-term sustainability.”

Kara Kravetz Cupoli

Director, Full-Time MBA Program





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