Meet Wharton’s MBA Class Of 2020

Tim Cooney

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

“Former professional athlete. Constantly seeking to learn and aspiring to make an impact in business.”

Hometown: Collegeville, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: My little league baseball team made it to the Little League World Series and played on ESPN when I was 12 years old. When we lost our final game my teammates and I all cried on national TV.

Undergraduate School and Major: Wake Forest University, Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

St. Louis Cardinals, Baseball Player

Cleveland Indians, Baseball Player

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was making it to the major leagues in 2015 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Pitching in the major leagues was something I dreamed of as a 5 yea- old, so actually achieving that goal was surreal. My first game was against the Phillies, the team I grew up cheering for, and I even got to pitch against some players that I idolized as a kid.

The grind of climbing the minor league ladder made this accomplishment even more special for me, as it gave me the assurance that I could handle adversity in the future and motivated me to do great things in the future.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The biggest piece of advice I can give is to spend a significant amount of time reflecting on your past experiences and decide exactly how to portray your best self to the admissions team. Spending time brainstorming, instead of immediately jumping into writing, can help you prioritize which traits and stories that you consider most important, but also can help you identify other valuable experiences which you may have not thought of immediately.

I also recommend speaking to alumni from each school before you apply. I found this to be the best way to learn about each school and the MBA experience overall. I was able to get a good feel for which schools I would be a good fit at before even visiting the campus, just by speaking with alumni that I reached out to.

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?  One of the most attractive things to me about Wharton was the flexible curriculum and the focus on data-driven decision making. I saw the analytics revolution in MLB unfold during my career, so it was very obvious to me how data and analytics can completely change an industry. I wanted a school that placed an emphasis on data and that would provide me ample opportunities to learn more and learn ways to apply it in the future.

I also look at the MBA as a long term investment, and I think that the sheer size and scope of Wharton’s alumni base will be something I will be able to leverage throughout my career. Several Wharton alumni with similar backgrounds to me have already helped provide me with career guidance and mentorship and I intend to take advantage of this going forward.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success to me would involve several things. First, I will have found an internship that I am really excited about. This will be my first corporate experience, and I want to find something where I can learn a lot, that challenges me to grow, and is something that I could see myself doing for a career.

Personally, I will have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I hope to have made lasting relationships and learned from a diverse set of classmates who I would have never met outside of Wharton. I also will have joined in different groups andclubs that are unfamiliar to me and will force me to try new things.

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