“Impact-oriented marketing professional and US Air Force enlisted veteran passionate about travel, aviation, and rugby.”
Hometown: Port Clinton, OH
Fun Fact About Yourself: I earned my pilot’s license during my time in undergrad. I haven’t flown in recent years, but I’d love to get back in the cockpit someday.
Undergraduate School and Major: The Ohio State University, Marketing and Finance
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Capital One – Principal Associate, Card Marketing
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Early in my career as a marketer in Unilever’s Food Solutions division, the organization underwent significant restructuring, which left me solely responsible for marketing activity in multiple key retail channels. Shortly after this development, I crafted a strategy to implement a national channel activation, utilizing multiple unique touchpoints including an innovative SMS component. The campaign helped drive a significant category sales lift and captured triple the amount of CRM data compared to previous benchmarks. Through the guidance of my brand marketing and sales counterparts, I learned an incredible amount about team leadership, strategy, and influence during this time.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? In a word: collaborative. Considering your class as a family may seem like an unrealistic concept, but at Marshall, the Trojan Family is real. It is truly amazing to experience how much time and effort classmates and second years are willing to dedicate to helping each other while expecting nothing in return.
Aside from your classmates, 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? It’s very difficult to choose just one, because it was a combination of two main factors that led me to choose USC Marshall. Unsurprisingly, one is the strength of the Trojan network. I’m confident, however, that this will be well-explored in other classmates’ profiles, so I want to instead highlight the robust culture of veteran involvement and support at Marshall.
Although our relatively small program size results in a modest total number of veterans, the resources and camaraderie at Marshall are second to none. We’re very fortunate to have the Schoen Family Scholarship program, which provides financial backing for veterans over and above standard VA and Yellow Ribbon benefits. The Marshall Military Veterans Club helps create an environment for veterans to thrive at Marshall and was incredibly helpful to me during the admissions process. Veterans are also represented in Marshall’s administration – the Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Career Services, Mark Brostoff, is a Navy Veteran. As a result, the career services team is also well-versed in helping veterans transition to successful careers in the private sector.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to PRIME, which is an international business trip all first year Marshall students take before starting our summer internships. Students select destinations among business hubs in Asia and South America, then travel to complete consulting projects on real issues for businesses in those markets. Since I’m fascinated by global business and I love to travel, it’s a perfect part of the program for me.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Professionally, I wanted to sharpen skills that are necessary for managerial success: leadership, communication, strategy, analysis, and so on. I was also ready to explore careers in industries more aligned with my passions and interests. Personally, I felt that I was ready for new experiences and new connections.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? My decision to invest in a full-time MBA program was based on many factors, and not all of them were purely rational. Sure, I expect to get a financial return, but I believe most of the value of a full-time program comes from the experiences, connections, and memories I’ll make along the way.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School, Northwestern Kellogg, Chicago Booth
How did you determine your fit at various schools? Fit within a program starts with knowing yourself. I took a lot of time to reflect on what I wanted out of a program, both professionally and personally. From there, I did significant amounts of online research through school websites, rankings, and blogs to determine if a school’s academics, employment report, and reputation fit with what I was looking to achieve. This provided a shortlist, but from there, it was vital for me to visit the schools and get a feel for culture. Observing and talking with students, faculty, and staff was the best way for me to determine whether or not I felt at home.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In 2011, I climbed aboard a US Air Force C-17 transport plane to fly to Ramstein AB, Germany for annual training. This was my first international experience outside of North America. Although our free time to see the country was limited, the experience was still transformational. Experiencing a new culture in an unfamiliar land was exhilarating. This trip was the genesis of my passion for travel and unique cultural experiences. It has since shaped my goals in many ways, including my pursuit of an MBA.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I hope to leverage my passion for travel and aviation by pursuing a marketing or business development career in the airline industry. However, I want my time at Marshall to be a period of discovery, so I am open to exploring different industries and functions.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I envision myself in a leadership role, through which I can make a significant business impact on an organization in an industry I’m passionate about.