“Energetic leader who strives to empower and motivate teams with an analytical mindset and enthusiastic spirit.”
Hometown: Carbondale, IL, USA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I joined the Purdue Boilermakers football team as a non-scholarship “walk on” player, and I worked my way up to becoming a starter at the tight end position and a team captain. We defeated both Ohio State and Michigan and made a few post-season Bowl Games during my time as a Boilermaker!
Undergraduate School and Major: Purdue University, majoring in Business Management (Concentrations: Marketing & Entrepreneurship)
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Azzip Pizza, Management Consultant (Strategy & Expansion)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my role as a Product Owner at Nike’s world headquarters, I was tasked with devising a solution for a long-standing issue. The vast majority of Nike’s full-time employees are stationed at the company’s 1,000+ retail stores around the world, and the company had not developed tools to communicate, teach, and develop their human capital across their fleet of retail stores. I was able to drive the creation of a new tech product from the requirements stage all the way through a live in-store pilot and eventual rollout to Nike’s retail stores across North America. This new product, which was a back-of-house digital touchscreen with a robust set of content management tools, became the primary way that Nike delivered communications, training, and other forms of digital content directly to their retail employees across the country.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? There is a genuine family spirit amongst my classmates. While everyone is highly qualified and comes from a variety of diverse backgrounds, I’ve been thrilled to discover how friendly, collaborative, and approachable my classmates are.
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? The location! Nashville is a thriving, up-and-coming city that will be a fantastic place to spend two years on both a personal and professional level. Combining that with the perfect culture fit of the program made the decision to attend Owen an easy one.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Getting involved with the Wond’ry Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship…and playing literally all of the intramural sports that are available.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Getting an MBA has been a long-term goal of mine. In my career-to-date, I have gained experience across a variety of industries, including consulting, tech, and cross-functional experience working for a start-up. I was ready to take that set of experiences into an MBA program to drive the next phase of my career.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Through analyzing both the short and long-term ROI, in addition to considering the less tangible factors involved like building my personal & professional network and opening opportunities in new roles & industries.
What other MBA programs did you apply to?
University of Texas (McCombs)
Washington University (Olin)
How did you determine your fit at various schools? The single biggest factor for me was visiting each school in person and gathering as much information as possible. Meeting with professors, chatting with current students over coffee, and developing relationships with people affiliated with the program helped me determine if the school’s culture and environment were the right fit for me.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Heading into my senior year of high school, I was healthy, prepared, and ready to have the best season of my life to propel me toward my lifelong goal of playing Division 1 college football. Then, three days before the first game of the season, I dislocated my elbow during practice and shredded all the ligaments that stabilized my arm. Because the injury had to be surgically repaired, I missed my entire senior season, which derailed my dream of getting an athletic scholarship to play in college. Without the football scholarship offers I had been seeking, I made the choice to attend Purdue University for purely academic reasons. My entire mindset changed; while before I had been singularly focused on athletics, after the injury I decided to prioritize my academic path and set myself up for a career beyond sports. I became a much more well-rounded person, as I realized that I needed to broaden my focus, goals, and energy beyond just football. Because life is funny and wildly unpredictable, I ended up joining the Boilermakers football team as a walk-on, fulfilling my lifelong dream of competing in Division 1 athletics, while earning a degree that set me up for my career beyond graduation. While devastating at the time, the moment I got injured in high school shaped both my personality and life for the better in every way.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I’d like to work with innovative, fast-moving teams where I have some degree of autonomy to shape the strategic direction and working culture of my team and broader organization.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Working on an entrepreneurial venture with a focus on creating sustainable change and empowering those within my organization and community.