“Works hard, plays hard. Focused, driven, and passionate collide with easy going and happy-go-lucky.”
Hometown: Queens, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: I caught an adorable baby hammerhead shark while night-fishing off a pier in Hawaii. I named it ‘Jab’, after a character from the 90’s cartoon, Street Sharks, before releasing it back into the bay.
Undergraduate School and Major: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – Dual B.S. in Aerospace Engineering / Mechanical Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title:
Company Commander, Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, U.S. Marine Corps
Maintenance Material Control Officer, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, U.S. Marine Corps
Division Officer, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24, U.S. Marine Corps
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Assisting the wounded, ill, and injured Marines and families of the Wounded Warrior Battalion was my most memorable accomplishment to date. I can’t pinpoint a singular instance that distinguishes one accomplishment from the rest, but I’d like to think my team and I made a huge difference in the lives of these wounded warriors. These men and women stopped at nothing to ensure the safety of our nation, often at the expense of their own physical and mental health. They deserve the best possible treatment and resources for all the sacrifices they’ve made, and I feel honored to have been a positive force in their recovery.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? That’s a tough question. There are so many incredible and distinct characteristics that define my classmates. If I had to pick one, I would say it’s their immense intellectual curiosity. Specifically, I think that most of us share this innate need to understand how things work. It’s just not enough to have a great product or tool; we must know what makes it tick. Not surprisingly, most of my classmates come from STEM backgrounds. I think that this curiosity will lend itself well to the analytical focus of the coursework at Tepper.
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? Tepper is spearheading an effort to create a unique learning environment to promote interdisciplinary collaboration within the CMU campus. Pittsburgh’s vibrant tech market continues to flourish; due, in part, to the innovations of CMU graduates. It’s awesome that Tepper aims to harness the school’s potential by bringing students of all backgrounds together under one roof. I think that’s a novel concept that says a lot about the direction the school is heading.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m going to have to say the Culinary Club. As a self-proclaimed foodie, nothing gets me more excited than trying out new recipes, foods, or restaurants. I believe that food is a universal language that has the power to bridge cultural divides and I can’t wait to speak the language with my future classmates!
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am pursuing an MBA because I want to refine my managerial skills and effectively translate my experiences in the military into skills that are relevant in corporate America. Moreover, I felt that there was a skill gap that prevented me from breaking into an industry and occupation that I was genuinely interested in. I believe that obtaining an MBA will bridge this apparent gap, create the opportunities I seek, develop my understanding of business principles, and broaden my professional network.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? There’s no question that there is a positive return on investment for obtaining an MBA. The credentials will certainly place me in positions with higher compensation and growth potential. However, I think the true value of the MBA lies in the non-tangibles; the experience, network, and education. You can’t put a price tag on the relationships built or the edification gained from an MBA program.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Duke-Fuqua, UVA-Darden, Cornell-Johnson, Georgetown-McDonough
How did you determine your fit at various schools?
- Feeder into Tech: I’m interested in pursuing a career in technology or manufacturing. Naturally, I needed to consider a school that placed a high percentage of candidates in those fields. By examining the schools’ employment reports, I was able to narrow down my search to a handful of programs that would maximize my chances of landing a job in my preferred industry.
- Small Class Size: I’d like to know my entire class intimately. I also want to have more exposure to the faculty and have an opportunity to know them outside the classroom. For these reasons, it was important to me to study in a relatively small program.
- Location: I did not want to attend business school in a major metropolis (Think LA, NYC, Boston, etc). I was looking for a school located in a smaller city or on the outskirts of a major city. At the same time, I wanted to make sure that there would be employment opportunities available for my partner. Fortunately for us, Pittsburgh turned out to be the perfect destination.
When initially considering business schools, I used online resources such as P&Q, GMAT Club, and business school admissions websites. I found these resources to be incredibly insightful, since all the questions and issues I had were already addressed at some point, either in an article, blog, or forum. When I found a match, I began emailing current students to start a dialogue. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support I received from these students. Their insight and enthusiasm became major selling points to me during the application process.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I have vivid memories of the day I reported for duty and stood in front of my Marines for the first time. I looked out at my division and came to realize that I had a solemn responsibility to each one of the men and women that stood before me. For every Marine in my charge, I began asking myself: Is this person better off for having known me? If not, then what could I do to further his or her professional development? How can I help him or her grow personally? What resources are at my disposal that might benefit individual in question?
The vested interests I took in my personnel fostered trust and long-lasting relationships. The best managers I’ve ever met were servant leaders who placed the needs of their people before their own. It’s a quality I admire greatly and strive to adequately represent in my leadership style and personality.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I’d like to work in the technology sector or in aerospace manufacturing. I love that the service these industries offer have the propensity to connect people from across the globe.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to find myself amongst colleagues with whom I feel a sense of belonging. Ideally, I would be working in a company that shares a vision and work culture that I can relate to. Being in a position that can affect change on a large scale. Most importantly, to have already made a positive impact in people’s lives.