GENDER BENDER: WINNING BOY’S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP…AS A GIRL
Impressed? How about this story from Annie Henderson. “Due to a torn ACL, I missed the girl’s tennis season so I requested to compete on the boy’s tennis team during my junior year of high school. I became the first girl to win the Boy’s Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic League (WPIAL) Championship.”
That’s not the only athletic feat for the Class of 2020. How about this for sheer endurance: Anna Situ has completed the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge, where runners “competed in the 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon on back-to-back days.” Not to be outdone, David Baars has raised over $10,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Los Angeles LGBT Center…by biking from San Francisco to Los Angeles…for three yeas running.
Just picture this image from Paul Shumate: “I go to Burning Man every year and bring a fire breathing adult tricycle with a 32 foot LED flagpole.”
What does the Class of 2020 think about each other? Spencer Baker, who created a movie ticket analysis that has been commercialized and grossed $6 million dollars to date, coined the term “intelligently-approachable” to describe his classmates.
“We all come from different background and are very skilled in our respective fields. Although my classmates are great at what they know, they still seem very down-to-earth. This makes it easy to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything.”
Thus far, Paul Shumate has found his classmates to be “enthusiastic, innovative, and academically rigorous.” He attributes this to the program’s class size, along with the program’s penchant for data and leadership attracting a “certain type of person.”
“I’ve met many engineers, inventors, and natural-born leaders at Tepper,” Shumate adds. “What surprised me most is the wealth of entrepreneurs coming to school with not just ideas, but actual, viable products and business plans already in place with the intention of leveraging both Tepper and the surrounding Carnegie Mellon community to launch or grow their businesses.”
Brian Porter pays his classmates the highest compliment. His word? Visionaries. “My future peers have diverse backgrounds and skillsets. Yet, they all recognize the need to question the status quo and use previous and current business conditions to extrapolate what the future of business will entail. I believe this kind of mindset will empower my peers to think big and proactively create their own opportunities based on long-term goals rather than make decisions on a reactive basis.”
INCREASES IN FEMALE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
By the numbers, the Class of 2020 closely resembles its predecessor. Despite receiving 177 fewer applications – a trend that applied to nearly every Top 20 American MBA program – Tepper increased its class size to 236 students. That represented a 15 student increase over the previous year. Average GMAT score also dipped a point to 690, while average undergraduate GPA jumped a tenth of a point to 3.4 with the incoming class.
Demographically, the first- and second-year classes were quite similar. The percentage of female students climbed a point to 28%, with the percentage of international students making similar strides to 34%. Overall, the class hails from 32 countries, including Australia, Colombia, Germany, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, and Zimbabwe. Among Americans, the class features heavy representation from all regions, led by the Mid-Atlantic (28%), Northeast (23%), West Coast (16%), Midwest (14%), Southwest (13%), and South (6%). American minorities accounted for 27% of the 2020 class, with underrepresented minorities making up 12%.
Academically, Tepper leans towards the STEM side. 39% of the class holds undergraduate degrees in engineering, with another 6% (math and physical science) and 5% (information systems and computer science) falling under that same heading. The remaining 50% of the class studied in more liberal arts disciplines, led by business (27%), economics (12%) and humanities and social sciences (10%). The number that sticks out? The percentage of engineering majors has risen by 11% over the past two years.
“WE ARE ALL (PROUDLY) NERDY ABOUT SOMETHING”
That doesn’t mean the Tepper MBA is an engineer-focused program. Just ask Emily Gennaula, a 2018 P&Q Best & Brightest MBA who joined McKinsey after graduation. “While we do love analytics and benefit from many students who have heavy-quantitative backgrounds,” she says, “we are much more than that. My classmates come from many different professions, ranging from music to finance to non-profit, which gives Tepper a diverse and well-rounded community. That said, we are all (proudly) nerdy about something.”
Like most business schools, the largest bloc of students worked in financial services. That number is 22% with the Class of 2020, followed closely by technology and new media at 19%. Consulting and manufacturing each take up 10% of the seats, with government (8%), energy and clean teach (5%), consumer goods and retail (5%), and healthcare (4%) rounding out the rest of the class.
Ironically, many of these numbers are reversed when it comes to employment. In Tepper’s employment report for the Class of 2018, the highest percentage of graduates – 32% – entered the tech field. A large share, no doubt, but also an 11% drop over the previous class. Consulting firm snapped up 23% of the class, offering the highest base pay to boot at $135,921. Financial services, for its part, attracted just 11% of the class, a point lower than biotech and healthcare.
The Class of 2018 also enjoyed a 92% placement rate, a testament to the school’s career services center, which ranked 7h and 11th in the world respectively in the student and alumni surveys conducted by The Economist and The Financial Times in 2018. Those weren’t only high marks garnered by the program this year, with the program ranking 8th by Bloomberg Businessweek and 12th by the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Tepper’s information systems and production and operations programs each finished 2nd overall in U.S. News & World Report’s surveys of business school administrators and faculty.
TEPPER QUAD IS THE EPICENTER OF CAMPUS
However, the opening of the Tepper Quadrangle was unquestionably the school’s biggest highlight in 2018. The $201 million dollar mix of glass, steel and recycled plastic towers five stories and covers 304,000 square feet. Defined by wide open spaces and natural light, the Quadrangle – the largest building on campus – features 24 classrooms and a 600 seat auditorium, not to mention upscale dining and fitness digs. More important, it acts as a catalyst for the school’s multidisciplinary ethos, says Kathryn Barraclough, head of Tepper’s MBA program.
“We now have all graduate and undergraduate business programs under one roof, along with the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. The Tepper Quad will integrate the business school more closely with the rest of the Carnegie Mellon campus, becoming a vibrant hub for innovation that will train students to become business leaders who solve complex problems and add value to business and society.”
Without question, the Tepper Quad is a game-changer, particularly for the Class of 2020. For one, 40% of the space is devoted to non-business students, a nod to proximity producing partnerships. For another, the quad is located smack dab in the center of campus; it is literally at the cross-roads of Carnegie Mellon. It is a place that naturally forges connection…and compels commitment.
“Having these open spaces where people organically bump into one another, whether it’s on the landings, in the classrooms, or in the cafeteria, creates more conversations,” says Savin Yeltekin, senior associate dean at Tepper, in an interview with P&Q. “Those conversations about research ideas and classroom teaching can continue effortlessly here. They don’t have to break up because we don’t have quite the right arrangement for people to feel comfortable.”
Check out the next page for 12 in-depth profiles of Class of 2020 members