“Olivia’s dad, Annie’s husband. Has-been athlete who still hangs on through coaching local students.”
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy building things and helped my father and grandfather build my childhood home.
Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy – International and Comparative Law
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: US Army – Fire Support Officer
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my most recent job in the Army, my boss left our organization much earlier than anticipated and I was chosen to replace him for the last six months. As a field artillery officer in a rotary wing aviation organization, I began the job out of my comfort zone. However, in the six months I was in charge, I led the planning, resourcing and execution of several major training exercises. Furthermore, I organized and tracked multiple cross-country aircraft transfers to satisfy a DOD requirement to upgrade our aircraft fleet. Lastly, I played an integral role in standing up Fort Carson’s first Grey Eagle drone company, which proved to be logistically and tactically arduous. All these professional challenges happened to coincide with the birth of my daughter, Olivia, making me even more proud to have succeeded.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Generous- All the students I’ve met so far are incredibly welcoming and helpful. They’ve given up countless hours of their time to help make my transition back to school easier.
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’s emphasis on a quantitative approach and data-supported decision making was very important to me. I spent a decade learning soft skills such as leadership and teambuilding in the Army and at West Point but lacked the quantitative expertise of my peers whom have worked in the private sector.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I would have to say the Energy Club. I’ve been interested in renewable energy since I saw the impact that providing energy had on impoverished communities in Afghanistan. I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet others that share the same interests and couple that interest with Carnegie Mellon’s cutting-edge technology research.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After deciding to transition from the military to the private sector I knew that I needed the business and technical knowledge only a world class MBA program could provide to be successful.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Coming from the Army (with no experience in the private sector), I knew I needed an MBA to be successful in the business community. Therefore, the investment was well worth it. The GI Bill was a bonus too.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? McCombs and Kenan-Flagler
How did you determine your fit at various schools? There were two primary factors I looked at to determine my fit at the business schools where I applied. First, I knew that I needed a program that emphasized data analytics and the quantitative skills necessary to succeed after business school. Working in the military since I graduated college, I knew I was behind most of my peers in the quantitative and business knowledge and the ability to catch up fast was vital. The second factor I used to determine fit was culture. I have always believed that working with people you trust, who have shared interests and goals makes a significant difference in my career satisfaction. I found that to be true at West Point and during my time in the Army. Similar to West Point, Tepper’s small class size and intimate, tight knit community hit home for me. During my visit at Tepper, I immediately felt welcomed and believed that I had much in common with the student body and faculty.
I spent a substantial amount of time researching the schools that I wanted to apply to in hopes of better understanding the school’s strengths and weaknesses, the culture, and the student body. In the end, I felt that visiting each school was very important. You can learn a lot about a school on their website or by researching their employment statistics. However, showing up on campus and seeing the school first-hand always seemed to provide me with clarity.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I deployed to Afghanistan shortly after graduating West Point. I was tasked to replace a Platoon Leader who had died in an explosion while patrolling the Khakrez District. Abruptly, I had to figure out how to lead 25 young men who had just lost their leader, in combat. This had an immense impact on my perspective and taught me a lot about leadership and teambuilding. To this day, I carry those lessons with me and appreciate the importance of teamwork, loyalty, and comradery more than ever.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Ideally, I would like to work in operations in the renewable energy industry. I would love the opportunity to work for a company that is on the cutting edge of new technology. Being challenged to create or implement new technology that would improve life for others would give me great satisfaction. The energy industry provides a multitude of its own unique challenges and considerations. I would be thrilled to pursue my passion while being able to provide a benefit to those in need.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Working hard for a company I love. Hopefully with a few additions to the wonderful family I have now.