Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2020

First-years, your journey is almost half done


What’s new in the W. P. Carey MBA program? After rolling out its revamped Forward Focus curriculum in recent years, the school decided to tackle its orientation in 2018, says John Wisneski, director of the full-time MBA program. Dubbed “Camp Carey,” the introduction features three days of team-building exercises in the woods of Prescott, Arizona. Focused on building a team spirit and an appreciation of diversity, the event gives students a chance to jell and develop a sense of school spirit in the outdoors. “The power of your network depends on the breadth of experience you can lean on in time of need,” says Wisneski. “Learning to work with your new classmates is at the heart of our program.”

The school has also started the process of earning a STEM certification for its Business Analytics and Information Management concentration, Wisneski adds. “This will enable International students who choose these concentrations and an extra year of work authorization in the U.S. past graduation. This is very appealing to both students and their future employers, and will ease the increasingly difficult process of matching International students with domestic recruiters.”

John Wisneski

The big news, however, happened just last week when the school announced a $25 million dollar gift from William Polk Carey’s foundation. According to the school, the gift will be applied to beef up career services for the school’s 16,000 business school students, along with recruiting top faculty and research talent and deepening relationships with employers and alumni alike.


“This gift marks another critical turning point for the business school and reinforces the W. P. Carey Foundation’s tremendous commitment to and impact on this university,” ASU President Michael Crow wrote in the news release. “The foundation’s support over the years has resulted in ASU has one of the top-rated and most highly sought-after business schools in the country. I am grateful to the foundation for their support of our university, faculty, and most importantly our students — who will be the primary benefactors of their generosity.”

That wasn’t the only news that grabbed the Class of 2020’s attention. “The second years just started a new Wine Society as a student club that I am excited to be part of,” says Louise Hardman. “Events range from educational “Sip & Learns” to local winery tours to social events. I think the club is a great opportunity to meld learning and exploration of new things with social connections. It also allows my husband to get involved and socialize with my classmates!”

The most underappreciated part of the program? For Wisneski, that would undoubtedly be the program’s “outstanding” scholarly expertise and professional training, with its wide range of specializations and activities. “Not only do we currently have concentrations in Finance, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Entrepreneurship, Business Analytics, Information Management, and Consulting, but we also have industry specializations in Healthcare, Sports Business, Global Business Economics, Sustainable Enterprise, and High Tech,” he says. “No matter what your career aspirations are, we can help you sort through your options, and then deliver the curriculum to help you get there!”


In any messaging from the school, you’re certain to hear call outs to Arizona State’s ranking as the top school for innovation by U.S. News & World Report. The W. P. Carey MBA more than follows the footsteps (and spirit) of the larger university. It has long been a pioneer in cross-curricular learning, one that deeply integrates design thinking and thrives in analytics. This is exemplified by the program’s Intellectual Fusion Learning Labs, which are held during the first two-quarters of Year Two. Here, MBAs team up with students from other graduate programs to complete hands-on projects – an unforgettable exercise that makes plain just how much various disciplines overlap and rely upon each other.

Arizona State Carey’s School of Business

“They don’t think of cross-functional as marketing and finance speaking to one another, but rather engineering and business,” says Abby Rudd, who comes to ASU from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Another innovation is the Future Forward Leadership course, a second-year requirement which focuses on making decisions in uncertain conditions that require weighing various trading and executing with speed and grace. Rachel Curtis, a 2018 P&Q Best & Brightest MBA, ranked it among the highlights of the MBA program. “The Forward Focus Leadership course pushed me to think about my individual purpose and how it impacts my career, as well as taught me to solve problems strategically. It was an excellent compilation of everything I need to apply from business school to be a future leader.”


Make no mistake: At W. P. Carey, innovation is more than just a buzzword that makes great copy. It is a mindset, says Jose Antonio Cerecedo Lopez, one that always seeks to challenge the status quo and find more creative, inclusive, and effective ways to get things done. It is a view echoed by Denise Napolitano.

“I had been part of the ASU community for six years before starting the MBA program. I have always appreciated ASU’s commitment to interdisciplinary learning, and I clearly saw that this was exemplified at W. P. Carey. The Full-Time program places a great emphasis on learning through experience, learning from people with different backgrounds and customizing the MBA experience to best suit my career goals.”

Along with innovation, the W. P. Carey is also known for its flexibility. Classes are only held during the mornings – with Fridays off – freeing students up for clubs, coaching, and recruiting. That doesn’t make the program a breeze, warns Jenny Tang, a 2018 MBA To Watch.

W. P. Carey Classroom


“One myth is that Arizona State University is only a party school. The university’s leadership team has a palpable vision to transform ASU, and progress has already been felt. Full-Time MBA students are also a bit removed from the greater student body, and usually take 3-7 classes per 7-week quarter, which is 12-28 classes a year – that’s no joke!”

Looking to the future, the Class of 2020 has plenty of plans after graduation. Abby Rudd intends to devote extra attention to grooming “early-in-career employees.” Education is where Denise Napolitano intends to ply her talents. Her plan is to start a business that boosts STEM education at the elementary and high school levels, particularly among girls. The same is true for Srinija Boppudi, who knows exactly what outcome she hopes to someday reach.

“It is my life’s personal goal to empower at least 100 women before I die. I plan to start a non-profit foundation in India to support women in business.”

What led these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What was the major event that defined them? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates.

Student Hometown Alma Mater Employer
Srinija Boppudi Hyderabad, India JVWU, Jaipur CBRE, Inc.
Jose Antonio Cerecedo Lopez San Luis Potosi, Mexico Universidad Anahuac Mexico Norte Mezcaleria Epitafio
Ryan Early Scottsdale, AZ University of Portland CVS Health
Moises Espinosa Lopez Tepic, Mexico Instituto Tecnologico de Tepic Angel Latino Investors LLC
Louise Hardman Paducah, KY University of Utah Radius Engineering, Inc.
Megan Hucek Bloomington, IL Bradley University State Farm Insurance Company
Nick Magnan Montreal, Canada Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Atul Mishra Darbhanga, India VIT University, India Mahindra Comviva (TerraPay)
Denise Napolitano Astoria, NY Barnard College of Columbia University New York City Police Department
Abby Rudd Chandler, AZ San Diego State University Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Eshani Sharma Phoenix, AZ Seattle University Liberty Mutual Insurance

See The Entire Meet The Class of 2020 Series

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