“Easy going. Always asking why. Takes Jeopardy way too seriously.”
Hometown: Middletown, DE
Fun Fact About Yourself: While serving in the Army I was stationed at a small garrison in Northern Italy for two years. Pursuing a love of skiing and capitalizing on my proximity to the Alps, I was able to ski in five countries during my time in Europe.
Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Virginia, Middle Eastern Foreign Affairs
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Infantry Officer, United States Army
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I will always appreciate the opportunity I had to be a positive influence in the lives and careers of my soldiers and their families. It was such a unique privilege to mentor and develop those young men and be a part of their growth story.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I have been incredibly impressed with my classmates’ ability to be both technically competent and thoughtfully expressive. The case method relies so heavily on a fluid exchange of ideas – having an assembly of such articulate peers has made the experience so much more worthwhile.
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 educational experience was a huge priority in my decision. I knew that I would be able to get a great job from any of the schools I was considering, so I honed in on programs where the classroom experience was front of mind. One of my regrets from undergrad was that I was too focused on getting by and did not take full advantage of the academic experience. At 27, I was hungry to learn. I wanted a school where that was top priority.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to joining the Community Consultants of Darden. Through both my time as an undergraduate and now at Darden, the Charlottesville community has had an immeasurable impact on my personal growth and development. I am excited for the opportunity to leverage my business education to give back to a community that has given so much to me.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As I approached the end of my initial service obligation, I knew I wanted to go back to school. After carefully considering a number of graduate programs, I settled on the MBA as the degree that would help me develop the most diverse set of skills.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Coming from a background in active military service, I felt that an MBA would help give me the technical skills to be successful in the private sector. Similarly, I thought that the MBA experience would force me to hone the leadership and management techniques I learned in the Army. With aspirations to lead in corporate America, I wanted the opportunity to recalibrate my leadership style so that in the future I may be more effective across more diverse groups of people and organizational structures.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Wharton, Tuck
How did you determine your fit at various schools? First and foremost, I knew I didn’t want to sit in a typical lecture style classroom. The participatory nature of the case method forces you to stay constantly engaged as the conversation evolves. I felt that learning to make decisions in fluid, unpredictable, and uncertain moments would best prepare me for real life situations down the road. My second priority was culture and location, and so I focused on schools with more rural settings. I was looking to be in near proximity to the outdoors and in a community that encouraged my classmates to grow close with one another.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I can’t think of a single moment, but perhaps a series of moments during my college athletics career. Up to that point I hadn’t often failed at things I deeply cared about. Objectively, I wasn’t very good, and it was the process of discovering how to contribute in a more indirect role that taught me a lot about myself. I learned humility, a sense of what it takes to struggle in the face of adversity, and ultimately, that you don’t necessarily have to be a star performer to be an impactful leader.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? This is still a work in progress. MBA recruiting can feel like there is a lot of inertia directed toward a few select industries. At the moment, I am focused on keeping my eyes open and learning as much as I can about all of the opportunities before me.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Happy, healthy, and comfortable. And with a dog. I really want a dog.