2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Brady Dearden, London Business School

Brady Dearden

London Business School

“On a mission to serve others.”

Hometown: Princeton Junction, NJ, USA

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up close to the beach when I was young and have some expert skills in sandcastle building!

Undergraduate School and Degree:

West Point ‘09, Bachelor of Science, majored in law

University of Cambridge ‘10, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in international relations 

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Prior to starting business school, I was an aviation officer in the US Army. My last assignment was as a Company Commander in Seoul, South Korea. I led a combined company of 130 US and South Korean soldiers in logistics missions. I simultaneously flew missions as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot across South Korea.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I interned at Lockheed Martin in Washington DC. I worked as a cyber analyst for the company’s cybersecurity team.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will return to Lockheed Martin in Washington DC as a cyber analyst.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-President of the Military in Business club
  • Vice President of the Tech & Media club
  • Career Representative for my ‘Stream’ cohort of approximately 80 students
  • LBS Student Ambassador

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? In terms of academic achievements, I have been helping a professor for the past six months editing a forthcoming book. It has been a great learning experience and I am excited about its publication!

In terms of extracurricular activities, I have had a great time with my friends on the Expedition Club. I hiked Kilimanjaro last November with four great LBS friends. Last September, we also completed the “3 Peaks Challenges” in which we hiked the three highest peaks in Scotland, England, and Wales within 24 hours. And I am excited the adventures will still continue…I am hiking to Everest Base Camp with fellow LBS students this May.

Beyond academics and extracurriculars, I am most proud of the service we have accomplished in the Military in Business club. This year, the second-year MBA veteran students at LBS have supported more than ten first-year veteran students from around the world. Organizing company meetings and providing recruiting mentorship has continued the strong cohesion of the club and supported first-year veterans as they transition into various industries.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I served as a US Army Company Commander in Seoul, South Korea for 17 months to 130 US and South Korean soldiers. In this mixed international setting, our team had the opportunity to work together on some complex training scenarios supporting US Army and Korean Army aviation missions. To see two different cultures work seamlessly side by side and accomplish some tough tasks was a tremendous feeling for all involved. Playing a part in this experience and the deep personal and professional relationships it engendered is thus far my greatest accomplishment.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I’ll be honest, I have had so many great professors I don’t think I can pick just one! I can say that I especially appreciate the academic rigor and outside research that LBS professors bring to the MBA classroom.

What was your favorite MBA Course? I loved ‘Positive Psychology and Employee Engagement’ taught by Professor Dan Cable. Dan released a new book through Harvard Business Review Press last year entitled Alive at Work. The reason I loved the class so much is several lectures were devoted to Dan’s research into the art and science of leadership. I believe that serving others and helping make an impact on their lives is a powerful way to lead. I thoroughly enjoyed Dan’s insights into these areas and am grateful to have become a better leader through the course.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose to attend London Business School for three primary reasons. Firstly, the LBS MBA curriculum is arguably one of the most flexible in the world, allowing students multiple opportunities to drive their own development. During my time at LBS, I have been able to undertake two internships, consult for an emerging identity verification company through the school’s London Core Application Practicum (CAP) program, and have the time to explore London’s technology ecosystem.

Secondly, the international atmosphere of the school is amazing. The class of 2019 is 90% international and comprised of 63 countries. I have made amazing friendships with students in my class, especially those in my study group of six hailing from the UK, India, Brazil, Canada, and Iceland. When I started looking at MBA programs, I knew I wanted to specialize in international business. I am grateful to have found that global diversity particularly strong and relevant in the LBS classroom.

And this brings me to my third reason for selecting LBS – the people. In my many interactions with the admissions office, students, and alumni I found the LBS community to be one that is extremely supportive, outgoing, and personable. And it has only proved to be more true during my time on the MBA!

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?

Explore the culture. I think the most important piece of advice for an applicant is to find the right ‘fit’ for their MBA experience. By talking with alumni, current students, and faculty, an applicant can get a good feel for a school’s culture. I believe this is especially true for veterans applying to LBS. If a veteran feels they would enjoy the unique international culture of the school, we are happy to connect with them through the Military in Business Club. This gives transitioning veterans the chance to talk with current veteran students and really see if the LBS experience is one that meets their individual goals.

What is the biggest myth about your school? This is a little bit more of a personal answer, but I feel that one myth I encountered is it would be hard for a US military veteran to go to school in London and then successfully recruit to work in the US. I have found that not to be the case and have seen many veterans successfully bridge that transition if that is what they desire to do. The veteran community is strong at LBS and it has been an incredible support network.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? This answer is unique to my background, but something I care deeply about. One thing I wish I had taken to heart more before the MBA is that the transition from being a veteran to a business professional is a journey and not a sprint. When starting the MBA, it’s important for veterans to take time to understand their own goals and to build their professional business network. I left full-time military service about one-and-one-half years ago and I still feel like I am on the journey of my transition. As veterans consistently take time for personal growth and connecting with others, they can have a rich and fulfilling transition.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? That’s a huge question, but I immediately think of two impactful transformations. Firstly, I feel like I better understand the world in which we work and the direction it is heading. My efforts in the tech club exposed me to lectures and conferences on quantum, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and more. We are living in an exciting time and I am grateful to have caught the vision of the Fourth Industrial Revolution during the past two years.

Secondly, I feel like I have become a more mature leader. Business school has taught me to a greater degree how to use the power of data in professional judgment (Professor Alex Edmans and his evidence-based work showed me a high standard for evaluating research studies). I also feel my classes and international travels have taught me more about listening and understanding other people and cultures. I have particularly enjoyed listening to classmates talk about their native countries. One of my best LBS experiences was having an international relations discussion spanning four continents while having dinner with classmates on Kilimanjaro.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? So many! I think I most respect those who I have come to know the best. I honestly look-up to my study-group members for the people they are and who they inspire me to be. Thanks Anand, IB, Kay, Kelsey, and Nina!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Clayton Christensen. I had the chance to hear him speak and later read his book How Will You Measure Your Life? It transformed my way of thinking about business and inspired me to pursue my MBA journey.

What is your favorite movie about business? Moneyball. Be a smart leader and make great things happen.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…not yet connected with my new passion of hiking mountains across the world!”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? It might sound trite, but you really can’t place a value on the education you receive – and especially the friendships you make. It was an incredible experience and definitely worth it.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Write a book and summit the seven peaks.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A friend who cares.

Hobbies? Adventuring to new mountains, reading great books, and enjoying a long run.

What made Brady such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“My colleague met Brady in South Korea and returned to the office saying how much he impressed her and we had to get him! It is clear Brady is a very special person who lives up to his own opening description – ‘in the service of others’.

Brady’s move to cybersecurity in the US is a product of his hard work and ability to influence and create opportunities. Brady’s co-leadership of the Military in Business Club has been excellent. He’s helped lead various initiatives including a podcast aimed at future students.

Brady has been a prominent Student Ambassador for us and has influenced hundreds of applicants, well beyond the military veteran group. We have a very close-knit community at London Business School; something Brady reflected upon recently when speaking at a memorial service for the member of staff who recruited him. Candidates are drawn to his humility, authenticity, and passion for LBS and all we stand for. He is the epitome of a good Student Ambassador – approachable, genuine, enthusiastic, bright and interested – all the things we look for in MBA applicants.”

David Simpson

Admissions Director, MBA and Masters in Finance

London Business School



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