2019 MBAs To Watch: Max Weisz, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Max Weisz

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Sharp, loyal to a fault, honest, thoughtful and supportive friend.”

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Fun fact about yourself: I was born in a country that no longer exists.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science, Cornell University

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Assistant Grain Operations Manager, The Delong Company

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Jefferies Investment Bank, Equity Research – New York, New York

Where will you be working after graduation? Cargill, Associate in Corporate Strategy and Development – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: VP of Finance, Data Analytics, EVP of Alpha Asset Management, VP of Corporate Finance, Graduate Finance Association, GBA Mentorship Committee.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Planning the Graduate Finance Association Trek to New York City for the members of the Graduate Finance Committee. I can’t think of a more direct way to give back to the community that was incredibly influential in my career. It required juggling alumni, company availabilities, my knowledge of New York City, travel arrangements and many other details. While Tepper might be one of the smaller schools on anyone’s list, we have a very strong and active alumni base that is always ready and willing to give back in whatever capacity they can. We were lucky enough to visit and network with companies in the technology, healthcare and finance industries.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My biggest achievement in my professional career was being part of the team that restarted an ethanol plant in Kansas. It was a very small America town with a Walmart and a few gas stations. Restarting the plant and providing an avenue to the global marketplace for the surrounding farmers was a very rewarding experience. We got to interact with the local businesses, watch the place fire up and see the first loaded ethanol trucks leave the plant. The experience for everyone involved was new and so communication and follow through were incredibly important through the process. The place is still open today and is just one more outlet for farmer’s and their products.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Brent Glover was my favorite professor. He has such a command of the topic of Finance and can explain both the art and the science of it through the case method that he uses. I thoroughly enjoyed his Corporate Finance class and all the lessons hidden throughout his course. He really challenged our thinking and prepared us for having to defend our assumptions in the real world.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Tax and Business Strategy happened during the time of the most recent tax cuts and, like them or not, we were able to really understand the effects for businesses in the United States. The class exposed us to the full history of company strategies towards taxation and the different schemes that at one time or another were thought to be ethical and useful for corporations. The double Irish Dutch sandwich and Gucci Gulch sound like they belong on a menu or in a catalog, but they are terms we are now very familiar with and can understand why tax strategy is so important for many corporations these days.

Why did you choose this business school? For me, Tepper provided two things, a small close-knit community and a heavy focus on Operations Research and Data Analytics. The smaller class sizes allow the faculty to really engage with the students and test their thinking regarding problems they might encounter out in the workforce. It also allows us to interact and get to know our classmates. The OR staff here is some of the best in the world and many of the problems I experienced working in the commodity industry are traditional OR problems. I wanted to be exposed to as many problems and tool kits as I could be in my time at graduate school.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Yes, we are a quant school, but we were also home to several Nobel Laureates and ground-breaking minds in other disciplines. Please don’t overlook the fantastic Finance and Organizational Behavioral faculty that we have within these walls and do show how the Accelerate Leadership Center can help you on your leadership journey in your time here. During the first few years after grad school, you will have to lean heavily on your technical skills to progress. After a certain amount of time, your soft skills will pave the way for your success.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth is that we are solely a tech school. While that is true to an extent due to our proximity to the research on campus and the type of student and company that we attract, we have many industries that come to campus to recruit for outcomes that, in the long run, could be better fits for certain students. Companies in the fields of marketing, finance, and operations have always flocked to our school for our graduates.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? This might be the last opportunity you have to really try things out, whether that be a class outside your comfort zone, an industry-specific extra-curricular activity, or a travel adventure with your classmates. Don’t forget to stop and soak it all in then take a deep breath and keep moving.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? My toolkit has improved tremendously, but what I think has been transformative was the time with the Accelerate Leadership Center and my leadership coach Jarred Lazear. Leadership in the business world is sold in ads on YouTube and throughout Amazon’s catalog but what it requires is time. At the Center, we can sit down and really analyze our career trajectories, our tendencies and create a roadmap for testing our boundaries and working on the skills that will give others confidence in us. This, above all else, has been the most transformative for me in my journey over the last 2 years.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I truly admire Timothy Mon. Tim is a dual-degree master’s candidate, like me, except his master’s degrees are coming from Tepper and the School of Computer Science at CMU. He may get less sleep than me, but he has been active on campus in clubs such as Business and Technology and Data Analytics and a consistent presence for many at school. He is not only humble and dependable, but he exemplifies the multi-disciplinary mindset that business leaders of the future will have to have in order to succeed. I’m lucky enough to call Tim as my friends and I look forward to seeing where our respective careers take us.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Frank Heindel has been my mentor since I worked at the Scoular company some time ago. The one thing he told me before I left for Tepper was, “I’ve never heard you so excited about something.” Frank instilled humility and a drive to “keep digging” in me that I don’t think I can ever repay. We talked about how simple business is but how hard it is to do well. His constant support throughout the beginning of my career and to this day has been incredible.

What is your favorite movie about business? Trading Places is the best movie on business. It shows how hubris can be deadly, talent and friendship can come from anywhere, and skill and luck are both important in success.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? GSIA – I guess that’s what they called the program before the marketing people showed up.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… a car mechanic.

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? There’s the old saying: “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” I think the best monetary comparison for an MBA is a long-dated call option. We now have the right but not the obligation to continue to invest in ourselves and in our career progression with the skills that we acquired here at Tepper.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I’d like to write a book and rebuild a 1967 Ford Mustang fastback.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A measured, reasonable and helpful person who brings a unique point of view.

Hobbies? Running, reading, fixing anything that is broken.

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

“Max is the type of student who makes the entire course a better experience, both for the other students and the professor. He always came to class well-prepared and happy to engage in class discussions. But what sets Max apart is his intellectual curiosity and thoughtfulness. It’s a rare MBA student who stops by my office to ask about an academic finance paper they’ve read of their own volition.

Max would consistently seek to integrate the material covered in class with his reading and experiences from outside the course. In doing so, his questions and comments in class challenged his classmates think about an issue from an entirely different perspective. Learning from fellow students is an important part of the MBA experience and Max’s contributions in this regard were outstanding.

Outside of the classroom, Max’s work with the Graduate Finance Association demonstrated strong leadership skills and a generosity in helping his fellow classmates prepare for internships and recruiting. I have no doubt that Max has great things ahead of him and look forward to following his future endeavors.”

Brent Glover

Associate Professor of Finance

Richard C. Green Junior Faculty Development Chair in Financial Economics, 2017-2019

Tepper School of Business

Are you a friend of Max? Leave a comment to congratulate him.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.