Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class Of 2021

Jeremy Leung

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Always adventurous, enthusiastic, and optimistic. Choosing the path that will create the best memories. 

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Fun Fact About Yourself: Traveled to over 30 countries in the last three years using frequent flyer miles from six different airline and hotel programs.

Undergraduate School and Major: B.Comm (Marketing)/B.A (Media and Communications), University of Melbourne.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Marketing Manager for Cettire, the largest Australian-owned online luxury fashion store

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I managed to get U.S. President Donald Trump to change his mind.

As the Director of Business, Innovation and Policy at the American Australian Association (AAA), a non-profit organization, my role was to set up and run the American Australian Business Council (AABC), an organization that seeks to strengthen the business relationship between Australia and the United States. One week before we launched the AABC, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the introduction of tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from a number of countries such as Australia. I responded on behalf of the AABC by writing a letter to the President from our CEO members led by prominent Australian businessman Andrew Liveris, former Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemicals.  The letter outlined the strong bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Australia and asked President Trump to reconsider the tariffs. I also asked former professional golf player and prominent Australian Greg Norman to make a personal phone call to President Trump to reinforce our message. The next day, we were pleasantly surprised by an announcement by President Trump that Australia would be exempt from these proposed aluminum and steel tariffs.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Enthusiasm. Flying 20+ hours from Australia, I was lucky enough to attend both an interview day and the admitted students weekend at Ross. My jetlag was quickly met with a wave of enthusiasm from all Ross MBA students I interacted with! Their enthusiasm and strong engagement allowed me to quickly learn more about the areas that fit what I wanted out of an MBA program and areas that I felt Ross was different from other schools I had applied to.

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? Many business schools I visited used the terms experiential learning, or action-based learning. Of course, for each university, this means different things. For me, I wanted to find a business school that would not only provide strong academic rigor but one that would enable me to apply the knowledge learned in classes to solve real business problems and allow me to develop my problem-solving and leadership skills. I soon found that at Ross, this meant an opportunity to be part of MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects). MAP is a compulsory program taken by all first-year MBAs to work full time in teams to tackle business problems in a sponsor. After speaking to many Ross students who had completed their MAP, I discovered that many of them even had the chance to present in front of a C-Suite executive. This aspect of Ross’s MBA was particularly attractive for me as such an emphasis on action-based learning was a key metric in my decision to go to Ross.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? M-Trek. M-Trek’s are student-run outdoor adventure trips for incoming MBA students to create new friendships and participate in team-based activities. I am looking forward to going to Budapest and Prague for my M-Trek.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Teach me something new.” As I was not prepared for this question, I decided to teach my interviewer very quickly on how to generate frequent flyer miles and how to use them to travel for free!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My career up until now has given me a myriad of experiences across different industries resulting from perseverance, initiative, and design with regard to opportunities created and taken. I have worked at the highest level of the Australian government advising the Australian Foreign Minister, had overseas experience studying at Peking University and working in New York City, along with managing the marketing at a new e-commerce store resulting in over $10m USD of yearly sales in two years. I wanted to pursue an MBA to amalgamate all the knowledge and experience from my professional career and sharpen my technical and practical skills through classes and extracurricular activities that will allow me to create and run a successful political consulting firm one day.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied at CBS, Fuqua, Kellogg, and Booth.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Determining whether I fit into a future MBA program was of utmost importance to me. I invested time in visiting each of the schools I applied to and spent almost a day at each school having coffee chats with current students. The admissions team at each of the aforementioned schools were very helpful in helping me organizing these prior to my visit. I sat in on classes of interest to me, I reached out to friends, and friends of friends. I then spent hours researching alumni to see whether there were any alumni who were running businesses and asked them questions about their MBA experience.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment was sitting the GMAT for the sixth time. After five times sitting the GMAT, my top GMAT score was not in the 80% range across any top 10 MBA schools. All of the advice from those around me and online was that I was not going to improve my GMAT score after the third time. I had the option here to either reject this advice and sit the GMAT again or set my sights on applying to different schools. I decided to trust my instincts, go through the arduous process of sitting for the GMAT for the sixth time – a decision that resulted in my highest GMAT score and a GMAT score that would likely be accepted by a Top 10 MBA school.

This was an important lesson about persistence and perseverance which will never leave me. It seems to me that in a world where there is much talent and ability to offer, these more dogged virtues count for at least as much.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself being the CEO/Founder of a successful political consulting firm operating in the U.S. and Australia that specializes in crisis management and strategic communications. My for-profit firm will provide consulting services to advise political parties on election campaign strategy through policy setting, strategic communication, and ethical data mining. Of course, as I am exposed to different areas of business at Ross, my goals may change.

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