“U.S. Army Veteran, Professional armchair quarterback living the Dad life.”
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Fun Fact About Yourself: I ran the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon in 2009. This marathon is conducted in honor of the service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, most notably from the 31st Infantry Regiment. In 2011, I became a member of the 31st Infantry Regiment.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Business Administration- Energy Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Devon Energy Corporation, Land Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Prior to working in the Oil & Gas Industry, I served as an Infantry Officer in the US Army. During my time as an officer, I was privileged to be selected as the Battalion Mortar Platoon Leader. This position was unique in that the technical skills required to do the job were completely different than what Infantry Officers are traditionally taught. This job was the epitome of ‘on-the-job’ training. Taking command of an organization with limited knowledge was stressful, confusing, and awkward all at the same time. Despite the daily barriers and struggles, with the dedicated assistance from my direct reports, I was able to develop an annual training plan to ensure the organization was prepared for combat. This was continued by the platoon leaders who succeeded me.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diverse. Every classmate that I have met has a different story. Tepper does an outstanding job of bringing in a cohort of students from all over the world and from differing industries.
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? I am a bit of an outlier when it comes to your average MBA candidate, in that I am married with two children. I chose Tepper for the close-knit community and family feel. With Tepper’s class size being on the smaller side for top MBA programs, I was seeking a program where I would have the chance to get to know the entire class and not just a small group. When we made the decision to transplant our family, my wife and I wanted to make sure that we were going to be a part of the program and community that would bring added support to our family. We believe we found that with Tepper.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Outside of the normal clubs, I am looking forward to joining the Racquet Club. I am a closet badminton fanatic and would love to find a group of people to play with.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Why should we not admit you to our program?
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am pursuing an MBA as a career pivot. My last five years in the Oil & Gas Industry have helped me grow both as a leader and a professional, but I have missed the Operations and General Management type of roles that I held in the military. As I looked to pursue an Operations type of role, I realized that my technical and leadership expertise needed some refining. An MBA will serve as a perfect bridge to be able to make this career change.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Johnson, Darden, Fuqua, Kenan-Flagler
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized the location of each program and dwindled my list accordingly. I wanted to make sure that I attended an MBA program in a part of the country where my family wanted to settle in the future. My wife’s career is taking off and I wanted to ensure that I could support that. We also wanted to ensure that our two boys had plenty of activities in the community. Next, I focused on culture. I was looking for a tight-knit, collaborative culture. I spoke with numerous students at around 10 different programs to really get a sense of what culture the program embodied. I also made sure that I visited each campus that I interviewed with. During these visits, I was able to have lunch with current students and attend classes and truly get a sense of what defined each school. Finally, I focused on recruiting and employment opportunities upon graduation since I am pursuing an MBA as a career pivot.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Becoming a Dad. Everything changed the moment my children were born. Being a Dad pushes me to succeed in my goals and create a better future for my family, but it also keeps me grounded and constantly reminds me of what is important in life.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Kicking back with my wife on the weekends, watching my boys at sporting events, and continuing to carve out and define my career in Operations.