Yale | Mr. Tambourine Man
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Wharton | Mr. Sales From Law School
GMAT 700, GPA 11/20
Wharton | Mr. Rural Ed To International Business
GRE 329, GPA 3.6
McCombs School of Business | Mr. CRE
GMAT 625, GPA 3.4
IU Kelley | Mr. Jiu-Jitsu Account Admin
GMAT 500, GPA 3.23
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Mr. Community Involvement
GMAT 600, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
GRE 329, GPA 3.2
Columbia | Mr. URM Artillery Officer
GRE 317, GPA 3.65
Kellogg | Mr. Engineer To PM
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (with Honors)
Harvard | Ms. Eternal Optimism
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0 (First Class Honours)
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Stanford GSB | Ms. Lady Programmer
GRE 331, GPA 2.9
Ross | Mr. Double Eagle
GMAT 740, GPA 3.77
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Harvard | Mr. UHNW Family Office
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Certain Government Guy
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Stuck Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.6
MIT Sloan | Mr. Mechanical Engineer W/ CFA Level 2
GMAT 760, GPA 3.83/4.0 WES Conversion
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. International Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. South East Asian Product Manager
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Ms. Investor To Fintech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
GMAT 680, GPA 3.2
Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85

Meet Carnegie Mellon Tepper’s MBA Class Of 2021

Naftali Burakovsky

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“My artful efficiency more than makes up for my time-consuming curiosity.”

Hometown: Los Alamos, New Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I worked as a movie critic throughout college and started recording video reviews last year. As a journalist, I had the opportunity to watch dozens of films at preview screenings. Among my favorite experiences were the screenings for Best Picture winner Birdman and superhero blockbuster Captain America: Civil War.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of California, San Diego — Economics & Mathematics joint major

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: SelectQuote Insurance Services, Database Marketing Specialist

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment has been the outsourcing and automation of mailing operations at SelectQuote Insurance Services.

For many years, the insurance brokerage I worked for had been paying large real-estate and operational costs associated with a mailroom, which produced and delivered our marketing and transactional mailings. I reached out to managers from several departments and created a team with the goal of determining which mail communication to send to clients and which external mail companies to hire to support the company’s needs. The goal was to outsource all mailings without negatively affecting customer experience or sales. I coordinated with our IT department and our mailing partner to outsource and automate all marketing campaigns and began testing creative content that could not be produced by the internal printing equipment.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? The quality that best describes the MBA classmates I have met so far is that they are forward-looking. They understand the importance of adapting to new business environments and technological innovation. Like me, many of my classmates are interested in working in the tech industry or leveraging technology to make other industries more efficient.

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? Tepper’s integration of technology within its MBA curriculum signals the importance that the program places on innovation. Future marketing and operations challenges will be drastically influenced by technology, especially as managers increasingly use technology to generate demand, understand their customers, and improve operational efficiency. For this reason, it is important to me that the use of technology and an understanding of its current and future role is deeply incorporated into my program, as it is at Tepper. CMU’s MBA program will provide me the tools to navigate technological disruptions, innovate marketing operations, and integrate new technologies with existing business systems.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The activity I am most looking forward to is a week-long Career Trek, particularly the Silicon Valley Trek, which is unique to Tepper. Treks are an opportunity to travel with classmates, network, and learn about the culture and business operations of various companies within a specific industry. As I am interested in technology companies, the Silicon Valley Trek is an exciting chance to delve into the tech industry with my classmates and discover my potential career path.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Personally or professionally, in what way have you been a pioneer?”

This was an essay question for Tepper. My response was about my project to automate mailing operations at SelectQuote Insurance Services.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have been planning to pursue an MBA since studying math and economics as an undergraduate. I decided to work for two years prior to business school because work experience would increase my value as a classmate and improve my post-MBA job prospects. Pursuing an MBA at this point in my career will provide an early career advantage as well as signal my interest and strength in business management to future employers.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UCLA, NYU, Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, Emory, Duke, Columbia

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I used MBA rankings, such as those from US News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek, to determine which schools have an academic strength in Operations Management as it is among my desired concentrations. Among the schools I applied to, Tepper was the highest-ranked in this functional area.

Industry reputation was also important, including the overall MBA ranking and company relationships. I studied the companies that hire from Tepper on the school’s career website and found many companies that I am interested in, including Amazon, Adobe, and Autodesk. Tepper is also a highly-ranked MBA program with an extensive alumni network.

I studied Tepper’s culture on various MBA blogs including Poets & Quants. Tepper’s relatively small and diverse class appealed to me because it can develop more meaningful and productive connections between students of different backgrounds and perspectives.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment was becoming the New Mexico policy debate state champion and top speaker as a senior in high school.

Prior to becoming a debater, no one would have assumed I had a talent for argumentation or public speaking. As a quiet sophomore in high school, I joined the debate team and became fascinated with the logic and rules of argumentation and rhetoric. Over the next three school years, I learned how to construct arguments and present them with efficient language. Debate taught me that persuasion and effective communication begin with analysis and research. Becoming a state champion debater showed me that my weaknesses could be overcome with hard work and creative problem-solving.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself developing and managing global business strategies as a Marketing and Operations executive at a large-scale technology company such as Amazon.

One of my primary long-term goals is to become a global expert in marketing operations management and gain insights with applications to a wide range of industries. As the world becomes increasingly networked, I will continue to develop an understanding of how disparate marketing systems interact as well as how those systems can be made more efficient, impactful, and accountable.

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