Meet Georgia Tech Scheller’s MBA Class Of 2021

Andrew Eskander 

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business

“I am passionate about integrating culture, business, and technology.”

Hometown: Frederick, MD

Fun Facts About Yourself: My first passion will always be the exploration of food in different cultures.

  • My favorite out of school activity is rock climbing, I began my freshman year and by senior year I was leading trips for the school.
  • Outside of work, I volunteer at the Toys for Tots program in Frederick, MD where we have collected over 49,000 toys

Undergraduate School and Major: The Ohio State University, World Economy and Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Marine Corps; Captain, Communications Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2018, I was deployed to the Middle East, where I had the privilege to work side-by-side with Iraqi military and government officials. During this time, I lead a team to instruct 35 students on how to integrate single-channel radio systems and enterprise-level IT networks with the multinational force working in the area. It was extremely challenging yet rewarding to work through both technical and language barriers. I was able to leverage my Arabic language skills to create an environment of trust with our Iraqi partners and complete a long-term project that increased the security, collaboration, and safety in the area ultimately saving lives.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diversity in thought, experience, and industry. It is incredibly important to have a wide range of experience when planning for and executing projects and business plans. No two classmates at Scheller are alike. As a result, this has created an open environment to share ideas. Every candidate is genuinely interested in their classmates’ backgrounds and is excited to learn about their respective career fields. This diversity also provides another learning dimension when students are broken down into their four-person project groups. Scheller staff placed an emphasis on balancing each group based on personality, industry, and future career aspirations. As a result, the approach and presentation of similar problem sets are all achieved by different methods allowing the class to learn through varying perspectives.

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? Scheller’s Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) course was a unique program that no other school offered. TI:GER teams MBA and Ph.D. candidates from Georgia Institute of Technology with JD students from Emory University. The team is then responsible for conducting market research, filing US Patents, and finalizing product design in order to bring new technologies to business and consumer customers. The opportunity to take a product or service to market with the ability to consult with top academics in the business field is an invaluable experience that I am excited to participate, learn, and carry forward throughout the rest of my academic and professional career.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am incredibly excited to attend the international practicum coursework and complete the study abroad during the first year of the program. I have been fortunate to work with cultures from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. I genuinely find the exchange of ideas from around the world to contribute to a better future. I intend to participate and complete a project in either South America or Africa.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? As an Officer in the military, it was challenging to focus on my personal accomplishments when so much of the work I have done was with the support of the team I lead. I had to focus on my own achievements and articulate them well enough to translate military terminology to be a competitive candidate.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I reached a natural transition point in my life as I decided to resign my commission in the United States Marine Corps to pursue a career in the civilian workforce. The full-time MBA program was an opportunity to focus on complementing my IT and military background with business acumen. Learning hard business skills will allow me to be successful in contributing to my future team in a meaningful manner. Completing this MBA program will also allow me to enter the workforce on the same footing as my peers with a civilian work background.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Georgetown, Emory, New York University, Rutgers, and the University of Maryland.

What made you select Scheller? The Scheller admission team received approximately 500 applications for the class of 2021. However, during every step of the process, I felt as though I was the only applicant. I was deployed overseas for the entirety of the admissions process and Scheller set itself apart from every other program where I applied. The admissions team made it a point to support and accommodate my unique situation throughout Round 1 so that my application could be as competitive as possible to the committee. They answered every question in detail and with a tone that made me feel as if they wanted me to contribute to not just a program but their future community. During the interview process, I again saw how much care and consideration the team had as each question felt like a conversation with genuine follow-up questions rather than a standard script. This allowed me to express my personality and story.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? During 2018 and while applying to MBA programs, I was deployed overseas. It was difficult for me to select a school based on fit first-hand, so all my research was completed online or on the phone. I had an idea of which geographical location I would be satisfied with post-graduation and reached out to my LinkedIn network. I contacted veterans that were currently enrolled or just recently graduated from schools I was considering. I was specific about asking how each program was able to leverage their background and support their career aspirations. I also inquired about the relationships between students and the relationships between students and professors.

After narrowing my list, I began to rank the fit of schools based on my interactions with the admissions committee. Scheller immediately set itself apart by placing me in contact with current students who matched my background industry and future career goals. There was a concerted effort to begin mentoring me personally and professionally from the very beginning. Ultimately, this would be the reason why I attended Georgia Tech.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In July 2019, I proposed to my fiancée Hannah. She has supported me throughout my career and helped me grow personally and professionally. I would not be at this program or as successful today without the love and care she has given me over the years. I am excited to spend the rest of my life with her.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I believe that the world is changing at an exponential rate in relation to technology. Although technology has been invaluable to increasing efficiency in business, supply chain, and logistics, it has also come at a cost to privacy and security. I intend to start a consulting firm to identify shortfalls in cybersecurity and inefficiencies in legacy systems. As the market and business landscape changes over the next decade, I want to protect consumer privacy while increasing the capacity of small and mid-sized business to defend their customer’s privacy and expand their presence in the marketplace.

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