2020 MBAs To Watch: Chevy Graham, University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

Chevy Graham

University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

“Hard-working, determined young professional with the willingness to learn from others experiences.”

Hometown: Uniondale, New York

Fun fact about yourself: I am a former Division 1 football player at the University of Kansas.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Kansas, Chemical Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Before enrolling in business school I was a recent graduate of the University of Kansas

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? AstraZeneca, Wilmington Delaware

Where will you be working after graduation? AstraZeneca, US Commercial Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: N/A

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The academic achievement that I am most proud of in business school was taking on my fear of the introduction finance classes and passing them with B’s. To me, being able to identify your weaknesses and approaching them with a mindset to turn them into an opportunity is one of the most important things in growing as a student and individual. I was fortunate and blessed to have experienced this.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Although I have not started my professional career full-time yet, as I move and finish my last months of business school the achievement that I am most proud of in my career so far was my ability to build meaningful and lasting relationships during my internship in the summer of 2019. Many times, networking can be rough for those who are not used to going out, engaging with others, and opening themselves up to vulnerability. My ability to talk to associates all the way up to senior-level executives showed me that you do not need to have a title to be worth a conversation. You just have to have the heart and desire to learn from those around you and to turn any of one’s fears into opportunities to grow.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Professor Elise Boyas. She was my professor for my introductory accounting class and really took the time to make sure that her students understood the material that was going on. She always went out her way to make sure that she was accessible. I had the amazing opportunity to go to Ireland with a class that she was teaching and it was nothing but interactive and really life-changing. Shout out to Professor Boyas!!

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite event at business school was Diversity Student Weekend. In a constantly changing world, it was great to see our university really emphasize getting different types of talent from all over the world. It shows that as a society we are stronger when people from all over come together to share a learning space. Melanie Krugel, Assistant Director of MBA Admissions and Diversity Student Recruiter, does a great job each year in making sure that this is something that is on the agenda each year. I can’t wait to come back after I graduate to help out on this day.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose this business school because of the interactions that I had with the MBA office. Everyone was genuine from the start. However, Melanie Krugel was one of the main people who really sealed the deal for me. Her ability to connect with me on a professional and personal level showed me that I was in the right place and that I would be set up for success here.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? My best advice to an applicant is to be yourself! Too many times, people can get worked up and be somebody whom they “think” people want to see. Believing that you are more than enough and that you have something to bring to the table when it comes to learning experiences, is going to help get you in the door. Test scores and GPAs are not the only things that will get you into schools. We are all different, but how you show that you are different in a positive way is the key to getting in the door.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth coming into an MBA program that I heard was that it moves very fast in your first year and at times you may feel you are lost in the work. I am here to say that it was not a myth! At times, it did feel overwhelming, but it was rewarding. Staying the course and making sure that you are in constant contact with your professors is what will help you stay afloat.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back on my MBA experience, there is nothing that I would do differently. I believe that we all take this journey for different reasons and we discover what we like and areas to learn from as we go.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate that I admired the most is a guy by the name of Brandon Bieron. Brandon recently got out of the military and was looking to acquire his MBA. I met him actually just in passing to talk sports and we ended up being pretty close throughout our MBA experience. The thing I admired most about him is that he would always speak his mind and tell you exactly why he said or felt something. I believe that is a characteristic that he helped me build as I start my career. It is important to have a voice and to use it effectively. Brandon constantly showed me how to do that.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? The person who influenced my decision to pursue business in college was myself. I have always been a person who enjoys learning and understanding different educational disciplines and the thought process behind them. I wanted to make sure that I set myself up for opportunities that may arise. I also wanted to make my mom proud of me and someone she knew would be able to take care of her. Being self-motivated is a trait that I am so grateful to have and will continue to use it to achieve new goals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Becoming President of the United States

Learning a New Language

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? “He was one of the quietest but most determined individuals I have ever met.”

Hobbies? Cooking, traveling, and working out.

What made Chevy such an invaluable member of the Class of 2020?

“It has been an honor not only writing this recommendation but also having the opportunity to get to know this amazing individual over the past two years. Chevy Graham is not only a great MBA student but he is truly one of our Best and Brightest. In my five years working for Katz, I have worked with some incredible students, but Chevy is truly one of the standouts.

Chevy began his educational journey at the University of Kansas, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering all while playing Division 1 Football at one of the country’s top institutions for sports. This drive, motivation, hard work, and determination helped him to set himself apart and secure a place in the MBA program at Katz straight after graduating from undergrad. While in the program, Chevy secured a sought after an internship at AstraZeneca where he will be working after graduation as a U.S. Commercial Associate. Inside and outside the classroom, Chevy has also made a definite impact on those around him.

In the classroom, Chevy’s professors describe him as driven to succeed. He respects everyone around him while holding to his own point of view and individuality. Outside the classroom, Chevy serves as a graduate assistant and has been integral in the planning, implementation, and success of our two biggest on-campus events—Diversity Student Weekend and Admitted Student Weekend. Chevy has always been willing to go above and beyond to make prospective and admitted students feel welcome and be a resource throughout their admissions process. His support and dedication are truly invaluable to our admissions team. We are sad to see him graduate, but cannot wait to see all the amazing things he accomplishes in the future.”

Melanie Krugel
Assistant Director of MBA Admissions & Diversity Student Recruiter
University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business


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