2020 MBAs To Watch: Margot Waldron, Cornell University (Johnson)

Margot Waldron

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

Adventure-driven individual passionate about establishing cross-cultural connections and investing in emerging markets.”

Hometown: Chadds Ford, PA

Fun fact about yourself: While living in Jordan, I once had the chance to watch the sunset at the Petra Monastery and enjoy a cup of Arak with the Nabatean people who still reside in there.

Undergraduate School and Degree: American University, B.S.B.A

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Cambridge Associates, Client Service Associate, Endowment & Foundations Practice

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Ivy Investments, Kansas City

Where will you be working after graduation? Ivy Investments, Global Equity Analyst

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-President, Investment Management Club; Healthcare Sector Lead, Cayuga Fund (~$1.2MM Student Investment Fund); Johnson Board Fellow, Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming; Career Work Group Leader; Co-President, Squash Club.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of my role as the Investment Management Club Co-President. As the first woman co-president in many years, it was exciting to serve as a leader, mentor, and cheerleader to other women pursuing a career in such a heavily male-dominated field.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’m most proud of the stock pitch work I did this summer at my internship with Ivy Investments. The format of our internship was to define and then conduct in-depth research into a specific theme. Following this, we chose which stocks we felt were the strongest buy. As someone changing careers, this was my chance to validate what I learned in my first year at Johnson and to demonstrate my own fundamental research methods. The stock I chose ended up having the largest after-earnings pop in my company comp set with a nearly 20 percent rise. It was a great way to round out my summer.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Rob Symington, lecturer in Finance and senior adviser at Avenue Capital Group, who leads Johnson’s Investment Research and Asset Management Immersion. Professor Symington did an incredible job encouraging me to come up with my own investment philosophy and was always there to offer feedback on my stock pitches or give advice (even if it was a Saturday morning!). I owe it to Professor Symington for coaching me to push myself on my fundamental analysis and helping me develop more confidence in my work. He taught me to be comfortable with ambiguity in investing and how to make judgement calls based on my research.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? There are too many to choose from! However, if I had to pick just one, it would be our winter bowling league. Every Friday during the winter, students show up to the bowling alley in team uniforms ready to bowl their hearts out. It’s awesome to see students from all different walks of MBA life come together in the spirit of friendly competition. The bowling league showcases the Cornell Johnson community’s close-knit nature, the-more-the-merrier attitude, and creative ability to have fun.

Why did you choose this business school? I spent the night before my Johnson Admissions interview watching the Super Bowl with Johnson students from the Class of 2018. These students could not say enough good things about the Cornell MBA program and all the opportunities it gave them, whether professionally or socially. I was impressed by how strong the friendships were, even across people pursuing different career paths. The community felt supportive, open, and full of intelligent individuals. I knew I wanted to be part of it. The Eagles also won that night, so I figured it was fate.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be your authentic self and understand how you can utilize resources at Cornell to achieve your professional and personal goals. The school has so many opportunities for academic and leadership development. It is up to you to research what they are and how to apply them to make your MBA experience worthwhile for you.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Cornell is that there is nothing to do in Ithaca. People seem to conflate a small place with boredom. I have never felt this is the case. While the city is small, there is no shortage of good restaurants and things to do. My calendar feels overly full of activities. The Cornell Johnson Community is extremely tight-knit as a result of being in a small place and it offers you the chance to establish friends that feel like family.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I had more time to take classes outside of Johnson, especially the infamous Cornell Wines Class. As a wine and cheese enthusiast, I would have enjoyed learning about the different types, tastes, and regions of wine.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire Raheel Hirji, my Investment Management Club Co-President. Raheel exhibited notable dedication to the club, successfully helping first-year students develop their stock pitches in our Career Work Group. He is a wonderful friend. Raheel is also a remarkable person in everyday ways. He is humble, patient, and considerate. I learned a lot from him about how to be a better coach and teacher. I am grateful we got to work together in a leadership capacity.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of the Investment Directors I worked under inspired me to get my MBA. I appreciate him for his intelligence and ability to manage a team’s strengths. I knew an MBA would be the best way for me to come close to developing the same level of quantitative and leadership skills he exhibited. He welcomed educational development and encouraged me to pursue my passion for investment research.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’d like to be a portfolio manager one day for an Emerging Markets fund and have the chance to go on company visits in six of seven continents (no company visits available in Antarctica – yet).

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I’d like to be remembered as a peer my classmates can rely on, as someone who listens, and who above all else is a genuinely great friend.

Hobbies? Participating in all the outdoor activities upstate New York has to offer, organizing wine and cheese parties, hosting game nights, playing racquet sports, and traveling abroad with my classmates.

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

“It was a pleasure to teach and work with Margot in our Investment Research and Asset Management Immersion. Margot came to Johnson incredibly focused and determined to make a dramatic change in her career path.  As a second-year student, not only has Margot succeeded in making that change, but she has become a role model and leader in helping other students pursue that same career path.  Margot is thoughtful and generous with her time as a Teaching Assistant and Career Work Group leader and as co-President of the Investment Management Club, a member of the Women’s Management Council, and countless social clubs.  She is also passionate about her learning, both in the classroom and outside, embracing the cultural diversity and associated friendships that Johnson offers.”

Rob Symington,
Visiting Senior Lecturer of Finance and Senior Advisor


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.