Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Spencer Lowden, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Spencer Lowden

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“Persistent, energetic, personable – and learning to use those three qualities to create impactful change.”

Hometown: Diamond, MO

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was on a varsity cycling team at Brevard College that won multiple collegiate cycling national championships.

Undergraduate School and Major: Brevard College, B.A. Business and Organizational Leadership.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: HCA Mission Health (Asheville, NC) Senior Analyst in the Strategic Growth and Business Development department

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Not so much the programming, but the culture was what sealed the deal for me. When I began applying to MBA programs, I very much had the notion that these schools were cutthroat and extremely competitive. Being a competitive person, I was prepared and ready for that environment. However, W. P. Carey’s program really opened my eyes. The program is without a doubt competitive. In an environment like an MBA, collaboration is really where the real growth happens. Of course, all my classmates want to succeed, but they also want me to succeed. That realization and the value that comes with that quickly made me realize what was important and separated W.P. Carey from the rest.

Arizona State is renowned for its innovation. How have you seen innovation in the philosophy, curriculum, or research at W. P. Carey? It is quickly becoming cliché, but COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in everyone’s system. That, however, has not slowed down ASU and W. P. Carey at all. I have been so impressed with how quickly they adapted. Not only changing many in-person events to virtual ones, but while also still maintaining value and impact of each of the sessions, providing information that is engaging and exciting. They also have quickly created a class plan that left no student population unrepresented or unheard, utilizing a combination of in-person and virtual opportunities. I believe a lot of this innovation happens because they consistently request feedback from their students to better understand the needs and wants especially in this time of uncertainty. That open and inviting opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas is what helps set ASU a part and allows them the space to be at the forefront of innovation.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Professionally, I am excited to be a part of the Healthcare Club. My excitement stems from networking with fellow classmates in the same professional sector to learning and listening in on the great minds currently changing the world of healthcare as we know it. It is what I am passionate about and look forward to expanding my experience and connections within it.

On a more relaxed note, I am excited for the Golf Club and the Cycling Club. I really enjoy the sport of both and love meeting new people, so it seems like a no-brainer to have some fun while still expanding my network.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I think my biggest accomplishment in my career so far is less a project I led or an analysis I performed, but more the opportunities and experiences I have been a part of. This sounds a bit cheesy – and would take all day to really explain – but the people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve been a part of, and the growth I have experienced in the 4 years of my career have really been and will continue to be life-changing. They have helped set the stage of my career and put it on a trajectory that allows me to maximize my potential and create opportunities for others. I see it as my biggest accomplishment because I know how valuable and unique so many of my experiences were. However, those experiences and connections don’t mean anything if I don’t capitalize on them, so I plan to someday be able to say in the future when this question is asked again that my biggest accomplishment wasn’t just the experiences, but how I used those experiences to make a difference.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?  I really enjoyed creating opportunities, whether it was for my friends, family, or the customers/patients I have worked for. Finding ways to create an opportunity for them just makes me feel good. However, if I wanted to be able to continue creating opportunities and create them on a larger scale, I knew the best path forward was an MBA. By pursuing an MBA, it will accelerate my ability to provide opportunities to those that need it most.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Duke, UNC, Wharton, Harvard, NC State, MIT

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The case question was challenging for a couple reasons. The first reason, and honestly completely my own fault, was that I initially interpreted the question wrong. So, as I began answering some of the early questions, I was heading in the wrong direction of what I thought the business’ goals were. I luckily realized this rather early. To say that moment haunted me after the interview would be an understatement. Along with that you get thrown a lot of information in a small window and being able to take that info and quickly analyze and produce answers that are compelling and accurate will make even the most confident person question if they nailed all the key points.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? There are some similarities in my answer to the previous question, but my defining moment came early in my career. I was an Administrative Resident for a non-profit health system. One of the perks of my role was getting to sit down with our CEO every month and ask questions about the company, healthcare, and many things in between. This opportunity, along with the CEO’s passion for what he did, really made me realize how important asking and honestly answering “why do you do the work you do?”. By answering this question, it helped me realize what I needed to do to accomplish my “why”. This question helped prepare me for business school by helping me clearly define my goals and expectations, something that is necessary in an MBA program when the end goal is finding a job/career that allows you to fully reach your potential and capabilities.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? Flexibility. I really want an employer that does not live and die by the status quo. I am seeking an employer that is willing to listen to new ideas and thoughts and is not afraid to try something similar companies have not attempted. I also want my employer to be flexible in my personal life. I have a lot to look forward to in my life and I want someone that knows that while my career is important to me there are things (family) that I am not willing to sacrifice missing out on. COVID-19 has shown us that we can be flexible and still be productive and successful and I believe any company that can embrace that thought process can be the right employer for me.

DON’T MISS: Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class of 2022

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