“Florida-raised. Collector of ideas and hobbies. Husband and dog/cat dad. Passionate and goofy.”
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Fun Fact About Yourself: I know how to wakeboard, longboard (skateboard), snowboard, and surf!
Undergraduate School and Major: B.S in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Eaton Corporation, Product Manager
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? One of the most interesting and unique aspects of Tepper that I didn’t see at other schools is the Accelerate Leadership Center. It’s a dedicated center to help you with your leadership presence and abilities. There involves experience leading teams instead of just just knowledge and academics. You learn how to work with others and through others is what defines who you are as a leader. The fact that Tepper has dedicated resources specifically for this was a big winner in my book.
What club or activity excites you most at this school? The Business & Technology Club, the Operations & General Management Club, and the Latin American Business Club are the three clubs I have set my sights on. I am excited to get involved with these clubs, as they cover my interests well and will hopefully enrich my Tepper experience.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Tepper? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? Carnegie Mellon is well known to be one of the top schools in the country for both business and engineering. The quantitative approach to understanding and solving business problems is an exciting method to take to the modern business world. The most desired companies in the nation recruit here, and it’s exciting to be a part of the talented ecosystem that attracts them.
I would say I am most nervous about getting back into the student mindset, especially in this new COVID-19 world. Any class that has virtual aspects to it will require much more time management than normal – so developing good habits will be important!
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I would say my promotion to Product Manager was one of my biggest accomplishments in my career. I worked hard to develop myself and build the skillset that I knew would be valuable for my goal. Eventually, I achieved this goal. It was also pretty cool to be one of the youngest managers with direct reports, in my company.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In my career, I had transitioned from engineering to marketing and product management by learning on the job and picking up knowledge from various sources. However, I lacked the formal business education that I felt would round me out. I noticed how many executives in my company had a formal business education. After soliciting advice from others in positions I one day aspired to be in, I determined an MBA would provide me with that formal education and that extra factor to take me to the next level. Also, a potential industry change would be an interesting transition for me.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Yale SOM, Fuqua, Darden
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? A question that I received a lot during the admissions process was, “Wait, you’re quitting your job and going back to school?” It’s a tough question to answer because there is a lot baked into explaining why it is a net-positive. Overall, most people were satisfied when I explained that my wife and I felt it was the right decision for our future.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I wanted a rigorous MBA program that had great career placement in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. I read school employment reports, reached out to current students and club leaders, and visited schools in person. Tepper stood out to me for numerous reasons: the analytical approach to problem solving, the fantastic placement into Tech and Operations roles, and frankly, I just love Pittsburgh – and that’s coming from a Floridian.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Growing up, my father instilled an analytical mindset in me – if I wanted something, I had to explain why I needed it, or how it would benefit me or us. My mother instilled in me deep empathy, and how to care and appreciate others. Both of these traits are important in business; you need to not only tackle complicated problems analytically, but you often need to do so with a team that you can work with and through. I think the final important ingredient is the knowledge on how to execute – and that formal knowledge is what I hope to gain at Tepper.
Pretend you have just graduated from business school. How do you picture your experience being successful? I should have the well-rounded toolkit I came to school for, will hopefully be well-positioned to lead teams through complex business problems, and will have made some lasting friendships and connections from school.