Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Shawn Reid, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Shawn Reid

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“Ambitious and humble, small-town Idaho kid ready to show he’s more than just potatoes.”

Hometown: Post Falls, Idaho

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have lived in six different states in the last seven years.

Undergraduate School and Major: Seattle Pacific University, Business Administration/Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Red Hat Inc., Business Analyst

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? The key factor that led me to choose UNC Kenan-Flagler was its STAR program, which provides the opportunity to get real-world, hands-on experience while still in school. As a career switcher and someone who prefers hands-on learning, UNC Kenan-Flagler offers not only the course work but also the experiential learning aspect that I highly valued.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? The quality that best describes the MBA classmates I’ve met so far is superb generosity. Not only did the student ambassador I met with show me around campus, but they even asked a professor if I could join in on one of their class sessions, which I attended. That experience sold me right away and was instrumental in my decision to attend UNC Kenan-Flagler. That level of generosity and thoughtfulness was very unexpected and couldn’t have made me feel more at home.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Consulting Club, Alliance of Minority Business Students, Black Business Student Association

Of course, the Consulting Club is vital for anyone wanting to go into management consulting, but what excites me most about it is that I get to learn with and through my classmates in an environment dedicated to helping us become successful consultants.

Growing up in Idaho, cultural diversity was quite limited. I want to immerse myself into as many diversity opportunities as possible. AMBSA and BBSA are opportunities to not only engage with diverse, minority and Black classmates at UNC Kenan-Flagler but also be an ally to while we’re in School and during our careers.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Redesigning commercial operating models (processes, roles/responsibilities, organization structure) for primary Fortune 500 managed service provider companies encompassing procurement, asset ownership, and contracting.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was finally able to narrow down exactly was I was looking for in a career. Two years ago, I wanted to go into finance and felt I was ready for business school, but I never really knew “what” I wanted to do within finance. Two years later, I have switched tracks but know exactly what I want to do short term and long term: management consulting in a strategy and operations role eventually leading into digital strategy and digital transformation. Truly understanding my future goal was vital in deciding why an MBA was the right choice at this point in my career.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I was also looking to apply in Round 1 for next year at Ross, Tuck, UNC Kenan-Flagler and Carlson.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? How would you describe your leadership style?

How did you determine your fit at various schools?  A few factors I prioritized were size of the school, experiential learning opportunities, atmosphere/culture, size and, of course, if they could help me achieve my goal of switching careers into management consulting. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers all of these elements: experiential learning through STAR; amazing atmosphere and culture witnessed when I visited campus through a student ambassador; a top notch business school that was smaller but built into a massive community in UNC; and the concentration and enrichment courses that allowed me to pursue a management consulting career, but also with the tech elements that will allow me to eventually move into digital strategy.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? For me, my defining moment was finally narrowing down why I wanted an MBA. An MBA was always the plan, but I never really knew why I wanted it and didn’t exactly have a story to tell. I just wanted the degree. Piecing together why I wanted an MBA and what it would help me achieve really opened the door for me. It allowed me to apply with a goal in mind, how I was going to achieve that goal, why that goal made sense based on my previous experiences, and most importantly why an MBA was the next step.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? From a business perspective, Amazon is my favorite company. Its “start-up” operating model mentality ensures continuous innovation and it has one of the best cross-departmental horizontal matrices in the world, allowing each department to utilize resources of other departments – something many companies struggle to effectively implement.

DON’T MISS: Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class Of 2022

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