Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Daniel Ketyer, University of Michigan (Ross)

Daniel Ketyer

University of Michigan,  Ross School of Business

“Strategy consultant and aspiring climate tech investor from Western PA.”

Hometown: Washington County, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am an avid golfer, first picking up the game when I was about 5 years old and playing competitively throughout high school. While I’m no longer a scratch handicap, I am now a golf course architecture rater for Golfweek Magazine, where I travel and report on the most compelling architecture in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Undergraduate School and Major: Duke University, Public Policy Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte Consulting, Consultant – M&A Strategy

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 student-run investment funds stood out as a unique opportunity. Ross has more student-run funds than any other MBA program. The options are limitless: a lab-to-market tech VC (Zell-Lurie Commercialization Fund), an international VC (International Investment Fund), and an impact investing VC (Social Venture Fund). These opportunities particularly appealed to me as I aspire to move from consulting to investing. The hard part is deciding which fund to apply to!

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Professionally – I’m most interested in the Ross Energy Club. As a freshman at Duke, I founded the Duke Energy Club, the first student organization at Duke for undergrads interested in clean energy and climate tech. I’m excited to apply my learnings and recent experience in the energy sector to help build out programming at Ross in the form of conferences, case competitions, and networking events.

Socially – I can’t wait to play the University of Michigan Golf Course. It’s one of a handful of public-access golf courses designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, arguably the greatest golf course architect in history. I’m looking forward to sharing the game I love with my classmates, and making new friends along the way.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Ross? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? Ross appealed to me specifically because of the opportunity to gain legitimate hands-on experience through the MAP project, student-run investment funds, and activities like the Crisis Challenge, where students learn to deal with a high-pressure situation through a 24-hour simulation. I am nervous about the macro outlook for the United States and its manifestation in the MBA experience. Many of the great benefits of an MBA – in-person debate and interaction, learning and making friends with classmates all over the world, traveling destinations halfway across the planet – are not possible as a result of weak American leadership. It’s a good time to sign up for a Crisis Challenge!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My favorite class in undergrad was Renewables and the World’s Poor. Nearly 2 billion people around the world lack access to reliable electricity and the basic services it enables – and I knew I wanted to play a role building solutions in the sector. In early 2020, I flew to Nairobi, Kenya to begin a strategy internship at d.light, one of the leading global off-grid solar energy providers. It felt like the perfect opportunity to combine my background in energy with my consulting toolkit before beginning my MBA. Over four months, I helped the d.light team prioritize revenue growth initiatives, negotiate contracts, and ultimately generate cash flow to weather the ongoing economic and public health crisis.

The biggest highlight of my experience in Kenya was a company-wide celebration to recognize the 100 million lives impacted by d.light solar lanterns and home systems over the past decade. I was proud to play even a modest role in the team’s accomplishment. I took a risk to fly out to Kenya, made an impact, and had fun along the way.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’m at the point in my career where I’d like to step back and go deep in a high-impact industry and function. I’ve built a foundational skill set in strategy consulting at Deloitte, but long term I see myself as an investor focused on industries I’m most passionate about and experienced in – energy and climate.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Columbia

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Tell me about a time when you were on a team that failed?”

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? My three main priorities this summer have been experience, academics, and network. For experience, I’ve completed two internships, one strategy role in the clean energy space at d.light and one in private equity investing at Kohlberg & Co. For academics, I enrolled in Ross’s Fast Track in Finance program, where I’ve taken online accounting and finance courses to position myself for advanced finance coursework when I get to campus. And for network, I’ve had about two dozen conversations with Ross students and alums doing things I’m interested in. I’m excited to hit the ground running!

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? When I first joined Deloitte, I struggled to find my niche. I sought to do high-impact, intellectually rigorous work aligned with my academic background and interest in climate and energy. However, there were few relevant opportunities for a first-year analyst.

About six months in, I spoke with a fellow Duke alum at Deloitte who is now a Ross MBA about taking on higher impact roles at the firm. We worked to proactively position me to lead Deloitte’s global Future of Mobility community, recognizing that A) mobility is one of the most important climate-related industry segments in the U.S. and B) the role could serve as a launch pad to bigger opportunities at Deloitte – and it did. I proactively aligned my interests and skills to carve out a specific niche. At Ross, I’m excited to continue to proactively build my career.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? In M&A transactions, it’s critical to think about sources and uses of capital, and it is also a useful analogy for professional life. I find that Alphabet’s ability to source cash from its Google search and ads business and deploy it into projects like Waymo, Loon, Google Fiber, and Verily (among others) best demonstrates the value of diversified uses and sources of capital. At Ross, I know it will be difficult to juggle all the exciting uses of capital and time over the next two years. By taking the Alphabet approach of investing my time and resources in diverse, high-impact projects, I hope to make the most of it.

DON’T MISS: MEET THE MICHIGAN ROSS MBA CLASS OF 2022

 

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