Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Jacob Schrimpf, Vanderbilt University (Owen)

Jacob Schrimpf

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management

Former theatre performer and extreme extrovert. Compassionate, enthusiastic, creative, and tenacious. Thinks outside the box.”

Hometown: Grayslake, IL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a 7-time marathon runner and eventually, hope to run a marathon in every state. Nashville is next on my list!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Notre Dame – Film, Television, and Theatre

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Professional Actor and Teaching Artist

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? I chose Vanderbilt without ever stepping foot on campus – a busy holiday performance schedule last winter didn’t allow me to visit before decision day. However, many key moments throughout the recruiting process revealed that Owen was the place for me.

Academically, I was very excited by the robust Human & Organizational Performance curriculum and the flexibility to take many different classes in areas of interest. Personally, I was impressed by the quality of genuine interactions with faculty, staff, and students at every step of the admissions process. For example, my admissions interview went way over my allotted time because I had such a lovely conversation with Associate Admission Director Rob Schickler, who spent time to really get to know me, demonstrating the open, passionate energy that permeates the Owen community. I also loved the combination of a small program within a highly resourced university, which allows for intimate personal interactions while simultaneously providing incredible faculty, facilities, and resources. While I never stepped foot on campus during my recruiting process, these key decision factors have more than proven true since starting as a student in August.

At Owen, you are part of one of the most dynamic business environments in the country. What has made Nashville such a great place to live and learn for you? I’m a city person through-and-through, so I knew I wanted to attend business school in an urban center and engage with the community as a student. Since starting in August, we’ve had many opportunities to attend presentations from, network with, and learn from local leaders and engage with Nashville’s dynamic business scene – which has made Nashville a great place to pursue a business education. While COVID-19 has prevented us from experiencing many of Nashville’s incredible cultural offerings (which I cannot wait to try post-pandemic), I’ve really enjoyed running and hiking nearby parks like Percy Warner and Radnor Lake, exploring the local food scene, and even attending a couple of outdoor, socially distanced concerts!

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Multifaceted. I’ve been impressed to see the breadth of knowledge, diversity of background, and phenomenal personalities embodied by my classmates. Our coursework often requires us to call upon previous work experience, and I’ve learned a lot from my classmates’ interesting and varied experiences! I’ve also found a common personality trend among classmates – a kindness and eagerness to get to know each other that has already begun to create fantastic relationships within our cohort.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Honestly, as simple as this may sound, I’m proud to have successfully worked as a professional actor for so many years before coming back to business school. Theatre can be a tough career, full of uncertain futures and consistent rejection. I was able to perform in more than 30 productions around the country, building a variety of experiences that shaped me as a person and will continue to fuel my growth in business school and beyond.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? I came to Owen knowing that I wanted to quickly get involved in student clubs to engage and support our community. I am proud to hold leadership roles with OSGA, our student government, and the Human and Organizational Performance Association. At the same time, I am participating in many other professional, social, and affinity groups on campus, which has allowed me to dive headfirst into my Owen experience – even in the midst of a pandemic! Professionally, I am also proud to have accepted a dream internship at American Express in their Colleague Experience Group, the culmination of many months of work on the recruiting front.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As someone making a seemingly dramatic career change, I knew an MBA was an essential step to pivot from a career in theatre to human capital. I had never taken a business class and was keen to build a solid quantitative business foundation while further developing skills essential for a career in human resources.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I always say that my “aha!” moment came about two years ago. I was teaching an adult acting class to a number of mid-career business executives, who expressed the benefits of theatrical training in their careers. Working with this group lit a spark in me to combine my love of coaching and collaboration with a business education to pursue a career in human resources. For me, the clearest path was to pursue my MBA at a school known for a robust HR curriculum, a goal that came into perspective in this defining moment. Vanderbilt Owen was the perfect place to do so.

DON’T MISS: Meet Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA Class Of 2022

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