Anthony J. Hodge
“Naturally curious adventurer who enjoys stepping into the unknown.”
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have operated one of Her Majesty’s lighthouses on an island in Nova Scotia.
Undergraduate School and Major: The Ohio State University, BS. Landscape Architecture
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: The HoneyBaked Ham Company, LLC, Manager, Direct to Consumer Operations
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? Real world applications of classroom skills and topics is quite rare in practice of most business schools. While there are certainly singular classes in programs that provide such an opportunity, none of them do it at the scale of TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results). TI:GER combines classroom instruction, innovation projects, team activities, and real-world experience into a total, immersive, practical education throughout three terms of the MBA program. The program attracts students whose objectives are to become technology innovators – in early-stage high-growth ventures, in consultancies, or in corporate positions in finance, marketing, operations, or strategy. The TI:GER experience provides essential skills, tacit knowledge, and networks for success beyond Scheller. This year we will have an added layer of the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) being a part of the program experience.
The Scheller MBA ranks among the best for instilling innovation and creativity according to alumni and students surveyed by Bloomberg Businessweek. How have seen this in the programming so far? I see this daily. Now that we have a semester under our belts the applications of our learnings have become clear. I now get to watch how those somewhat uniform tools are manipulated and applied differently by my classmates. They get to leverage the unique skills and backgrounds they have to find new applications of the skills and topics we have been taught.
At Scheller, you are literally across the street from Tech Square and living in one of the dynamic business environments in the world. What makes Atlanta such a great place to live and learn for you? I can say with confidence that Atlanta is the most diverse city I have ever been to. The people I have met and the experiences they have shared with me have changed my life. No matter which neighborhood or restaurant you find yourself in, you will bump into someone who is ready to make an impact on your life. I have come to learn that we are all waiting to make those connections and most people in Atlanta have a hand outreached.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? They are ready to be wrong. I don’t think anyone in my class is scared to share an opinion or offer a counter one. While they are all comfortable sharing what they think is right, they are equally open to hearing the other side and changing their initial conception. We all chose to come to a place that values the collective knowledge of the class. We understand that we don’t have all the answers, but we certainly find them together.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Negotiating my company’s UPS contract is certainly high up on my list. The direct-to-consumer line of business ships quite a few hams and turkey breasts over the holidays. While I was very excited to be given this responsibility, I was quickly out of my depth. If you are looking for a brain teaser, I advise you to pick up a UPS contract. They are not meant to be absorbed in a single sitting. It took myself, and an all-star team beside me weeks to digest the current language and then plan our attack on negotiations. In the end I was able to generate an annual savings of $1M. The kicker was we were able to avoid a peak season variance clause in the process. This clause would trigger penalties if we were over or under our forecasted parcels for the year. We were one of the only shippers of that size that year able to avoid that clause.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Early on, I was selected to be an MBA fellow in the Southeast Investor Group, SEIG. I had successfully demonstrated my passion for learning and applying my prior knowledge to an entirely new field I knew very little about. In a matter of a few weeks, I was already talking the talk, and had the walk to back it up. The world of venture capital can be quite mysterious and challenging to get remotely close to, but I was able to pull back the curtain and meet the wizard myself. I will say that the experience I have is due to the incredible talent of the other fellows our founders have assembled. We truly operate as a team with fellows spanning across Scheller and Goizueta.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I knew that I wanted to be the one holding the cards that controlled my future. Getting my MBA was a no-brainer for stacking the deck in my favor. To get the most out of my master’s experience, I knew I would need to get my feet wet for a few years and get some real-world experience about how a business operates. Three years in I knew that I was ready to take those learnings and apply them to my MBA.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Loading my car up with all my belongings and leaving the place I called home, along with all my family and friends in the rearview mirror for Atlanta, was my game changer. After graduating from OSU, I knew I didn’t want to slow down my personal or professional growth and that meant starting something new. Moving to a much larger city and not having my support system was challenging to say the least. I knew that if I could make it here on my own, then any other move across the country or through a company would be easy. Now after three-and-a-half years of very hard work, the investment I made in myself has certainly paid off. I have proven my mettle and I am ready for wherever my next adventure takes me.
DON’T MISS: MEET GEORGIA TECH’S MBA CLASS OF 2022