“Jack-of-all-trades with a creative streak. So outgoing you’ll forget he’s an engineer.”
Hometown: Marietta, GA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I won top honors at the world’s largest student film festival.
Undergraduate School and Major: Georgia Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering major with a minor in Law, Science and Technology.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Haskell, Project Integrator and Startup 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? I’ve spent the past decade helping Fortune 500 companies expand their operations, and that gave me great perspective on what the needs are for today’s businesses. Every firm is racing to modernize their workflows with the latest technologies, so I was looking for an MBA program that could combine cutting edge tech with classic business skills.
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? My MBA program has overlapped with COVID-19, so Scheller’s faculty had to adapt their courses for a remote-centric environment and it’s been a success. Professors found novel ways to make classes and assignments engaging through a broad toolkit of distance learning strategies. A few classes even adapted their curriculum to include the pandemic’s impact on global operations and supply chain; they transformed COVID-19 from a challenge to a business case.
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? Atlanta is the melting pot of the south. The city overflows with cultural gateways from food to music to sports to events which represent all corners of the earth. When you ask friends what they’re doing this weekend, you’ll get answers like, “a black-tie gala for LGBTQ equality”, “a rooftop Diwali party”, or “tailgating at the motor speedway” – and that’s just the norm. That’s living in Atlanta.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Every Scheller student is sharp and driven, but it’s the diversity of my class that has spurred some fascinating in-lecture discussions. Many of my peers have had a personal experience with these business topics and they can explain how these concepts played out in their own careers. Scheller has done a great job leveraging this diversity into strong core teams. This is a small group that collaborates on some assignments during the first semester. My team is an even mix of men and women representing four undergraduate majors, three states, two countries, one master’s degree, and 26 years of combined business experience. We were really successful together because our unique strengths balanced so well.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I will never forget the morning when I was asked to take over a flailing project. The customer was new to us, but with high long-term potential and a lucrative first project. Unfortunately, the first project lead was not a good fit for the customer’s needs. I was tapped to take over a project already in motion that was behind schedule, while rebuilding the customer relationship. It was a challenge, but one I excelled at (to the point where the customer offered me a job!). That was one of the first times I realized I had more to offer the business world beyond my current role, which ultimately caused me to seek out a Scheller MBA.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? My biggest accomplishment as an MBA student has been developing my professional network beyond former co-workers and customers. The program has been a great opportunity to connect not just with my class, but with the Scheller alumni scattered across the globe. Our professors have lined up some fantastic guest speakers who are leaders in the industries my classmates and I want to join, and the speakers encourage us to stay in touch. Finally, the career services team has been wonderful with their guidance and they’ve helped me reach out to the companies where I want to work. I’ve never felt better connected or better prepared to find my dream job.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I decided to get my MBA after I had just completed the most challenging project of my career. The customer was happy, my company was happy, but I knew it was time to move on. This project was essentially my capstone design, an all-encompassing application of my manufacturing experience. Through the work, I trained two new hires on the ways of our industry. That’s when it hit me that I’d completed everything I could at the firm. I’d “seen one, done one, taught one” but didn’t have the skillset to reach the next level. I could either stay and continue leading projects or go get an MBA and tap into my full potential.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? Way back when I was a junior business analyst, I had an assignment that really opened my eyes to the scale of global business. The project seemed simple at first: price out the impact of an upcoming change. I started my evaluations and it was $10,000 here and $10,000 there, but eventually, I was in the millions. Then, it was the hundreds of millions. And finally, my jaw hit the floor because I crossed into one billion. My mind couldn’t fathom how one event could ripple that far, but that’s when I began to appreciate the scale of what it means to be a world leader in an industry. That project got me excited to learn more about how a global business operates, and it’s one of the reasons I’m getting my MBA.
DON’T MISS: MEET GEORGIA TECH’S MBA CLASS OF 2022