Peter Wang, who’ll be graduating from Texas A&M’s Mays School, has been named a Poets&Quants MBA To Watch for 2021
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Fun fact about yourself: I have walked across the 38th parallel north into North Korea.
Undergraduate School and Degree:The University of Texas – Austin: B.S. and M.S. in Petroleum Engineering
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Reynolds Consumer Products, process engineer
Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? Dell Technologies, remote
Where will you be working after graduation? Dell Technologies, Supply Chain Planning
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Dr. Bala Shetty MBA Scholar Award, Summa Cum Laude, Venture Challenge (second place), MBAA member
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was winning second place at Venture Challenge. At venture challenge, my team had the privilege to work closely with a veteran-owned start-up company. In a few weeks, my team and I analyzed the marketing challenges, conducted thorough market research, and crafted an innovative solution for the entrepreneurs and the judges. I felt that my work was impactful that it solved the marketing challenges for our start-up partner company.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? It was bringing my troops and equipment home safely from an overseas deployment while I served in the Army. Leading America’s best and brightest sons and daughters who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice was a tremendous privilege and responsibility which I did not take lightly. My troops and I successfully accomplished the mission and returned home safely. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment and confidence in my leadership abilities.
Why did you choose this business school? Internship and career placement. Mays Business School is well-connected with top-notch employers in Texas and nationwide. There is plethora of opportunities to engage with employers. And the engagements lead to internship and full-time opportunities. The Aggie Network, one of the most active university alumni groups in the world, also provides great opportunities to connect and network with alumni.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Cynthia Devers teaches strategy and negotiations. Her class was one of the more relevant, challenging, applicable, and enjoyable classes in the MBA program. Her attention to detail and her care for students was apparent throughout the entire class and beyond. Outside of class, Dr. Devers took time off her busy schedule to meet with students and offered advice on salary negotiation, often one-on-one. For her selfless service to students, Dr. Devers received the Dr. Dan H. Robertson Outstanding MBA Faculty Award at our graduation. And she was my favorite MBA professor.
What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? (What did it reflect about your business school?)
Putting on the Aggie Ring was my favorite MBA tradition. Receiving the Aggie Ring was not only a milestone of academic accomplishment but also a symbol of the Aggie family. The MBA student body at Mays Business School is one big family that looks after one another. The ring celebration with the student body was a special and memorable tradition. And the ring serves both as a reminder of the friendships and memories during the MBA journey as well as being a part of the Aggie family.
Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? One thing I would do differently is taking more time out of studying to participate in more community service, outdoor activities, and social events (before the pandemic). I am proud of my academic achievements in school. And I treasure the life-long friendships I have made during the program. I wish I had made more time to develop more life-long friendships with classmates, from whom I have learned so much, outside of the classroom setting.
What is the biggest myth about your school? Texas A&M is a cult. The student body preserves many serious and proud traditions at the school. But by no means does it make Texas A&M a cult. Students and parents from visiting schools may notice many unique traditions at Texas A&M, especially at football games such as yells. The seriousness in which students take the traditions cultivate bonding and camaraderie. But Texas A&M is a long way from being a cult.
What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised by the number of resources for veteran students on campus. Texas A&M greatly supports veteran students. The Veteran Resource and Support Center (VRSC) provides a wide range of resources to help with veteran students and their families. I was blown away by the passion and selfless service of the staff at VRSC and. I was also honored to have received a veteran scholarship for my Aggie Ring from an alumni couple.
What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? My interview preparation had set me up for success during the application process. I interviewed with several schools and was admitted into many. Each time, I drew upon lessons from my previous work experience for the behavior questions. Spending time to compile the stories, rehearse, and present to the admission officers each time became easier and easier. And I became more confident and presented myself to be a competitive candidate.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Nash Porter truly exemplified many of the Aggie values of intelligence, selfless service, leadership, and integrity. While servicing on the MBAA leadership team, Nash had gone above-and-beyond his call of duty to organize and carry out meaningful events for the student body. As a friend, Nash always provided a listening ear and great insight. Despite of his demanding schedule, Nash graduated with academic honors. Nash embodied Aggie values and provided a great inspiration for the whole class.
How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? The disruption mostly came in the form of canceled social events and the lack of in-person interaction. Mays Business School, in my opinion, was successful in transitioning to an online and hybrid teaching format. But for students who choose to transition learning to online, the in-person interaction — which provided valuable exchange between faculty and students — was greatly reduced.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Trung Giang was a procurement manager at Reynolds Consumer Products. We developed a close friendship while working together on projects. He shared with me his MBA journey at Baylor and encouraged me to explore a career in business. Trung was patient and knowledgeable. He walked me through the pros and cons of getting an MBA. And his passion for entrepreneurship influenced me to pursue an MBA. He became my first MBA mentor and role model.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I want to lead an international team. I am fascinated by the diverse talents and experiences of coworkers from a different country and culture. Leading a diverse team will be a great learning opportunity as it will often present novel perspectives. And accomplishing the mission with such a team will be a rewarding experience.
I also want to become a mentor. I have had many mentors who selflessly helped me get to where I am in school and professionally. Being a mentor is a chance for me to give back and pay it forward to someone whose shoes I had been in.
What made Peter such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?
“To quote one of his MBA peers, Peter Wang is “a true leader, who brings out the best in each of his teammates.” Academically, he is among the most well-rounded and versatile students I have seen in the past fourteen years, exceling in accounting, operations, and finance, as well as management, marketing, and strategy. Fellow members of the Full-Time MBA Class of 2021 marveled at his ability to “take in knowledge and make it his own” and “grasp concepts taught in class and apply them in assignments and projects.” With his heart for service, Peter was also known for “helping others understand course material” and “bringing comfort to his team” by simultaneously monitoring the critical path and the team’s morale. An Army veteran with hefty supply chain experience, Peter is a master of defining the goal, developing the plan, and motivating each person to strive for results. Through his ability to step up during crunch time, engage in constructive conflict, and give and receive feedback, Peter modeled what it means to practice results-oriented leadership with a growth mindset.
When I met Peter at the start of the program, I must say I did not detect his fun personality right away. It was a real treat, therefore, when I viewed his team’s charter video, in which he donned a wig and participated in hilarious role plays illustrating positive and negative team behavior. From this point on, I understood what his classmates meant when they mentioned his positivity and sense of humor. During the capstone course, Peter and his team evaluated existing small business resources for veterans and explored opportunities to form a non-profit organization or consulting firm. As the team’s advisor, I had the pleasure of witnessing Peter’s maximizer strength in action. Like a conductor weaving violins, oboes, and trumpets into a beautiful symphony, he has a gift for seeing the big picture, mining relevant details without “boiling the ocean,” and making sure all voices are heard and empowered to add value. In the years to come, I am confident Peter will continue to make his mark as a leader who finds his greatest success in making others successful.”
Executive Professor | Mays Teaching Fellow
MBA Programs | Mays Business School | Texas A&M University
DON’T MISS: THE FULL LIST OF MBAS TO WATCH IN 2021