2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Anthony C. Winfield Jr., University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

Anthony C. Winfield Jr.

University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

“A dreamer that achieves every goal, brunch enthusiast, Old Fashion and The Office fanatic.”

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Fun fact about yourself: Summer going into my senior year of high school, I traveled to Naples, Italy, for a mission trip to help build churches and spread the gospel of Jesus.

Undergraduate School and Degree: The University of Alabama, Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration (BSCBA)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I was a Senior Consultant at I.B.M. working in their Global Business Service practice.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Epic Games – Unreal Engine, I served as a Digital Marketing M.B.A. Intern.

Where will you be working after graduation? Nationwide in their Marketing Leadership Develop Program (MLDP)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Community Work:

  • Research Fellow, Center for Branding
  • Volunteer at Jubilee Soup Kitchen twice a month on Saturdays.
  • Organized and raised $2.2K from Katz Fall Ball, with all proceeds going to Communities in Schools – Pittsburgh & Allegheny County.
  • Partnered and organized with the Katz Career Management & Corporate Engagement to fundraise, source, cook, and package meals for the homeless here in Pittsburgh for the Thanksgiving holiday with Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.
  • Currently planning a virtual food drive to raise funds for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank partnered with the Katz Career Management & Corporate Engagement.

Leadership Roles:

  • President, Student Executive Board
  • Vice President, Marketing Club
  • Vice President, Adam Smith Society
  • MBA Student Ambassador
  • Student Representative for the Graduate School’s Planning and Budget Committee
  • Student Representative on the University Council on Graduate Studies Board (UCGS)
  • Student Representative on the Dean Search Committee

School Awards & Honors:

  • National Black M.B.A. Association Scholarship Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my time serving as president of the Student Executive Board (S.E.B.). The S.E.B. acts as the primary interface between the full-time master’s students and the faculty and administration. The S.E.B. supports student clubs, enhances career management, improves facility resources, organizes community service projects, plans social events, and boosts alumni relations. I’ve been so grateful to have nine other board members that have taken my goals of community outreach, mental and physical health, and professional development to heights I couldn’t imagine. As a result, students developed a sense of pride in the Katz community, especially during this unprecedented time of a global pandemic.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The achievement I am most proud of was my last project at I.B.M. I was on a project team implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for our client. This was a significant implementation for our client since they were a publicly traded company and had offices nationwide. Our team’s Go Live date was pushed back a few times due to disruptive discoveries. As the finance lead, I played a pivotal role in keeping my team motivated and engaged throughout the project. I enjoyed the challenge of knowing that every day would be different because of how massive and complex our client’s business model was. It was a fantastic feeling when we successfully went live with our implementation after two-and-a-half years. Seeing all the learnings and hard work payoff is truly an achievement in itself. More importantly, knowing the number of people whose daily work life would be improved by this ERP implementation continues to be one of my proudest professional achievements.

Why did you choose this business school? I applied to Katz because it’s one of the few schools leading the way with experience-based learning in its curriculum. In my experience, learning under this curriculum provides M.B.A. students with a first-hand framework for approaching issues that are rare among M.B.A. programs in today’s fast-paced technology industries. Katz encourages its students to discover ways to influence decisions and communicate their ideas effectively so that students can work towards the right goal.

I chose Katz because they care about you as a person. For example, during the killing of George Floyd, I was still working full time and received a call from the Associate Director of Admissions at the time, Melanie Krugel. She called and asked me how I was doing. At first, I was confused, but she inquired again about how I was doing with everything going on in the world. For me, that spoke volumes because that was a difficult time for me being a Black professional in the world. It showed me that they valued me, and I wasn’t just another applicant in the pile of people applying. Still, the decision to come to Katz has shown me that it was the right fit. At Katz, we’re in small cohorts of classmates that encourage, push, and sometimes disagree with each other affording each person the opportunity to become their best self to make a lasting impact on the world. Katz also has fantastic staff and faculty that are supportive in every way from in the classroom, to extracurricular activities, and even new initiatives. The people here at Katz that I have engaged with are irreplaceable because of how genuine each encounter has been.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Tom Davis. Professor Davis teaches Management Simulation, which I took this past fall semester as the president for my team of five students. Professor Davis exceeded all my expectations and has helped me become a better business leader. Ironically, coming into Katz, Management Simulation is the first class that all M.B.A. students hear about from alum and current 2nd-year students due to its rigorous course load, practical application of core courses, real-world experience, and insights. This class has a unique approach because it allows students to work with a board of directors for their respective companies. This was enriching because the board members are senior professionals who treated us as professionals rather than students. As the president of your team, you’re required to encourage, manage, and evaluate your classmates based on the business function they’re working in, which can be difficult if you’re not accustomed to it. Professor Davis has an overall warm nature that is easy to feel in the classroom, incredible passion for strategy, and a genuine care for students both in and out of the classroom.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back on my M.B.A. experience, I wish I had been more involved in research opportunities with marketing professors. This spring semester, I had the chance to research with Dr. Vanitha Swaminathan, a marketing professor here at Katz. I have enjoyed reading and learning from her previous research in branding. This level of research is an excellent example of how to apply your course material and awareness of industry trends to further support a field of study.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth at Katz is the missed learning opportunities from the immersion courses offered. Yes, there are many immersion classes within the Katz curriculum, but these short intensive courses help students become more business-oriented, versatile, and well-rounded leaders within their area of study. They urge students to give it their all in short timespans and then revert to regular classes. I believe this flexibility and adaptability are critical in today’s business environment.

What surprised you the most about business school? Katz’s experience-based learning has surprised me the most. It’s the critical piece in the Katz student puzzle. Getting hands-on experience with a client who is experiencing a real-world issue is one of the best ways students can prepare for their careers after graduation. This experience was instrumental to my education because it allowed me to take the theoretical strategies that I learned in classes and address a client’s problem. As a result, I’m now more vocal and passionate about data-driven solutions due to the curriculum I’ve been taught.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? Frequently reaching out and getting to know the current students, faculty, alumni, and staff during the application process gave me the edge. During this time, I was able to network, course plan, and understand the Katz experience and how my goals can best serve Katz throughout life.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It is challenging to choose only one of my classmates, but I would say Donteria Evans. Donteria currently serves as president of the Roberto Clemente M.B.A. Association (RCMBAA), an organization dedicated to promoting academic and professional development for underrepresented groups at Katz. Donteria didn’t come from your typical business background. That hasn’t stopped her from achieving and accomplishing her goals not only here at Katz but also career-wise. For example, going into recruitment season last fall, Donteria knew she wanted to work for Johnson & Johnson, and she accomplished that and interned with them this past and will be working for them as a Marketing Manager. Regardless of what class we’re in, Donteria knows what’s going on and is always willing to teach others who have a hard time with the material. Donteria is genuinely the light within our M.B.A. class, selfless, and humble. She would probably get emotional to know that I’m writing about how great she is and how much I admire her not only as a student but also as a friend too. I look forward to reading about her accomplishing her dreams and one day becoming C.M.O. at J&J.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of my good friends, Devin Casey (Fisher 16’), is still influencing me today. We both attend The Ohio State University (O.S.U.) together. During our time back at O.S.U., I was undecided, and Devin had just declared finance as his major. Through various talks about business and different career paths over Mario Kart, football games, and ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries, Devin demonstrated that I could accomplish my goal of becoming an owner one day by pursuing business in college. Devin continues to show that through his professional career by becoming an M&A expert for Discover Financial Services as a Principal Mergers and Acquisitions Analyst.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Develop and participate in a mentorship program for a future employer focused on people of color (P.O.C.) entering the working world.
  • To be a forward-thinking C.M.O. of a Fortune 500 company and attend the NASDAQ trading floor at some point for the opening or closing of the bell.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? My view of a career is different, but I can’t thank my career advisor, Katie Bennett, enough for providing the necessary resources to help me redefine what my new view of a career is. As a result, I consider my career now as being limitless. Since the pandemic, people have been sheltered and seeking new ways to connect. During that time, I developed a more profound passion for branding.

I have learned that branding has so much potential when strong yet creative teams come together to support an idea. The marketing industry requires more thought-provoking conversations with the lack of in-person meetings; because of this, I see my career as a future brand marketer limitless with virtual platforms allowing me to connect with colleagues anywhere in the world.

What made Anthony such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Anthony Winfield utilizes his outgoing personality and endless positive energy to unite people and build relationships, ensuring inclusivity and belonging to everyone lucky enough to know him. With a solid academic track record, Presidency defines Anthony both inside and outside of the classroom. As the President of his Management Simulation Capstone course team, Anthony successfully led a simulated shoe company.

Reflecting on Anthony’s success in that role, course faculty member, Tom Davis noted, “As a President in our Management Simulation Capstone course, Anthony worked with one of our toughest external ‘boards of directors’ and was lauded by the fellow students on his team for his dedication, collaborative leadership style, and putting the team first. In my interactions with him, what stood out was Anthony’s authentic presence, desire to succeed, and willingness to take on new challenges. He established his presence early and leveraged his natural penchant for leadership to bring his team together successfully.”

In addition, Anthony has been working with the Center for Branding to research how student athletes build their own brands and is laying the foundation for future Pitt student athletes to effectively differentiate themselves for Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) opportunities.

Beyond his coursework, Anthony has spent his entire life working on projects and activities that help others. Anthony is selfless and exemplifies the qualities of a strong, proud, and inclusive MBA business leader that genuinely cares and wants to ensure that his efforts result in others having everything that they need. He executes against this empathy by serving as the current President of the Katz Student Executive Board (SEB) and holding numerous other leadership positions within the University. A clear example of his generous mindset is his dedication to ensuring that SEB’s 2021 Fall Ball at the Heinz History Center raised $2,200 for local communities and schools. Under Anthony’s leadership, the SEB has led food drives for the Pittsburgh Food Bank, and helped cook meals for the homeless at the Hot Metal Bridge Community Faith Organization. Anthony has also raised awareness and education around Black History Month by identifying and highlighting local Black leaders within both Pitt and the greater Pittsburgh community. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, Anthony worked to create activities that united his fellow students and helped them overcome the loneliness and isolation associated with the virtual world.

Anthony is a born leader who is driven by his strong faith and lights up a room with kindness and sincerity. His legacy is the close knit “family” community that he has helped build at Katz and he truly represents the qualities of the Poets & Quants Best and Brightest. We are honored that Anthony is a Katz nominee and that after he graduates in April 2022, he will continue to build his legacy through the Marketing Leadership Development Program at Nationwide.”

Dana Romano
Senior Associate Director
Career Management and Corporate Engagement (CMCE) Center
University of Pittsburgh
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

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