2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Colby Morgan, Texas A&M (Mays)

Colby Morgan

Texas A&M, Mays Business School

I am a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and an extraordinarily average fitness and outdoor enthusiast.”

Hometown: Carthage, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: When I was 16, I had the chance to tour the outer dome of the US capital building. This was unique because at the time only members of congress and their guests were allowed. The tour is amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone who gets the chance. 

Undergraduate School and Degree: Sam Houston State University; B.S. in Criminal Justice

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?  I was a Company Commander at Fort Hood, Texas in the U.S. Army.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Dell Technologies; Austin, Texas

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be a Senior Consultant at Deloitte within finance and enterprise performance.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Capstone Team Anchor, Aggies in Business Consultant, Graduate Assistant for Operations Management, 1st Place Strategic Category of the MBA Capstone Consulting Project Competition.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of finishing 1st place in our capstone consulting project. There are two reasons this achievement resonates with me. First, I was nominated by classmates to be a project anchor before teams were even chosen. This was a very humbling experience, and I enjoyed this opportunity and responsibility. Second, this was our final deliverable before graduation, which allowed us to apply everything we learned and provide a solution to a client that could solve a real-world business problem. Being awarded 1st place right before graduation was a great way to wrap up an amazing MBA experience and I was extremely proud of the team.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I was a Troop Commander, I had two of my direct reporting units rated in the top 2 of 14 peer units during their culminating live-fire exercise. This achievement meant a lot to me because I had assumed command of the organization right before the beginning of a training cycle. I was able to outline the training progression leading up to the live-fire exercise. Watching the team stretch their boundaries, grow, learn, and finish as the top performers in the organization was unforgettable and I was proud to be a small part of this accomplishment.

Why did you choose this business school? The Aggie network. I have never met an Aggie who wasn’t proud to be an Aggie! I believe that is why the former student (Alumni) network is so strong. No matter where you go Aggies are always helping Aggies and you have a family around the world.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Rogelio Oliva for Operations Management. He brought the classroom to life and married leadership, strategy, and tactical decisions with every case we discussed. This made it impossible not to come away with a new skill set. His classroom feels like a contact sport, but at the end of the day everyone comes away a winner. I enjoyed his class so much I volunteered as a Graduate Assistant and sat through round two of most of the cases.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? MBA Tailgates during football season. Aggies are a huge family and the MBA program is even closer. We were able to relax after a long week at school and watch some great football as well. The 12th Man is as special as everyone says.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Right now, I wouldn’t change anything. I think if you asked me this question again in a year or two, I might have a better answer. Maybe I should have focused on different classes or sought out certifications during school. As of now ,I loved every moment of my MBA experience and wouldn’t change a thing.

What surprised you the most about business school? The breadth and depth of knowledge my classmates had. I expected to be surrounded by extremely talented and intelligent peers, but collectively I couldn’t even begin to fathom the life experiences that would be brought to the classroom by everyone. I am also most thankful for this because I learned so much from what my classmates added to the academic material.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I was fully committed to going to business school. I had already put in my resignation from active duty, and I had no plan to start job hunting. Not having a safety net or plan B allowed me to be “All In” from GRE testing through admission interviews. I think this approach gave me confidence and drive that showed through the whole admissions process.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Michael Cunningham. He is a humble leader, hard-working teammate, well-spoken, and even keel through all situations. He honestly had all the characteristics and traits I looked for from the leaders I served within the Army. I wasn’t the only one in my class who saw this, as he was peer-voted to be our class speaker at graduation.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My wife, Hailey, was my biggest influence when making my decision to pursue business school. Both of us enjoy reading, sharing book recommendations, and discussing the books we read. Luckily, we have the same taste in books that mostly focus on psychology and leadership development. Through years of these discussions, I started to see the leadership opportunities outside of the Army and the possibilities that could await. To pursue the opportunities, I wanted I needed to attend business school and immediately Hailey was my hype woman. I never would have begun to research business schools if it wasn’t for all the books, we bounced off of each other.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I would love to be published someday, whether that is an article or a book. I think being well enough versed in a subject matter to share my knowledge would be a great accomplishment.

The second would be to start my own business. My wife and I have always talked about starting a business together. Building a business model, culture, team, and systems from the ground up would be a challenge but something we would cherish together.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? I think the pandemic has changed my view on what opportunities I am willing to pursue while balancing my family life. Now that work isn’t anchored to a location or high amounts of travel, there are so many more memories that will be made with family. You will see extended trips where you can still work during the day and hang out in the evenings away from home.

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

“If asked to name a CEO from the Class of 2023, Colby Morgan would be my hands-down top choice. The definition of grace under pressure, Colby is a gifted team player who builds trust, fosters constructive conflict, reaches consensus on goals, maintains motivation, and delivers excellent results. To a person, peers who worked with Colby described him positively using phrases such as “one of those leaders you want to work for,” “diplomatic, hard-working, and mathematically gifted,” “structured yet flexible,” “putting the team above personal requirements,” and able to “look at a problem no one even knew how to start working on” and help everyone “think through it and knock it out.” It is beyond remarkable that, in just under eighteen months, Colby made the leap from U. S. Army Commander to Senior Consultant in Deloitte’s Finance and Enterprise Performance group. His new colleagues will be delighted by his superpowers of versatility, equanimity, and discernment, as well as his natural inclination to embrace individual differences and view diversity as a competitive advantage.

As a faculty member, I had the pleasure of guiding Colby and four classmates through their capstone project. Their mission was complex: understand the current state of offshore “blue carbon” production in Texas, predict growth, and identify opportunities for the state to negotiate effectively when leasing land to companies seeking to offset carbon emissions. The project required research on coastal aquaculture, energy industry trends, fragmented global carbon markets, regulatory forces, and carbon credit valuation. With its mix of strong personalities, the team began navigating the considerable ambiguity with varying degrees of frustration.  Fast forward fourteen weeks to the Capstone Project Awards Competition. When the judges awarded first place to Team Blue Carbon, some students who worked on more traditional projects appeared astonished. Then they remembered who anchored Team Blue Carbon: Colby Morgan, aka C-dog, an amazing young leader headed for some lucky C-suites in the years to come.”

Dr. Janet Marcantonio
Executive Professor for Individual Leadership Development & Capstone Project
Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

DON’T MISS: THE 100 BEST & BRIGHTEST MBA GRADUATES OF 2022

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