2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Torrey Mayes, UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Torrey Mayes

University of California-Berkeley, Haas School of Business

“An empathetic leader with a passion for family, traveling & living every day with a smile.”

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Fun fact about yourself: I informally worked as a food/restaurant critic, which was a favorite element of my job. One of my first big assignments while working with Station Casinos was coordinating our Secret Shopper Program at 30+ locations. I helped build the assessment rubric, provided feedback to the food and beverage directors, and got to eat lots of delicious food.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Duke University – B.S. in Economics, Minor in Philosophy and Certificate in Markets & Management Studies

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Palms Casino – Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021?) Bain & Company, San Francisco

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: MBAA VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; BBSA VP Marketing; Consortium; Career Management Group Consulting Peer Advisor

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my time as a member of our student government where I served as the MBAA Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Beginning my position at the height of the pandemic, there were a multitude of difficulties around creating community at Haas in a virtual world. Specifically, members of our international community were feeling disconnected and unsupported. Haas has worked on a lot of DEI initiatives, but that DEI lens often did not properly address the perspectives and experiences of our international students. I partnered with Yoko Masuda, MBAA VP International, to create a workshop called DEI Real Talk: A Global Perspective of How Marginalized Groups are Represented in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The conversation focused on building empathy to help students understand “othering” experiences in different contexts. In addition, we provided a holistic and global-minded perspective of DEI, extending beyond issues in the US. While one conversation is never enough to solve a problem, our event opened the door to begin a broader dialogue to find solutions and avenues for support.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I love that I am able to give back and guide fellow students. As a first year, I was fortunate to find great mentors who modeled success in consulting recruitment. This past year, I was able to return that favor to my classmates as a Career Management Group Peer Advisor. As Peer Advisors we educate, train, and coach people who are recruiting in our career paths. Helping people achieve their goals brings a unique feeling of warmth and fulfillment that I cherish.

Why did you choose this business school? The people. I realized in college that the people I surround myself with have the largest impact on my day-to-day happiness. When I visited Haas, I remember coming to interview day and being greeted with applause from the entire classroom as I introduced myself and told them I was interviewing. I have been very fortunate to have not been led astray when I’ve based large life decisions on the people who will be around me.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was Professor Cam Anderson who taught Power & Politics. I have never had a more thoughtful and caring professor when it comes to teaching us the facts and being unafraid to admit when he did not know something (which was rare). Whenever he did not know an answer, he would write down the question and at the beginning of the next class he would present the research he did to find the answer to the question. He truly showed a passion for making us not only better leaders, but simply better people.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? One of my favorite MBA traditions at Haas is Story Salon. At Story Salon students volunteer to get on stage in front of 300+ classmates and share an intimate tale of their life, often highlighting the elements of their life that made them who they are today. These stories highlight everything from moments of growth to perseverance to situations of hardship, sacrifice, and failure. At Story Salon, brave students put the core of their person on full display and give even classmates who are strangers an inside look at who they are.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The classmate I admire most is Chase Thompson. There has never been a moment when Chase is not smiling and making someone else smile. He brings a lively energy that fills a room and makes even the dullest meeting tolerable. His energy is infectious in the most positive way and even writing this now is making me smile.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are finding happiness in my life and being a role model for those who come after me. I do not have professional aspirations; I simply have life aspirations. What makes me happiest right now is being surrounded by great people who bring out the best in me and I know that down the line what will make me happy is having the opportunity to spend quality time with my family. Beyond that, I have a passion for making the people around me better and helping them succeed. If I can do those things, then no matter what my professional journey looks like I will be happy.

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

“I had the pleasure of working in collaboration with Torrey Mayes during his tenure as the Master of Business Administration Association (MBAA), Vice President of Diversity Equity and Inclusion for the 2020-2021 academic year. This year was by far one of our toughest years in higher education. We were battling a global pandemic in COVID 19, the university was trying to establish and maintain norms around higher learning through distance learning, and the Haas Business School was learning new ways to engage community and build leaders while navigating isolation as a community. Torrey stepped in with drive and determination to build a better and more inclusive learning environment at Haas. A charge that we as a campus were building to. Torrey did not let the current circumstances of COVID, or the challenges of engaging a community of students who have been disconnected from each other for over a year, deter him from welcoming a new class who has not been involved with education for over 4+ years.

One task that Torrey took on was creating a community to build better relationships through understanding of our International and domestic student populations collectively. To build world leaders, Haas’ welcomes 40% international students each year to a class size around 290+ students. One challenge that we realized during this pandemic was the disconnect our international students had regarding Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging (with the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, and the civil unrest in communities of color), along with the misunderstandings many of our domestic students had around the international communities and culture. We found that our international students struggled to understand the need of a Diversity Equity and Inclusion landscape within the United States versus their home country where this conversation may not be as prevalent. In the same vein, our domestic students struggled to understand the landscape and culture of our international communities and what it meant to show up, navigate, and be seen in the United States.

In the Spring semester of 2021, Torrey co-facilitated in collaboration with the Vice President of International Students, Yoko Masuda, one our faculty Professor Ernie Gundling and the Student Experience Team, to create a bi-annual workshop focused on unpacking and demystifying power and privilege. This workshop was called a “Real Talk: How Marginalized Groups are Represented in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”. The purpose of this workshop was to develop the lens of our students to see how marginalized groups are represented in every country. By developing this student lens of DEIB,  Torrey hoped to create a leadership mindset that would Challenge the Status Quo of leadership while going Beyond Yourself in being comfortable with being uncomfortable unpacking marginalization and privilege. The workshops were a great success and provided the students with some powerful takeaways that helped develop their DEIB lens and created conversations and relationships that will last forever.”

Tyrone Wise II
Associate Director of Student Experience


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