Meet the MBA Class of 2023: James B. Evans, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

James B. Evans

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business

“Former student-athlete, passionate for football and finance, strong believer in competition and the Broncos.”

Hometown: México City, México

Fun Fact About Yourself: I went to college under a football scholarship, I was part of the first college football team at my undergrad institution. After 5 years of suffering we finally made it to the national championship game.

Undergraduate School and Major: Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) -B.A. Financial Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: U.S. Bank – Portfolio Analyst II

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Carnegie Mellon’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose Carnegie Mellon’s MBA for two main reasons: the competitive analytical curriculum, and the leadership development opportunities. There are a lot of programs that offer the business skills needed to succeed in the business world, but not many can offer a program that is centered around a tough analytical curriculum to provide the best analytical tools with a combination of entrepreneurship and leadership training to successfully face the business world post-MBA. I come from an undergraduate institution that is focused on the human and social aspect, but provides a deep mathematical base. This has proven successful in my professional career.

Now going into graduate school, I want to follow the same recipe and take advantage of the Leadership Career Center to develop the soft leadership skills while taking advantage of the Business Analytics track to improve the analytical decision-making skills. Carnegie Mellon University has an approach to business school completely different from others; it is known to have the most intense academic curriculum across top MBA programs. I’m going to grad school to be challenged both professionally and personally, and I can’t think of a better place to compete for an MBA.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Carnegie Mellon? I look forward to being part of the Latin American Business Club. Being half-Hispanic, it will keep me involved with fellow Latins. I want to take advantage of being part of the Graduate Finance Association and Tepper Consulting Club in which I’ll be able to practice the necessary recruitment and development skills. I also look forward to the Leadership Development opportunity provided by the Accelerated Leadership Center, a main factor for choosing Tepper above other business schools is the opportunity to get 1:1 coaching to improve your leadership skills

The Tepper MBA is known for intensive one-on-one coaching and personal development. What area do you hope to strengthen during your two years in business school and why? I plan on strengthening my leadership skills while at the MBA program. The Accelerated Leadership Center provides the opportunity to be certified in Leadership Development. I’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded a “For Leadership in Business” fellowship from Carnegie Mellon, this is an amazing opportunity for me to keep working and developing my leadership skills. The intensive one-on-one coaching would allow me to practice different strategies and techniques while getting a personalized program to successfully achieve all my professional goals.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The biggest accomplishment in my career so far has been being promoted in the shorter period of time recorded on my last job position to Independent Analyst. At the same time, I was appointed official mentor of over 4+ analysts, helping all of them achieve promotion. Being assigned as a specialist for Food Industries and Real Estate have been some other of my professional accomplishments so far. I’ve been able to successfully undertake and manage banking relationships in two different markets and countries in less than 3 years of professional career.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The COVID-19 pandemic was nothing but challenging. Having spent over a year working from home teaches you a lot about yourself and it changes the way you prioritize your daily activities. For me, the pandemic brought up many questions about my professional career. For a little over two years, I’ve been working and specializing in corporate banking. After a couple of months of performing from home, I realized that I missed the social aspect of banking and that it was the right time for me to move into an MBA program. Personally, it helped me realize that professional success is important, but personal and emotional well-being is on par with it.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Ever since undergrad, I have planned on studying a Master’s program. When I was in my last semester of undergrad, I created a life-plan, in which I was supposed to work for a couple of years before going for my masters in finance. This plan was going flawless as I was accepted into multiple MS programs. Then the pandemic came and put a halt into it. I know this might seem odd, but thanks to this pandemic I realized that what I wanted and needed was to pursue an MBA program instead of a Master’s in Finance. It aligns better with my professional and life goals. After graduation, I plan on transitioning into asset management and/or management consulting in the financial services field.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UT (McCombs), Cornell (Johnson), Indiana (Kelley), Vanderbilt (Owen), Texas A&M (Mays)

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program? I would recommend to fellow applicants to first do a deep retrospective search. Find out exactly why you want an MBA and why Carnegie Mellon. Once you have an answer for this, it will be easier to develop a competitive plan for admissions. On the professional and academic side, make sure that you showcase your accomplishments accordingly and make them match to what the MBA will provide to you. When writing the essays and going for the admissions interview, make sure that you are open about your past, present and future objectives. The most important thing is for you to be a human being. Be approachable and reach out to current students and the admissions team. The information that you gather from these conversations will help you write a better essay and perform well in your interview.


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