Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Jason Ferry, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Jason Ferry

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business

“Adventurous, relatable, and goofy. Motivated by dogs, mountains, and cheeseburgers. Brutally loyal Cincinnati sports fan.”

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve lived in 6 different US states so far (now including Pennsylvania), and I consider at least 3 of them to be home in some capacity.

Undergraduate School and Major: Northwestern University – Economics and Statistics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ankura Consulting, Senior Associate in Data and Technology

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? Among the many reasons I chose to attend Tepper, one that stands out is the breadth of opportunity to get hands-on experience that will benefit my future career. Much of this is woven into the coursework, with highly specific electives in your track or concentration eventually culminating in a capstone project. Beyond the classroom, the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship has a track record that speaks for itself, with many opportunities to get practical experience in growing a new venture.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Carnegie Mellon? Professionally, I am most excited to join the Business and Technology Club and learn from my incredible peers about the rapidly-changing tech industry. I hope to make a career pivot into tech, and B&T’s resources are perfectly targeted to helping me achieve this. On a personal level, I cannot wait to go exploring with the Outdoor Adventure Club once this pesky broken wrist heals!

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 am particularly excited for the opportunity to build a relationship with the coaches from Tepper’s Accelerate Leadership Center. A major goal of mine at Tepper is to continue discovering and personalizing my ideal leadership style and to further develop my communication skills. ALC’s individualized coaching and leadership workshops are an incredible resource for developing these areas that I look forward to utilizing frequently.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Early in my career, I was working on an engagement that utilized a specific skill set that few others at the company had expertise in when the project manager left. This allowed me the opportunity to step up and take on a larger, more direct client-facing project management role. In this new role, we were able to win a key courtroom ruling, expand the scope of our working relationship, and bring in a new revenue stream.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general?  I spent several months living with my family and working remotely, which is not something I ever really thought would happen again. It was quite nice to have this extra family time. From a long-term work-life balance perspective, that’s something that I do not want to take for granted. In terms of how I work, I learned that in-office camaraderie can be difficult to replicate when working remotely. With the right setup and work environment, I can be just as productive working from home and appreciate the added flexibility.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I began my career in consulting to explore different industries. I built valuable people skills and technical skills, which I had the opportunity to do. One skill I particularly had the chance to develop is communication of technical, data-centric concepts with non-technical stakeholders. Now, I am hoping to leverage these skill sets in conjunction with the leadership development and further business acumen of a Tepper MBA to move into the technology industry. I think my skill set is particularly well-suited to a product manager role, as I will have the technical knowledge to work with engineering teams and the communication skills and business savvy to then turn around and translate technical findings with other teams and drive growth.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Texas McCombs, Berkeley Haas, Michigan Ross, Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program? I would say the key factor is to demonstrate why you think your background makes you a strong fit for Tepper. Between its entrepreneurial spirit, analytical rigor, and small class size, Tepper offers a very unique and personal MBA experience, and you will want to demonstrate to admissions why you are a fit for the community on both a professional level (i.e. how does your background align with Tepper’s offerings and how will that lead you to your career goals) and on a personal level how you will fit into the community.


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