2022 MBA To Watch: Michael Eggie, University of Georgia (Terry)

Michael Eggie

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business

“Open-minded, non-judgmental, humble, respectful, dependable, down-to-earth, energetic, personable, growth-oriented, hardworking, and optimistic.”

Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Fun fact about yourself: I never left the U.S. before graduating college. Within ~3 years of graduating, I traveled to 9 different countries! (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, The Netherlands, Czechia, Hungary, Germany, China, and Russia)

Undergraduate School and Degree: Louisiana State University; Petroleum Engineering Degree

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?

  • Company Name: Schlumberger
  • Roles: Field Engineer, New Technology Implementation Lead, Service Coordinator Lead

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Cognizant; MBA Technology Consulting Intern; Remote location

Where will you be working after graduation? Cognizant as a Senior Consultant within the Transformation Enablement practice (Digital Business and Transformation group)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President of Consulting Club
  • Vice President of Finance for Graduate Business Association (GBA)
  • Participated in the 2021 Net Impact Case Competition
  • Career Management Center Case Interview Mock Team
  • Community volunteering: 50+ hours at Butterfly Dreams Farm Therapeutic Riding Program

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I came into my 2nd year in the Fall of 2021 as president of the Consulting Club with a goal to fundamentally improve the club from the previous year, and I’m confident that I succeeded. Below are some of the new initiatives we have done so far this term:

  • Hosted an alumni panel: Brought in 5 impressive alumni from various firms (Deloitte, PwC, & E&Y) to speak to the club
  • Reached out to the UGA Professional MBA program out of Atlanta to combine forces of our Consulting Clubs and plan joint events
  • Launched Lunch & Learn events:
    • Brought in Senior Director from Alverez & Marsal to lead a case interview workshop
    • Brought in the VP of Capgemini Invent to present on his team’s engagement strategy
  • I personally spent 25+ hours coaching 1st and 2nd years through case interviews
  • Tripled Consulting Club members headcount year-over-year

I’m proud that I’ve helped to improve the program’s Consulting Club, which I believe is an important facet of the overall program. A stronger club helps the program bring in top candidates who are looking to pursue a consulting career post MBA.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at Schlumberger, I was selected for a solo assignment to travel to a remote area of Inner Mongolia, China and help deploy a new technology. The main goal was to ensure the field crews were competent in using this technology before I left, and only a couple of the crew members spoke English so the language barrier would be a challenge.

I was overseas for 3 weeks working 12-hour shifts each day. I fought through a severe stomach illness, overcame communication barriers, and continued to train the crew until they were well equipped to operate everything on their own. The project was a huge success and the technology continued to generate revenue for that district (annualized profit of $1.2MM). When I got back to my own district in South Texas, I received an award from the management team. To be the lead engineer rolling out a new technology in a foreign country was a humbling experience. I was grateful for the opportunity and extremely proud of myself for leading the project to success.

Why did you choose this business school? Georgia has one of the smaller student populations among the top 50 MBA programs, and I saw this as an opportunity to make an impact. We have 60+ students in each class; it is a very intimate community with the opportunity to get to know everyone in the program.

Coming into the program, I wanted to sharpen my leadership abilities, and I knew Georgia would provide a great environment for leadership opportunities. From my first day on campus, I set my sights on becoming President of the Consulting Club for my 2nd year, in addition to other leadership roles. I knew Georgia was the right size to give more opportunity to have leadership roles in multiple areas within the program. I’ll close with saying that being nominated by the program for this specific award is such an honor, and I strongly believe this nomination happened because of choosing the right school for me.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dr. Laura Sawyer teaches one of the most interesting and engaging classes I’ve ever attended. She teaches ‘Business, Government, & the International Economy’, and the scope of the course is for students to read a HBS case before each class and she facilitates the conversation as we break down the case.

She teaches with passion, ensures everyone in class participates in the conversation, and bans phones and computers (which I was against at first). Her teaching style creates an ideal atmosphere for students to stayed engaged for the full duration of class and maximize learning. Dr. Sawyer’s passion of the content she teaches is inspiring. Her course has given me an international perspective which has helped me become a better person.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why?

I wish I would have applied for the Georgia MBA Nonprofit Board Fellowship, an opportunity to sit on the board of a local non-profit. After volunteering at the non-profit Butterfly Dreams Riding Farm, I have a clearer perspective of how much positive impact these organizations have on communities. As an incoming MBA, instead of applying for the Fellowship, I put most of my energy into the Consulting Club, case interview practice, and networking. Looking back, I could have balanced my schedule better to help local non-profits continue to help the local community.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Before coming into the program, I was told the course curriculum was very flexible where after the 1st semester I could choose my own classes. This turned out to be true. While there are some required courses, most of our classes are chosen based on our own preference. After enjoying a finance course in the 1st semester, I loaded up my schedule with more finance classes for the 2nd semester. After completing my summer internship, I realized I should take more analytics classes, so I changed my schedule accordingly. I even had the opportunity to take Spanish, music, and golf electives.

This flexibility allowed me to adjust my schedule in ways that would benefit me the most personally and professionally.

What surprised you the most about business school? How much more there is to business school than the old relic that I’ve heard too many times: “You don’t learn anything new in business school; it’s all about networking.” I come from an undergrad engineering degree and worked exclusively in the O&G industry prior to getting an MBA. I had knowledge gaps in many areas including Finance, Economics, Business Strategy, and more. Not only have I filled these gaps and learned so much during my time here, but my hunger for learning is stronger than ever. I read WSJ articles almost every day now to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in technology, business, and the world as whole.

I’ve grown as a leader, changed the way I think, developed new relationships, filled my knowledge gaps, and figured out the right career path to pursue, all during my time here. Attending business school is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I was a late applicant with the UGA Terry MBA program, applying as late as June of 2020 to start in August of 2020. I also skipped the GMAT because GMAT scores were being waived by certain schools at the time. Knowing I was going into the application process at a disadvantage, I made sure that every other aspect of my application was strong.

I put a lot of time and thoughtfulness into my essays, however, I think the strongest part of my application was the interviews. For the interviews, I came well prepared, stayed engaged, acted myself, and tried to be genuine in all my responses. I went into each of the interviews with confidence, knowing exactly how an MBA would benefit me and why Georgia was the right school for me. I think the interviewers saw that I was a kind, genuine, and motivated individual who knew he could be a great contributor to the program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Maggie Huffman is one of the most impressive individuals I’ve ever met. She is driven, emotionally intelligent, kind, and fearless. We were teammates for the Net Impact Case Competition, and I expected to be the ‘go-getter’ of the team as I usually am. However, she beat me to it and already had a PowerPoint template ready before our first meeting! She’s the president of GBA so we meet frequently to plan events and discuss ways to improve the program, and she’s always on top of what’s going on. She’s extremely openminded and really listens to what people have to say.

She is one of the most motivated individuals in the program, with intentions of not just contributing to her own success but rather to make a positive impact on her environment. She is someone I’ve looked up too in the program since day 1 at Georgia.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My uncle and I had a one-hour conversation that changed my life. We spoke at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, and he planted the seed in my head that I should start thinking about getting an MBA. His belief was that the oil and gas industry was heading for a downturn, and I should diversify my background with a business degree. He turned out to be exactly right. The price of oil was tanking, and I was laid off in May of 2020. However, thanks to my uncle I had a head start on research and preparation for MBA applications. After a month-and-a-half of grinding out the work that goes into applying for business school, I was accepted into three top-ranked business schools by the end of June. The rest is history!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My goal is to join the C-Suite of a Fortune 500 company where I can use my position to make a positive impact not only within the company but on the environment around us.

Another goal of mine is to start a Therapeutic Riding Farm non-profit with my fiancé. My fiancé is a riding instructor and absolutely loves working with kids with special needs. I’ve volunteered at the farm she works at over the last 2 years, and I see why she enjoys it. Helping her pursue her passion and achieve her goals of owning a therapeutic riding farm is another goal of mine.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? Prior to the pandemic, I had tunnel vision with a main objective to accelerate my progression ‘climb the ladder’ at the company I worked for. It was a sad and empty state of mind looking back, and it was challenging to live in the present with that mindset. The pandemic has slowed things down in my life and allowed me to reflect on what’s important me. My view has changed in that now my desire to bulldoze my way to the top is lost, and what’s important for me now to is learn as much as I can in whatever role I’m in. I’ll work hard, create value, continue learning and promotion will come organically. A quote I like from Bob Ross is, “As long as you are learning, you are not failing.”

Another perspective of mine that changed was timing retirement. I had a goal to retire by no later than 50 years old. That view has changed, I now have no desire to rush to retirement. If I’m enjoying my work and creating a positive impact on peoples’ lives, then I don’t see why I would ever rush to retirement.

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

“From my first conversation with Michael in June 2020, two things were very clear: 1) Michael was primed to succeed as an MBA, and 2) motivated to make a difference in our Georgia MBA Program and the broader Athens community. Michael told me his personal goal was to significantly improve the scope and reach of the MBA Consulting Club, to pull in more members by offering more programming. Michael was accepted to two other top-30 MBA programs, each with strong consulting clubs, but Michael chose to attend Georgia because he felt he could make a greater impact in our close-knit MBA community.

Throughout his first semester Michael put in the time to master his MBA coursework and also put in focused time preparing for consulting case interviews, which led to his successful technology consulting internship with Cognizant. During his second semester, he began assisting with consulting club activities and his peers believed he was the logical choice to be elected consulting club President for 2021-2022. During his third and fourth semesters Michael played a significant role in expanding Consulting Club programming and membership and in preparing first-year MBAs for consulting case interviews. Michael coordinated several guest speakers and company information sessions for consulting club members. Through his efforts, our consulting club membership tripled, and through his peer coaching and mentoring, helped our program achieve all-time high success in full-time consulting jobs and internships. Finally, Michael gives back to the Athens community, dedicating 50+ hours to a local non-profit. All these reasons confirm why Michael Eggie is such an invaluable addition to the Georgia MBA Class of 2022.”

Paul Allaire
Associate Director, Career Education & Advising


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