MBAs To Watch: Class Of 2022

And the fun didn’t stop when the Class of 2022 arrived on campus (or in front of their laptops in some cases). At BYU Marriott, Jess Harris, a Goldman Sachs alum, earned the moniker, “The person we go to when the Finance TA’s leave us even more confused.” To reduce stress and build bonds, the University of Virginia’s Grant Guess held a “Happy Little Accidents” painting class – even going so far as dressing up as Bob Ross.

“First Year at Darden is known to be challenging, but the pandemic took it to a whole new level. In an effort to spark joy into people’s days, I worked with second year students Lee Gilbert and Cheyenne Johnson…to host a Bob Ross Paint Night over Zoom. We dropped off canvases, paint, and brushes at school for people to pick up after class and painted some “happy little trees” over Zoom later that night. It was such a hit that we hosted it again this year!”


Alexis Barber, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

For Alexis Barber, the coursework offered some of her favorite memories at the University of Minnesota. These included being taught by the former CEO of Cargill and working with the chief marketing officer of UnitedHealth Group on a consulting project. In contrast, the University of Texas’ Greg Labanowski pursued the Holy Grail of the MBA experience: forming a group who set out to eat at every barbecue joint ranked in the Top 50 by Texas Monthly.

“I’m a huge foodie, and I love central Texas BBQ because of the time and attention it takes to turn a brisket into something really incredible,” Labanowski notes. “We’ve been to Snow’s BBQ, Franklin BBQ, Interstellar BBQ, and others. Each trip normally includes an early morning car ride, time spent bonding while waiting in line on lawn chairs, poker, and throwing the football. Food has a unique way of bringing people together and providing a sense of community, and this has been one of the best possible ways to build deep relationships with my classmates.”

Many MBAs To Watch shouldered heavy lifting with student clubs. At the University of Florida, Jazz Naglee managed 5 club presidents and 2 club chairs, devoting much of her time to professional development and interview prep. “The job search process is such a critical, yet stressful part of the MBA,” she writes. “I hosted several interactive events that helped students hone their interview skills and explore different career paths, including “interview speed dating” and Q&A sessions with second-year students and alumni. I also collaborated with Business Career Services to create a series of mock-interview videos that will allow students to better understand what a good interview response looks like. It has been rewarding to receive positive feedback from my peers that these events contributed to their success, even if that contribution was in a small way.”

Other Class of 2022 members devoted themselves to competitions. At ESMT Berlin, Marie Kober collected three first-place finishes in school-sponsored startup pitch competitions. As a first-year, Christopher Lord was part of the USC Marshall team that won the Deloitte Supply Chain National Case Competition. Returning as a second-year coach, he took the school’s case teams to even greater heights, winning both the ROMBA Case Competition and the UBS International Case Competition.

“I am most proud of when Marshall Pride managed to send two different teams to compete in a pool of 22 teams at the ROMBA Case Competition hosted by Bain (ROMBA Conference is the world’s largest gathering of LGBT+ business students and alumni),” Lord says. “After I trained and coached the teams, they finished first and second, ahead of teams from other top twenty schools and a first in school history. I’ll never forget crying tears of joy during the calls I received from both teams. In fostering a safe space for LGBTQ+ students, Marshall Pride also received its largest number of formal registrations and number of self-identifying LGBTQ+ students during this time, which was incredibly meaningful as President of the organization.”


Maddie Forman, London Business School

The MBAs To Watch didn’t just take joy in winning – they also relished creating. That’s why many students like Maddie Forman embraced entrepreneurship. When Forman started at London Business School, she expected to leave as a consultant. Instead, she became mesmerized by a fellow student’s ideas about fashion tech. Soon enough, she was hooked and joined her classmate as the co-founder of her venture.

And that’s where the work really began…

“To build this company has required sacrifice and vulnerability,” she tells P&Q. “I’ve had to cut the French classes I had dreamed of taking, the post-class drinks on a Friday eve, and the football training I’d been enjoying to create Vestico. I’ve had to admit to myself that a career in sales account management doesn’t mean I’m an expert at selling fashion software, so I need to ask for help, make mistakes, and learn fast. The fact that I’ll be graduating with a business that I’m proud of makes the entrepreneurial MBA worth it.”

Forman’s takeaway from her two years in business school?

“The people around you at business school are amazing, with ideas and experiences that can change the way you think. The MBA community is full of people who can open a different, unexpected path and the MBA gives you the freedom to follow it and explore.”


Georgios Matolis, Warwick Business School

Of course, MBAs aren’t just learning from fellow students and faculty. As a student, Georgios Matolis partnered with hostels and volunteers near Warwick Business School to provide short-term shelter to the homeless – avoiding what he calls “110 nights of rough sleeping.” Along the way, he came across Chris, a down-on-his-luck former administrative assistant whose story changed how Matolis viewed homelessness.

“With little in the way of savings or family support, [Chris] eventually had his home repossessed,” Matolis writes. “It had taken him weeks of rough sleeping to overcome his pride and seek help. By the time we had finished speaking, it was clear to see the relief that came with having been able to speak to someone about his situation. We exchanged contact details and I offered to be a second pair of eyes in his search for employment – my meeting with Chris was a reminder of how privileged I am to have been able to attend business school.”

That privilege extends to summer internships too. At Amazon, SMU Cox’s Karubakee Mohanty boosted her center’s sorter utilization for vendor freight by 97.8% — all while improving freight quality by 66.7%. Not surprisingly, she was hired as a pathways operations manager at Amazon after her internship. Adina Allen designed a strategic roadmap on reinforcing culture and deepening employee engagement during her Cigna internship. Now, she is watching her recommendations being discussed in media coverage of Cigna. And Boston University’s Rachel Hadley, a winemaker before business school, was stunned by the latitude she received during her summer internship at Anheuser Busch InBev.

“I worked across the US, South Korea, and United Kingdom teams to create a pitch for a new brand to go global, and successfully won the support of the global leadership team there,” Hadley writes. “While I’ve certainly had more lasting impact in some of my prior jobs, this internship was a proud moment for me in showing how far my leadership and relationship building skills could go, and realizing how much I can have an impact in this world if I set the bar high for myself.”


Anurag Anand, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

One reason for the high bar: Class of 2022 members had someone around who expected the most out of them. In Jeremy Mathurin’s case, that person was his mother, a teacher who stirred his curiosity and hammered home the importance of education.

“She understood that regardless of our economic circumstances, a strong education was essential to living a fruitful and fulfilling life,” writes the Cornell MBA. “My mother also spent most of her career educating students with special needs and has demonstrated how rewarding it can be to help those who need it most. Her warmth and love are abundant, unconditional, and available to anyone who asks for it. My mother molded me into the man I am today, and remains my greatest cheerleader, inspiration, and support mechanism.”

Anurag Anand  credits his uncle, Vivek Prasad, with encouraging her to pursue his MBA at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College. However, Prasad isn’t just any family member. Along with Anand, he is the co-founder f Whizzrd Technologies, a healthcare platform that supports patients in their homes. “He supported me through my journey of establishing and running a start-up, even when things weren’t going perfectly and pushed me to learn through both education and trial and error” Anand explains. “Even though both of us were equal partners in this business and I ran and understood most of the operations, he understood my decision step back from the business in search of personal growth and encouraged me to pursue higher education.”


Melanie Zook’s inspiration came from a former professor. Over dinner, he challenged his former student to think beyond her assumptions about business school. “About two hours into our dinner, I was talking to Dr. Lewis about whether I should get an MPP. He said, “Have you ever thought of an MBA?” I said, “Of course not; I’m not trying to be a banker.” Dr. Lewis laughed and said, “Maybe you should look into it. Some of the schools have a social impact focus.” The seed was planted. A year and a half later, I applied to business school, and here we are [at the Yale School of Management].”

What advice do the MBAs To Watch have for current and prospective MBAs hoping to follow in their path. In real estate, there are three factors behind success: Location, Location, Location. For the Class of 2022, there are also three factors to getting accepted. And it comes down to Reflection, Reflection, (and even more) Reflection.

“I do not settle for telling all the stories about success and failure,” Kang explains. “I dig deep and ask myself a series of questions. Why do I do that and say that? What is the motive behind my decisions? What are the factors I have or have not considered? How does that tell about me? What is something I hold dear to, and what are those I find truly excited about (by which I define as something I am willing to dedicate extra time and effort into)?…It will give you a better sense of who you are and compass you to find your passion in life better.”

Page 3 MBA Profiles: Alliance Manchester to Michigan State

Page 4: MBA Profiles: University of Minnesota to Yale SOM




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