Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Tommy Jaeger, New York University (Stern)

Thomas “Tommy” Jaeger

New York University, Stern School of Business

“An unapologetic, self-deprecating competitor that is always down for a good time or an adventure.”

Hometown: Denver, CO

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am the 1999 Denver Stock Show Mutton Bustin’ champion! (Mutton Bustin is the event in rodeos in which kids ride sheep for as long as they can.)

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy; BS in Systems Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Army; Armor Officer – Assistant Operations Officer

What excites you the most about living in New York City and how do you see it enhancing your learning experience? I love the feel of the city and the melting pot of talent it is. You are always surrounded by professionals, and it seems like every large corporation has a large office here making it the ultimate playground for MBA students.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? NYU Stern objectively has the best MBA program for veterans. The Fertitta Veterans Program and scholarship are the only one of its kind in the country. This can be an intimidating time for veterans, but Stern prioritizes veterans and eases the transition from military service to the civilian sector.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at NYU Stern (and why)? There are two! First is the Management Consulting Association (MCA) because I am looking forward to learning from, preparing with, and meeting other consultant hopefuls. Second, is Stern FC. As a former Division 1 college soccer player, I am excited to get back into some organized soccer with my MBA classmates!

What does EQ (Emotional Intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? To me, being able to relate, understand, and have meaningful relationships with people is what EQ is. I used this every day in the military as an officer. You consistently work with people of all kinds that come from different walks of life and have different backgrounds. Being able to build a meaningful relationship with your soldiers is an important skill for every officer to have.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Simply put: serving honorably and making an impact on those around me for 6.5 years in the United States Army. I enjoyed working with and helping mold the future leaders and soldiers of the United States.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My wife and I decided that it was time for me to pursue a different career outside of the military last year. After a lot of research and conversations with friends and mentors, I decided it would be best to pursue an MBA to pivot into an industry and a profession that I found worthwhile. One of the fields I plan to explore while at Stern is management consulting. I like the idea of getting exposure to different industries while also building a broad set of skills as I begin my professional career outside of the military.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? My recommendation would be to dedicate time every day to reading the Wall Street Journal. Leading up to starting the Fertitta Veterans Program at Stern, I began to read the Wall Street Journal every day. You start to pick up on terminology and get a better feel for the financial landscape that becomes relevant to class and corporations you are interested in working for. 

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I also applied to University of Minnesota, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, University of Virginia, Northwestern, and UCLA.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into NYU Stern’s MBA program? Every school wants high test scores, good GPAs and solid letters of recommendation. Stern places a high emphasis on EQ. This is how you can distinguish yourself from everyone else. Understand your emotional intelligence and leverage that to make yourself stand out and be able to explain why you are a good fit for Stern.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.