2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Tyler Knittel, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Tyler Knittel

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“A persistent, ambitious, lifelong learner who’s always smiling and eager to help others.”

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Fun fact about yourself: When I was 19 years old, I placed one spot away from the 2012 Olympic Trials in Taekwondo, losing in overtime to the silver medalist from the 2008 Olympics.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Wright State University, BS in Accounting and Finance
  • The Ohio State University, Master of Accounting

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Deloitte, Audit & Assurance Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Boston Consulting Group, Pittsburgh

Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Tepper Consulting Club
  • VP of Growth & Outreach, Pro Bono Consulting
  • Douglas D. Danforth Graduate Scholarship
  • Treasurer, Write Pittsburgh – A program collective that amplifies voices, empowers writers, and encourages relationships that build writer agency and foster relationships that grow and strengthen community
  • Graduate Student Teaching Assistant
  • Treasurer and Co-Founder of Dayton House Rabbit Rescue
  • Green Level Volunteer at Animal Friends Rescue

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Serving as the Tepper Consulting Club President is one of my most proud achievements during the program. This position required a significant amount of time and effort to prepare the First-Year students for the recruiting process. I enjoyed getting to work and growing close with my fellow board members, as we strived to give the best experience possible, setting up our classmates for success. I am so grateful to have been elected by my peers for this position, as it helped me become more empathetic and learn to motivate and lead without authority.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While working at Deloitte within the Audit & Assurance practice, the firm began to standardize testing across accounts based upon PCAOB feedback. I was asked, with a select group of managers, to help create a nationwide testing template that would be utilized by all engagement teams in the audit practice. As a Senior at the time, I felt honored to be trusted with such an opportunity. After many iterations and discussions with National Office, the template was ready to be piloted after a few months. I was proud of this achievement because I knew my work would help so many engagements and because I was trusted by my managers to be the only senior to work on this template.

Why did you choose this business school? One of the main reasons I chose Tepper was the sense of community that I felt during my discussions throughout the application process. All of the individuals I spoke with had a “team” over “me” mentality. I never felt a competitive nature between the students; instead, it was extremely collaborative, and everyone was supporting each other. I wanted to be a part of this type of Alumni base and know that I was a part of a community that wanted to grow together rather than individually.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? My favorite course has been Commercialization and Innovation, taught by Meredith Meyer Grelli. This course allowed us to explore ways to disrupt established markets. As our mini-long project, we take a failed business and pitch how we would completely change the business model and differentiate it in the market. I loved how creative this course allowed us to be, and being able to leverage Professor Grelli’s experience as an entrepreneur made the lessons more impactful.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA event was a social event that was held by all the major recruiting clubs. It was the culmination of everyone’s’ hard work after the recruiting cycle and a time when we all just got to relax and have a night to ourselves. It was the final celebration after a whole year of hard work.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why?  I wish I would have taken courses outside of Tepper. CMU is a hub for some of the brightest minds in the world. We have the #1 ranked CS program, #3 Drama school, and so much more. All of these courses are available to us to take as part of our program. It can be easy to just stay within Tepper and take all of the courses with your graduating class. However, I think it is good to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in life and I wish I would have done that more with my course work.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth I had heard about Tepper was that it was only good for recruiting into technology firms. However, the more I got to network with alumni, career counselors, and current students, I realized that Tepper does well in many sectors. While many of my classmates are going to FAANG or other technology firms, there are also a significant amount going into consulting, internal strategy, operations, and much more.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I love how genuinely nice the people are in Pittsburgh. Coming to Pittsburgh I expected a bunch of manufacturing plants and just an overall older city. However, once I got Pittsburgh, I realized how many beautiful parks there are, how the city is constantly innovating, and how the people are so friendly. The first day in Pittsburgh, my wife and I were moving into our place and our neighbors came out just to greet us and introduce themselves. This type of friendliness seems to be something everyone exhibits here, and is one of the reason my wife and I decided to stay in Pittsburgh after graduation.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was surprised by how quickly my calendar filled up with activities and how I constantly had somewhere to be or something to do. Between classes, recruiting, and social events, my calendar quickly became busier than when I was working prior to the MBA.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I got to know and understand Tepper’s culture extremely well. This deep understanding allowed me to genuinely speak to this within my essays and interviews and how this type of culture is what I was looking for in an MBA program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire?  The MBA classmate I most admire is Trey Lowenthal. Trey and I connected after having a few courses together, in addition to both of us recruiting consulting. During this time, we continually helped and supported each other in any way we could. Trey was always ready to help and give up his time. Trey was a constant flow of positive energy and was always happy for others’ success. This happiness for others continued even during a difficult recruiting cycle for Trey, which made me admire his character so much and is what attracted me to Tepper in the first place.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are to help change a company become fully carbon neutral to combat climate change and I would love to start my own nonprofit. This nonprofit would focus on the retooling of skills for individuals whose job has become obsolete due to technological advances. It would leverage the skills these individuals already possess and build upon this foundation to help them obtain a new job.

What made Tyler such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023?

“Tyler is one of the most well-known students in the Tepper MBA program, one for being a consistently positive presence in the Quad and as the president of the very successful and immensely popular Consulting Club, Tyler has proven himself as great networker, organizer, and community builder. The Consulting club’s focus on providing support and resources for first years looking to change careers or pivot to consulting means that the group is always in helping mode.  Tyler is also part of the Tepper Pro-Bono consulting group providing consulting help to Pittsburgh Organizations and has made community service an integral part of life.

A member of the Tepper Business Analytics track, Tyler has taken the most challenging path through the MBA program and still has had time to coordinate events with staff, faculty, and alumni.  He is committed to providing options, access and supporting the Tepper School with his actions in and outside the classroom.”

Wendy S. Hermann
Executive Director, Student Services
Master’s Programs
Tepper School of Business


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