2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Andrew Kazlow, Texas A&M (Mays)

Andrew Kazlow

Texas A&M, Mays Business School

“I am thoughtful, magnetic, diligent, and laser focused on cultivating a better future.”

Hometown: Whitehouse, Texas

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a finance nerd at heart – so much so that I started saving for retirement at age 15.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University, May 2017

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?  Vinson Process Controls (Exclusive distributor for Emerson Electric), Lewisville, Texas

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Keurig Dr. Pepper, Frisco, Texas

Where will you be working after graduation? PitchFact LLC, Founder & CEO

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Peer-Elected Class Speaker for Graduation Ceremony, December 2022
  • William Zartler Future Texas Business Legend Award, Texas Business Hall of Fame
  • Managing Director of Aggies in Business (AiB), including AiB Venture and AiB Consulting
  • Team Leader, MBA Wildcat Capstone Project – PitchFact
  • Teaching Assistant, Finance for the Professional (1st Semester MBA Finance Class)
  • McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship MBA Venture Challenge, Elevator Pitch, 2nd Place
  • Katz Invitational Case Competition (KICC) 2021 Participant

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of being selected as an awardee for the Texas Business Hall of Fame Future Texas Business Legend award. This award equally considers both entrepreneurial impact and contributions to the community, so the fact that I was chosen is a tremendous honor. My mission is to cultivate flourishing, and it was incredibly humbling to have been recognized for pursuing this holistic vision.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The formation and launch of PitchFact. Starting a company from nothing is incredibly difficult. There’s a tremendous amount of back-end research, strategy, and planning that goes into making everything happen, especially on a bootstrapped budget. The fact that we were able to roll our MBA capstone project into a full-fledged consulting business – AND being able to convince two of the smartest people in our program to come on board as partners – is still sometimes a shock to me, and is something I’m deeply proud of.

Why did you choose this business school?

I chose Mays Business School for 4 primary reasons:

  1. My wife and I attended A&M for my undergrad and had a fantastic experience. We have a deep connection to the area and school, so we were excited by the prospect of returning to College Station.
  2. It is a well-known program with a solid ranking.
  3. I received a significant value for the price – A&M’s program was quite reasonable (relative to some of the more prestigious programs), which was a big deal since I would not be working for the duration of the program.
  4. It was fast. Many programs I considered were 2 years long, but the accelerated 18-month option was an attractive feature.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?  This is a tough one, but I’d say Dr. Tim Dye. I chose the finance track, and he taught one of the required courses to complete this specialization. Dr. Dye had a tremendous amount of energy, was incredibly patient, and made a heavily technical course engaging and fun. It was one of the toughest classes I took, but without a doubt also one of the best.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? It was Valuation, taught by Dr. Shane Johnson in the Fall of 2022. Pre-MBA, my wife would often catch me on the weekends trying to value public companies for fun. So you might say that I was really looking forward to this class. Dr. Johnson is an expert witness for valuation related cases, and his direct teaching style alongside the content itself made the class and the fundamentals I learned unforgettable.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would have spent even more time getting to know my classmates. The program does an incredible job forcing MBA candidates to mesh – the number of group projects and team activities was already a bit overwhelming. In reality, I was truly able to spend a tremendous amount of time with many of my classmates and went out of my way to make time and space for many of them. For example, outside of formal school events, I initiated dozens of 1-on-1 meetings. My wife and I hosted several BBQ events in our home and I was able to make it to most informal social events. This was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and inspiring parts of the program. However, every one of my 60+ peers is unique and fascinating, and I’m deeply regretful that I was unable to spend more time with each one of them.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about my program is that it’s not a startup school. I was truly floored by the amount of entrepreneurial spirit I discovered all around me, both in the business school and throughout the university at large. Something like 30% of our MBA class ended up choosing the “wildcat” capstone track, which involves the research/launch of an entrepreneurial venture, and I met dozens of students who owned businesses and/or aspired to work at a startup.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I love how the entire town comes alive during the school year and during big events like football games or graduation. Every fall, 50,000+ students roll into town, and it’s fascinating to be part of a community where the university plays such a massive role in its ecosystem. The amount of school spirit in this town is unparalleled, and there is a deep energy and camaraderie shared by the entire community that is unique and exciting to be a part of.

What surprised you the most about business school?  The fact that I enjoyed all the classes. I expected to only like one or two specific ones (and I definitely had favorites), but I truly found the entire experience to be invigorating. I just loved learning, and kept every textbook I could afford to.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I had a clear why, and I explained this very succinctly in my application. My mission is to flourish, and in the application process I explained why I believed that an MBA would allow me to accomplish this mission more effectively. I even went so far as to describe a loose business plan for the leading entrepreneurial idea I was toying with at the time, which effectively communicated many of my visionary and leadership strengths.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Abhi Kumud is one of the most intelligent, impressive, and humble humans I’ve ever known. He always displayed a kind and patient demeanor, along with a quiet confidence that made him come across as reliable and trustworthy. Abhi always made me feel like the most interesting person in the room, and I saw him treat everyone else with the same level of respect and honor. I feel he is extremely hard working, driven, self-aware, deeply dependable, and (if at times a bit self-critical), one of the finest people I’ve met.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Here are the two items on my list to achieve within the next 10 years:

  1. Start a company that achieves $2,000,000 in yearly revenue, has 5+ full-time employees, and is multinational by Jun 2027. (In process; we’ll see how PitchFact does, but we’re well on our way!)
  2. Land a seat on multiple startup advisory boards. (I am currently focusing on learning, networking, and building a personal/business brand that would allow me to contribute substantive value in this kind of role within the next decade.)

What made Andrew such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“When I think of the Class of 2023, Andrew Kazlow is one of the students that immediately comes to mind because of the level of impact he was able to make while in the program. That impact is not limited to those around him in the program; rather, it extended to many within the University community and even beyond.

Andrew participated in Aggies in Business (AiB), which is one of the preeminent, university-wide student organizations. In fact, he not only participated, but he served as the director for the organization and oversaw tremendous growth, increasing consulting project volume by 66%. He also instituted an organizational change that was necessary for the organization to grow and include more MBA students as leaders by creating two branches (venture and consulting) within the organization.

In addition to his impact through AiB, Andrew was also a peer-elected class speaker at graduation, the team leader for his Capstone project, the teaching assistant for a finance course, and a participant in the Katz Invitational Case Competition. Andrew worked with a variety of his peers throughout all these experiences, and he was always able to build strong relationships with his peers and lead in a subtle but clear and transformational manner.

As if he wasn’t already heavily involved in extracurricular activities, Andrew also created his own business while enrolled in the MBA Program. The purpose of the business is to serve as a third-party diligence mechanism for angel investors. I can only imagine the number of individuals Andrew will continue to impact as he guides others to invest in the best and brightest ideas for the future. Andrew’s ability to influence a variety of individuals both while in the program and after it is what makes him such an invaluable member of the Class of 2023 and a leader who will meet the vision of Mays Business School to “advance the world’s prosperity.”

Dr. Sarah Jaks
Associate Director, Full-Time MBA Program

“Among members of the Class of 2023, Andrew Kazlow stands out as a future CEO who will measure himself far less by wealth and much more by the question: “Have I positively impacted my family, my colleagues, my customers, and the larger community?” Andrew’s MBA peers witnessed his positive impact on a regular basis. “I have become a better person after having Andrew on my team,” wrote one classmate.  He “cares for the team’s well-being and goes out of the way to talk to people one-on-one to clarify misunderstandings.” Andrew “knows what’s going on,” noted another class member, “and can be counted on to set a pace that ensures whatever needs to get done gets done.” A third peer put it this way: “Andrew is driven, determined, patient, empathetic, and crazy intelligent. He makes sure to include everyone, treat others with the utmost respect, and offer help rather than criticism.” Demonstrating the core trait of a wise leader, Andrew engages in continuous self-evaluation and keeps his “true north” trifecta front and center: faith, family, and, in his own words, a calling to “cultivate flourishing in the world.”

On a related note, if Mays Business School celebrated its 45th-anniversary by gathering top alumni entrepreneurs, Andrew would score an invitation. While earning his MBA, Andrew launched his inaugural venture, PitchFact, and inspired two classmates to join his team. By rapidly providing specific, fit-for-purpose research, the company helps angel networks make better decisions. True to Andrew’s calling, PitchFact “cultivates flourishing” by making investors more effective and efficient in fueling innovative start-ups. With gusto, I will be following CEO Kazlow closely, now and into the future.”

Dr. Janet Marcantonio
Executive Professor, MBA Programs

DON’T MISS: 100 BEST & BRIGHTEST MBAS: CLASS OF 2023

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