2023 MBA To Watch: Larry Komrower, McGill University (Desautels)

Larry Komrower

McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management

“A creative problem-solver who loves good food, the performing arts, and laughing loudly.”

Hometown: Columbia, Maryland, USA

Fun fact about yourself: I have an adorable corgi named Teddy.

Undergraduate School and Degree: I hold a BA in French from Ithaca College and an MA in French Linguistics from Indiana University.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Global Experiences/AIFS Abroad, Program Manager, where I coordinated and managed the development and execution of international internship programs.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? EY, People Advisory Services, Montrea 

Where will you be working after graduation? EY, People Advisory Services, Montreal – Senior Consultant 

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Desautels Graduate Consulting Club (DGCC) – President
  • Desautels Graduate Student Society (DGSS) – MBA 1 Representative
  • Recipient of the Kelly Family MBA Leadership Award

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I was fortunate to be selected to represent McGill University at the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alberta. It was an immense honor to be one of 10 MBA students from the top business schools across Canada to attend this unique conference. It brought together some of the world’s most distinguished and influential business executives and government leaders to discuss and debate some of today’s most critical global economic issues. The theme from September’s conference was “The Path Forward: Striving for a New Dawn;” the sessions were thought-provoking and inspiring, and it was incredible to be surrounded by so many extraordinary individuals.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Prior to pursuing my MBA, I worked for a company that ran international internship programs. The organization was obviously hit hard by the pandemic, as students could not travel abroad, and had to get creative in spring 2020 to stay afloat. I’m proud to have played a key role in developing and executing our then-innovative idea of a virtual internship program, which had over 150 participants in summer 2020 and has evolved and continued even after in-person programs resumed last year.

Why did you choose this business school? I was really drawn to the size of the program at McGill. From the research that I’d done and the alumni I’d spoken with, the small cohort size would create a unique collaborative and supportive environment, and I’ve found this to be the case. I wanted to feel part of a community and not like just a number. I was also attracted by the strength of the McGill brand and its extensive network of alumni.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I’m currently taking the design thinking course with Jared Lee, who is an excellent instructor. His lectures are engaging and interactive, and he has a way of bringing the content to life in an exciting and inspiring way. I also really admire him as a consultant, and his involvement in a number of consulting-focused events and programs put on by McGill Desautels has been influential in my success in entering the consulting industry.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Cross-Cultural Management, taught by Tatiana Lamoureux Gauvin, is hands-down my favorite class that I’ve taken during the MBA program. Our culture impacts our everyday interpersonal interactions, the way we see and experience the world around us, our cognition and behavior, communication, leadership, and negotiation styles. Given the global nature of today’s business world, it is invaluable to understand how and why cross-cultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence are essential to managers. Tatiana fostered a unique classroom environment where students felt comfortable being vulnerable and were able to engage in challenging, sometimes uncomfortable conversations. In the end, this course helped me expand my social and self-awareness about the influence of culture on leadership behaviors and practices. It gave me the skills to create my own action plan to become a better cross-cultural manager and leader in my post-MBA career.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The Desautels Cup is an annual internal case competition. I love this tradition because it gave us the chance to use a bit of friendly competition to show off our skills to our faculty and to alumni judges. Being on the runner-up team was great, too!

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? If I could go back and start over, I would have participated in more case competitions during my time as a Desautels MBA student. Not only are these a great chance to flex your business acumen muscles, but they also are a chance for you to interact with bright students from your own university and others. Case competitions are a unique learning opportunity during the business school experience, and I wish that I had understood their value sooner.

What is the biggest myth about your school? When I spoke with alumni during the application process, they all described how Desautels feels like a family, and I’ve learned that that is really how it is. There is no competitive back-stabbing, and everyone is there to cheer each other on for our successes and comfort one another during challenging times.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was stressed about not having had any formal business training. I have a humanities background and had never studied finance, operations, or strategy, so I figured I’d be playing catch-up the whole time. In the end, it is actually the diversity of everyone’s backgrounds, including my own, that make the experience rich.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I took advantage of the alumni ambassadors listed on the Desautels MBA website and connected with several who had either similar backgrounds as me or who were working post-MBA in areas that interested me. I was able to leverage the insights they shared both in my essays, as well as during my interview.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Kriti Pradhan – she’s one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met and is always willing to lend a hand (with a smile).

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? First, I wanted to go back to school and earn my MBA. Check! Second, I would love to work at a firm that gives me the option to live and work abroad for a period of time.

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

“Larry’s warm, enthusiastic and generous energy immediately impresses you when you first meet him. Pre-MBA, Larry held a role in higher education supporting students’ international development through global internship experiences. Throughout his MBA journey, Larry has continuously embraced opportunities to maximize his professional and personal growth, as well as that of his peers. As the President of the Desautels Graduate Consulting Club (DGCC), he had significant positive impact opening up new career opportunities for his peers by offering a broad program of industry-focused events and networking opportunities, as well as leading consulting recruitment skill-building workshops and individual coaching sessions.

What makes Larry invaluable? All of this was taking place at the same time as he successfully managed his personal career pivot to a full-time consulting role with EY People Advisory Services, after completing an extended internship experience with the firm!  Larry’s open and collaborative spirit will no doubt lead to an exciting and very successful career path after his McGill Desautels MBA.

Fiona Macfarlane
Master Program Advisor and Business Development
Soutar Career Centre

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF MBAS TO WATCH IN 2023

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