Student Name: Thomas Kidd
Graduate Business School: University of Michigan Ross School of Business
Describe Yourself In 15 Words: UX designer turned sales rep eager to understand people and bring meaningful projects to life.
Master’s Graduation Class: 2019.
Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Michigan, UX Design.
Current Employer and Job Title: Virtru, Senior Sales Development Representative
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Starting a career in B2B sales has given me a lot of opportunities to grow personally and professionally. I value the learning experiences I have had around perseverance, managing stress, building relationships, and facing frequent rejection. My biggest accomplishment has been getting to lead our enterprise outreach for new business with a really smart and talented team.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: I was elected president of the e-board (student association) for my Master’s in Management class. As an introvert, putting my name in the hat was already outside of my comfort zone, but the opportunity to take an active leadership role for the cohort and work with so many of my peers was unforgettable and something that I’m proud of.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The key factor that led me to choose Michigan Ross was the diversity of the MM program. Since everyone comes from a non-business background, you get to hear from and work with a lot of unique perspectives. Before I applied, I reached out to current master’s students at Ross as well as some from other business schools. The Ross students described really memorable class projects and group discussions due to all the different undergrad majors being in the same room. For example, you might have an art student, an English major, and an engineer in your group project and that was really attractive to me.
What led you to choose a Master’s in Management over an MBA? Coming from an entrepreneurial minor and UX design major, I was looking to improve my business acumen before starting my career. The length of the MM program fit my desired timeline and helped me gain skills in business without having to commit to two more full years in school.
What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? Business Communication was my favorite. Almost everyone uses written and verbal communication in their career, so having a class devoted to the topic in a business setting was really helpful for me. The lectures covered anything from specific workplace scenarios all the way over to evaluating personality types and learning how to appeal to each differently. Communication is a big part of my work now and I still frequently think back to the lessons from BCOM in my day-to-day.
What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program?
Ross did a great job of guiding and supporting me to where I wanted to be rather than pushing me in any one direction. For example, I did mostly off-campus recruiting for companies in tech, while a lot of my classmates participated more so in on-campus recruiting events with companies who came to Winter Garden. Even though I had a different path in mind, the career office and my professors were there when I wanted to adjust my resume, write a cover letter, dive deeper into a specific course topic, or connect with alumni to help with my search.
How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? For me, my classmates were the best part of the business school experience. I met some of my best friends in the program and still keep up with many of them to this day. It’s an interesting setting because you have so many different undergrad majors all coming together to spend 10 months taking business classes… A lot of us were starting with very little business knowledge, but we all wanted to learn and grow during the program. In and outside the classroom, I met and became friends with a lot of bright, driven people.
Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? It’s hard to pick a favorite, but mine would probably be Sarah Zimmerman from Business Communication. I’m biased since I enjoy the topic, but she made a constant effort to make her lectures directly applicable to real-life business situations. She was also a huge resource for helping with communication challenges outside of class whether it was reaching out to alumni or approaching a company I wanted to work for after graduation. Thank you, Sarah!
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate Master’s program? My best advice would be to embrace your background and whatever makes you unique. Nobody is going to have a business degree in the program, so focus on where you have been, where you want to go after graduation, and be specific about how a master’s from Ross will help you get there.
What was your best memory from your Master’s program? Besides all the late nights studying on the roof of Munger, my favorite memory has to be right towards the beginning of the program in the summer when a bunch of us went down to the docks and spent the day having fun and getting to know one another outside the classroom.
DON’T MISS: MEET THE MASTERS OF MANAGEMENT