Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I’m an energetic team player who loves a good laugh, meal, and adventure.
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy being active in the outdoors. One of my favorite hobbies is the sport of canyoneering, which involves descending narrow slot canyons using ropes and harnesses.
Undergraduate School and Major: Brigham Young University, B.S., Business Management: Strategy
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
- Goldman Sachs, Tax Operations Analyst
- Goldman Sachs, Tax Operations Associate – Project Manager
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest and most rewarding accomplishment so far has been leading a project that required us to help several thousand clients and client rep teams update tax requirements in order to capture treaty benefits. What stood out the most to me about this project was how much I enjoyed working my colleagues and managers as we brainstormed, strategized, improved the process, and executed on our plan. I saw first-hand how important it is to be open-minded and innovative during project planning as our project evolved in the initial stages. Also, we reduced the processing time for these tax requirements by more than 50 percent through lean principles. This allowed the team to manage the increased production without an increase in overhead, all while requiring no allocation toward technology enhancements. It felt great that, at the end of the day, we had delivered an exceptional experience, at low-cost, and were appropriately recognized for that.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The majority of people are probably most stressed about the GMAT, and rightfully so, but I’m going to take the opportunity to talk about a piece that sometimes gets brushed over – getting a solid recommendation. It’s important to approach this part of your application thoughtfully because after the tests, the essays, and the interviews, it remains as the only piece where you ultimately do not have control.
Here are things that helped me in this process:
- Pick people because they know you well, not just because of their job title.
- Give them plenty of time. They have other priorities and your recommendation is probably not No. 1 on that list.
- Prepare them: Let them know why you are going back to school, what you hope to accomplish, and why you chose the program you did.
- Remind them: Offer brief, friendly reminders throughout the process can go a long way.
- Thank them! They took time away from their families, hobbies, sleep, etc. to help you. A thoughtful thank you will go a long way towards keeping that relationship positive.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? For me it was all about the fit. Everything about Kelley fit for me, my family, and our future plans. I knew that I wanted to study marketing and data analytics and Kelley offers exceptional quality in both of those areas. I was impressed with how much emphasis Kelley puts toward offering the cutting edge in terms of education. While some schools were offering classes in data analytics, Kelley was focusing on an entire major. Additionally, Kelley’s reputation for marketing is known throughout the world. My goal is to transition into the world of brand management and Kelley is incredibly well-equipped to help me do that.
It wasn’t only academics though, the culture at Kelley was warm, unassuming, collaborative, and driven. I felt that through each interaction I had with alumni, students, and faculty. It clicked for me though when I had the opportunity to visit the campus during their Experience Weekend. Going back to school is never an easy decision, and it isn’t any easier with a family. I wanted the peace of mind to know that my wife and 2-year-old son would feel comfortable in whichever place we ended up. Right from the beginning of looking at Kelley, it became abundantly clear that this was the place. Kelley has a very active partners’ club and a Kelley Kids club. The members of those clubs reached out and were very influential in helping my wife feel comfortable. Additionally, the faculty understand that people have lives outside of work and integrate that with every opportunity.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success would look like real growth. I chose Kelley because I felt it offered me the best opportunity to experience real change. Two things that will help me with that are: 1) immersing myself in the life of a Kelley student and 2) preparing for and completing an internship as an assistant brand manager.
By the first year, I want to be well acquainted with my fellow classmates and professors. Kelley’s class size is large enough to have diverse opinions and experiences but small enough to feel personal. Taking the opportunity to make the most of that is key. I also want to take advantage of the opportunities outside of the classroom that set Kelley apart: Me, Inc., the academies, clubs, international opportunities. I hope that through this, my perspective can be broadened and I can become a better person. Transitioning into the world of brand management is going to be an uphill battle for me, coming from a non-marketing background. However, the advantage I have is that I know that coming in and I have the resources at Kelley to help prepare me to make that change. Success to me would be taking what I’ve learned in my first year at Kelley and impacting real change during my summer internship.