“Newspaper reporter turned investment analyst turned quantitative analyst; fond of photography and race cars.”
Hometown: Charleston, West Virginia
Fun Fact About Yourself: Before deciding to chase my lifelong interest in investing, I worked as a reporter, writing for newspapers both domestically (mostly Ohio) and abroad (Wellington, NZ and London, UK).
Undergraduate School and Major: Ohio University, Journalism
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: The Motley Fool, Director of Investing Intelligence
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? I have an extremely varied set of skills and interests, and the flexibility of Goizueta’s curriculum should help me continue developing them as an MBA candidate. After completing the core curriculum during the first semester, candidates can mix-and-match courses from various concentrations, blazing their own academic trail.
What excites you most about getting your MBA at Goizueta? What makes you most nervous? I am most excited to have time for personal and professional development. Even at the best employers, it can be hard to find time for learning and skill development amid the daily grind of deadlines and key performance indicators.
On the other hand, it will be hard to adjust to the student’s life and budget again. I’ll definitely miss having disposable income.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I researched and designed the investment strategy behind my company’s first index and ETF product, the Fool 100. After two years of quantitative research, the strategy launched in early 2018 and has beaten the S&P 500 by nearly 31% since inception. It currently manages $275 million in client assets.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had accomplished what I wanted at The Motley Fool and was ready to search out new adventures, particularly in the FinTech space. Given my non-traditional background, as a journalism major, I knew an MBA would help me maximize my opportunities.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Darden, Tepper
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process?“Tell me about a time you failed.”
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I am generally a very quantitative person, but in this context, I hewed to the qualitative because I believe the value of an MBA is in the relationships you build during the program. My checklist was entirely subjective: did I feel welcome when visiting campus? Did I enjoy meeting fellow students? Could I see myself happily engaging with the community?
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I took a year off between high school and undergrad and worked overseas as a reporter. I still remember vividly what I felt at the airport in September 2007, while hugging my mother goodbye and boarding the plane to New Zealand. I must have been the second most terrified person within 100 miles after my mother. I was leaving every person and place I knew to start an entirely new chapter of my life.
It took a few days, but that fear eventually gave way to excitement about the possibilities uncertainty allowed. It was the first time I felt truly in control of my life’s course, and I credit the experience with making me the fiercely independent, adventurous person I am today.
I face similar uncertainty now. I’ve left a wonderful company and wonderful friends to start from scratch, in a city I don’t know, during a particularly volatile time in the world. It is scary, but as my time in New Zealand – and elsewhere – taught me, uncertainty and fear are the dysfunctional parents of opportunity and adventure.
What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer – and why is that important? I want the freedom to work on a variety of projects and problems. I have varied interests, enjoy learning, and want a career that lets me explore different challenges.
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