Real Humans of the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2022
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Undergraduate Institution and Major: BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years as a healthcare technology consultant @ Deloitte (5 years)
Why business school? Why now?
Healthcare companies are just beginning to put their new digital infrastructure to work, and we were already seeing big changes in the way companies viewed their business versus before the pandemic. After five years at Deloitte, I wanted to study how to use this transformational change to make the U.S. health system more efficient and equitable.
Why Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Emphasis on action-based learning: Like many other Rossers, the multitude of hands-on learning opportunities (MAP, Sling Health, Student-run venture funds, etc.) gave me several routes to learn by doing, and gain real experience changing systems and utilizing what I’ve learned in class.
Supportive, responsive administration: Through communications with current students and administrators, it became clear Ross’s administration was not only actively seeking out and responding to student needs, but also willing to support and resource student initiatives – a big differentiator with other peer schools.
Pinkert scholarship: The two-year-old scholarship program’s exposure to current senior healthcare leaders, U-M’s Healthcare ecosystem, and additional resources for healthcare conferences/student initiatives helped offset my risk of pursuing health entrepreneurship and was a major factor in my decision.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I was a huge board gamer before Ross, and have been working on ramping up a virtual-gaming community on campus, including weekly events for Among Us, Settlers of Catan, and even have hosted a section-wide Family Feud game show night.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
Going with the board gaming theme, I brought three full boxes worth of games with me to campus. Once a vaccine is widely available, I’m hoping to have more people over to play in person!
Post-MBA career interests?
My overall career goal is to make America’s health system more efficient and equitable – I hope to join a company that allows me to make changes to healthcare systems that begin to fulfill that vision. (Currently, I’m focused on Interoperability startups or intrapreneur opportunities within large healthcare companies).
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Take time to examine yourself, and really know what you want to accomplish BEFORE adding an MBA into the picture. Knowledge of self is such a differentiator in a crowd of people that all are working to understand who they want to become – highly recommend discussions with friends and family, as well as some focused time alone to help find these key elements.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
After five years at a single company, I realized I tied much of my own professional worth to my standing within the company, rather than what I could accomplish. I had to separate who I had been in my professional life from what I am capable of. If given another chance, I would think through who I wanted to present myself as before writing most of my essays 😊.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
As an engineer/data guy, I ABHOR writing. I’ve always been one that prefers to represent myself through the structure of analysis or through person-to-person communication and has always found marshaling my thoughts on paper to be difficult.
I am eternally thankful for my friends that read through many of my essays (always beneficial to make friends that have complementary strengths!), as well as my old guidance counselor (now an admissions essay consultant) who helped refine my piles of unrefined ideas into smooth, sharp statements.
What is your initial impression of Michigan Ross’s students/culture/community?
The past few weeks have not been a typical first-year-MBA experience (stop me if you’ve heard that before), and I’ve loved seeing how willing my Ross classmates have been to face the tough problems. Our class had already started organizing universal communication platforms, challenging the administration on racial equity, and planning socially-distant parties and signature events before school started, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this authentic creativity manifests once we have a vaccine!
One thing you have learned about Michigan Ross that has surprised you?
I have been floored by the breadth and interconnection of Michigan’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Ross’s Zell Lurie Institute has entrepreneurial advisors, accelerators, its own student venture funds, and plenty of additional resources, and there are even more resources outside of Ross’s walls. As one example – I am currently investigating opportunities within U-M’s Tech Transfer desk, which combs the research of multiple U-M professors and helps them commercialize new findings.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
While my first year has been wonderful already, I’m a bit anxious about how I’m going to manage the opportunities I’ve signed up for, especially with respect to my off-campus recruiting plan. I just keep reminding myself: Every time I say “No”, I gain the ability to say “Yes” to something else!
Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Some of the best advice I received was to find something during your MBA that scares you and do exactly that thing. I was happy to find that promoting allyship and focusing on my ability to create an inclusive atmosphere that doesn’t shy away from some of the hard topics was one way I could do this. I’m excited for the momentum and programming the Dean’s student council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has already created on campus, and hope to further expand opportunities for students at all points of their own allyship journeys to learn, practice, and improve their own DEI skills.