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Real Humans of OSU Fisher’s MBA Class of 2022

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Robert Yeager, Fisher MBA Class of 2022

Age: 32
Hometown: Hilliard, OH
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Ohio State University, Middle Childhood Education
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years at a residential mortgage company and another 5 years in consumer lending at JPMorgan Chase

Why business school? Why now?
It’s no secret that a degree in Middle Childhood Education isn’t the first thing someone would choose to launch a career in business. But after finding my way into the financial services sector by happenstance, I came to really enjoy it and saw myself spending my career there. With the bulk of my experience on the back-end review/audit side, I chose to return to school so that I could relaunch into a front-end role where I could help set the strategy for a business. Having never learned the finer points of problem structuring, analytics, etc. in undergrad, I felt that business school would best position me to make that transition.

Why Fisher? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
With my family (wife and two kids) firmly established in central Ohio, I felt very fortunate to have such a great business school located in my backyard. While I applied to some other schools that would have required my family to move, the list of pros for Fisher was too strong. I was interested in a smaller program after attending a massive school for undergrad (ironically at OSU), Fisher offers great funding, and the reputation the school has with employers in the region and even across the country is impeccable.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
Only a small number of my classmates have children, something I’m sure is also true for most other full-time MBA programs. I think that having a young family offers a lot of perspective that I didn’t necessarily have when I was a bit younger, and it encourages me to see the big picture in nearly everything I do, with everything from building relationships to solving business problems.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I’m in the midst of trying to attend the ballparks for each of the 30 MLB teams. 15 down, 15 to go. So if anyone wants to host me for a game in L.A. or Miami, I’m all ears.

Post-MBA career interests?
I’d like to re-enter the consumer banking space in a strategic planning or process improvement role with a focus on improving access and resources for underserved communities.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

It’s obviously difficult in the midst of a pandemic, but I found great value in visiting campuses to attend preview days and hearing from staff, faculty, and students alike. It’s so easy to get caught up in rankings or the generally accepted reputations of certain schools, but on multiple occasions, I left a school visit with a much different opinion of the program than I originally had.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
As much as I learned attending the preview days of schools that I had already applied to or been accepted to, I didn’t visit any schools to help me decide where I actually wanted to apply. In hindsight, visiting schools before I chose where to apply probably would have helped me remove some from consideration while also adding a few others.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The task of writing a personal essay often feels ambiguous and, therefore, daunting. It’s easy to get caught between multiple different paths, trying to figure out what you want to say compared to what you think the admissions office wants to hear. I’m fortunate enough to have a wife who is a college admissions counselor, and she encouraged me to be entirely authentic and candid in my essays. By shedding any notion of what I thought the admissions offices wanted to hear, I felt I was able to put together compelling essays that were (hopefully) engaging to read.

What is your initial impression of Fisher’s students/culture/community?
Everything has been completely as advertised. The small, tight-knit community that was promised has become a reality, even as we have limited opportunities to be together in person given the pandemic. I’ve also been very impressed with everyone in the program. Coming from a respected employer, I was curious to see how the work done at Fisher compared to the level of quality that was demanded at JPMorgan, and I’ve been thoroughly inspired by my classmates.

One thing you have learned about Fisher that has surprised you?
I can’t imagine having a more involved and helpful career coaching program. I knew the coaches would be a good resource, but their continued desire to help with whatever they can is remarkable. And given the smaller class sizes at Fisher, each of the coaches is able to maintain close relationships with alumni, which was invaluable for me as I sought to connect with former students working in specific industries or at target companies.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
There are so many choices you have to make in your first year of business school: which clubs to join, which classes to take, which employers to focus on, etc., and it can feel a bit overwhelming. I’ve found that talking to as many people as possible is really helpful in making those decisions, as well as keeping in mind what it is that you ultimately want to gain from attending business school.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Learning stuff that I’m interested in! I didn’t particularly have that experience in undergrad, and I thought that maybe it was an indication that I didn’t enjoy learning. I’ve since discovered that I love learning the things that are pertinent to my career and interests, so I’m really thankful that I get to make that my full-time job for the next couple of years.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.