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Real Humans of the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2023

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Jonathan Clement, Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2023

Age: 26
Hometown: Round Rock, Texas
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The University of Texas at Austin, Advertising
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): As an undergraduate, I worked as the Assistant Talent Buyer at Bass Concert Hall, a 3,000-person venue affiliated with the University of Texas at Austin, assisting in the evaluation of the fiscal and cultural fit of potential acts. After graduation, I spent four years working in advertising as a media buyer for multiple ad agencies in Chicago servicing clients including Kraft-Heinz, Stacey Abrams, and Chicago State University.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Throughout my career in advertising, I enjoyed examining multiple companies across a span of industries. However, I felt my understanding was limited to advertising and marketing and I desired a greater understanding of business as a whole. Ultimately, after speaking with a range of clients, friends, and family, I realized that an MBA would help me further develop my skills to bridge this gap.

Why did you choose Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Two main factors made my decision to come to Ross an easy one: the culture and professional opportunities.
My initial interactions with Ross were informal. One of my best friends and mentors graduated from Ross in 2020 and I had the opportunity to meet his classmates while he was in school.

Once I formally began my MBA admissions journey, Ross was instantly on my shortlist due to the caliber of past interaction I had with Rossers. The further I got through the process, the more great people I met from current students, to alumni, to the admissions office.

In addition to the cultural fit, I knew Michigan would provide great professional development and post-graduate opportunities. Ross’ active learning style, as seen through the case teachings and MAP program, would be a great way for me to gain additional exposure to business challenges. I also knew the alumni network and pay it forward culture would give me access to the top employers in multiple industries.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
Well, I can tell you it’s certainly not my prowess in economics or stats class. I believe I can see and accept people for who they are. This trait allows me to be a mediator and bring people together.

On the last day of kindergarten, everyone in my class received superlative awards—Math Wizard, Spelling Champion, Computer Guru. My award, “The Golden Apple” award, represented the age-old maxim: treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Twenty years later, I still try to embody this sentiment.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I’m a geek. Please feel free to send anime and manga recommendations, or if you’re brave enough, challenge me to a game of Super Smash Bros.

Post-MBA career interests:
I am currently interested in strategy consulting, a career that will provide broad exposure to multiple business problems and allow me to find creative solutions for the client.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:

– What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Devote the proper amount of time, lean into your support system, and stay true.

I would make sure to sacrifice the proper amount of time to work on your application and foster impactful connections with current students, alumni, and admissions. Taking extra time on your app will feel like added stress in the moment, but it will ultimately pay dividends.

Second, lean into your support system. I called my mother, father, and brother to vent daily, particularly while studying for the GRE. The fact they never stopped answering is a true testament to their character.

Lastly, use the process to learn more about yourself. State what your true interests are while writing essays and don’t be afraid to be unconventional.

– What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would say try not to stress yourself out, but stress is an inevitable part of the process. My advice is to embrace all of the emotions throughout your application process; it will feel even better when things inevitably work out.

– What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The math portion of the GRE. I still see combinatorics practice problems when I close my eyes at night. However, as the age-old saying goes “Admitting you have a problem is the first step in fixing the problem”, so I invested in a math tutor!

What is your initial impression of Michigan Ross’s students/culture/community?
Ross is as advertised.

This is the most conscious and intelligent group of individuals I have ever been around. I knew it was going to be good, but it is hard to truly articulate the environment until you experience it firsthand.

What is one thing you have learned about Michigan Ross that has surprised you?
How prepared current students, alumni, and CDO were to support us during early recruiting. As I look back on my early recruitment process, I truly believe I had one of the best support systems in the country.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Unfortunately, I was unable to visit the campus in person through the lens of attending as a future student. The first day of orientation was my first time seeing Ross.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
There are more activities than you have hours in the day. You will eventually miss something, whether it’s a section happy hour, a club meeting, or a group study session with that really smart kid from class.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Definitely meeting my classmates. I am an introvert by nature; however, everyone I have met so far has been so great. I have been masquerading as an extrovert to meet as many people as possible!

Lani Panico
Lani Panico joined Clear Admit as the Content Lead in 2021. Since graduating from Albright College in Reading, PA with a BA in English & Communications (Journalism Track) in 2017, she has gained experience in various areas of content and Digital Marketing. Her specialties include content editing, copy creation, and social media management.