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Real Humans of MBA Students: Vanderbilt Owen MBA Class of 2023

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vanderbilt mba class of 2023Andy Perez, Vanderbilt Owen MBA Class of 2023

Age: 28
Hometown: Roswell, GA
Pre-MBA work experience: Professional Baseball Player (2 years), Private Aviation (3 years)

Why business school/why now? 
I felt like after my career in baseball, I wanted to opportunity to focus on school and what I really wanted to accomplish professionally outside of athletics.  I felt like business school was the next logical step towards achieving those goals.

Why did you choose Vanderbilt Owen? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose Vanderbilt Owen for a few reasons. First, the business school experience offered on a personal scale with smaller class sizes excited me.  I wanted to have the opportunity to get to know my professors, classmates, and administration on a personal level.  Vanderbilt gives you this opportunity while still giving you all the resources you need to achieve your professional goals. Also, being able to live in Nashville for 2 years was icing on the cake.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I think I come from a relatively unique background compared to other business school students. While I may not have as much corporate work experience as some of my classmates, I feel like my background can offer a unique perspective of a work culture not experienced or seen by many.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
My family won the $20,000 prize on Family Feud with Steve Harvey!

Post-MBA career interests:
I have accepted an investment banking internship at Piper Sandler for the upcoming summer.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would reach out to as many programs as you can to gage what type of culture and offering each school brings to the table.  There are so many great business schools out there with unique propositions and offerings.  Speaking to students and faculty at as many schools as possible will enable you to figure out what is the best fit for you.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I wish I could have visited more campuses.  Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions during my application processes, this was not possible.  Had I been able to, I would have loved to see as many campuses as I could and meet some of the people I spoke with in an environment outside of Zoom!

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have loved to skip the standardized test preparation, although I realize it was much needed! Fortunately, I had friends and family that had been through the process and were able to recommend resources that allowed me to navigate the preparation process seamlessly.

What is your initial impression of the Vanderbilt Owen students/culture/community?
My impression of the Vanderbilt Owen community is nothing short of what I expected when I stepped foot on campus.  Every person has been so welcoming and inclusive not only in the classroom, but also in social settings.  We have plenty of gatherings and events that allow you to get to know your classmates on a personal level.

What is one thing you have learned about Vanderbilt Owen that has surprised you?
Learning about the experiences of my international classmates has been extremely interesting and insightful.  I was astonished at how many unique perspectives from all over the world are offered in class discussions. Learning from their experiences has been extremely rewarding.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
The pandemic did not allow me the opportunity to visit schools in-person.  However, I felt like I did not skip a beat during my application process as everyone I spoke to was readily available to answer any questions I had.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Moving to a new city without knowing anyone made me anxious, but it did not take long before I was able to form relationships with my classmates as well as people in the Nashville community outside of Owen.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
The most exciting aspect of starting business school are the endless opportunities offered.  Knowing I can take a class at any point that can pivot my professional interests towards doing something I love is very exciting.

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.