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Real Humans of the Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2024

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Ryan Rounick, Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2024

Age: 29
Hometown: Millburn, New Jersey
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Michigan; Sport Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Seven (7) Years; Sport Sponsorship and Partnership Management Industry

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now? 
I always told myself that if I ever decide to go back to school, I would start before I turn 30. I want to become a better overall business leader, expand my professional network, and find what I’m truly passionate about pursuing for the rest of my career.

Why did you choose Michigan Ross? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Putting aside the fact I had the best four years of my life as an undergrad, Ross is known as a prestigious business school institution. I connected with many second-year grad students, and former alumni, who convinced me that coming back to Ann Arbor to get my MBA would be a unique experience. The resources to build my network and determine the next path of my career are seemingly endless. Oh, and spending a few more football games at the Big House was icing on the cake… 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I come from a unique career background, having spent the last seven years in the sport sponsorship industry working with dozens of different brands at the very senior level negotiating and managing nine-figure partnership deals. Not many individuals ever receive this level of exposure to executive teams at Fortune 500 companies, so I’m hoping my perspective will add value to the teams I work with.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I’ve made it through 29 years of life, and have never had a sip of coffee before…

Post-MBA career interests: 
Consulting, Tech or Brand Management.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Most applications will have relatively similar work experience, resumes, test scores, etc. but the essay section is where you’ll truly be able to differentiate yourself. Reach out to your family and close friends when brainstorming this part of the application – they may be able to provide inspiration and/or ideas you never even thought of! 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Start the application process in the summer prior to the year you are interested in attending school. Do not wait until the fall or winter. The earlier the better to avoid unnecessary stress.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
In my opinion, the essay section was the most stressful part of the application. It may feel impossible to nail down the stories you want to share because you have too many ideas. Trust your family and friends – they are there to help!

What is your initial impression of the Michigan Ross students/culture/community?
Incredible! This summer I connected with almost a dozen second-year MBA students who have been more than welcoming and receptive to chatting before even stepping foot on campus. Without their support, I wouldn’t feel as ready as I do to begin this year. 

What is one thing you have learned about Michigan Ross that has surprised you?
The resources available are endless. Between current students, alumni, Ross staff, etc. there are so many people on your team pushing you to succeed. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Imposter syndrome is a real feeling. There are tons of incredibly smart and talented individuals on campus, and I’ll need to work extra hard to stand out!

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
The community. The culture and camaraderie are impressive – I’ve felt incredibly welcomed even before beginning orientation.

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.