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Real Humans of Pfizer: Jordan Daniel Lantz, Duke Fuqua MBA ’22, Senior Manager

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In this edition of Real Humans: Alumni, Jordan Daniel Lantz shares how he wanted to pair his principles and values with effective business acumen to make positive change. To accomplish his goal, he pursued an MBA at Duke Fuqua. Lantz found Fuqua’s MBA program inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQIA+ students and essential for evaluating his current capabilities and challenging him to grow. Read his story to see how his Duke MBA experience prepared him for the impactful work he would find at Pfizer. 

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Jordan Daniel Lantz, Duke Fuqua MBA ’22, Senior Manager at Pfizer

Age: 31
Hometown: Wakarusa, IN (currently New York, NY)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Bowdoin College, 2015, History
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, 2022, Healthcare, Marketing, Strategy
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Nonprofit and higher education fundraising in Chicago, IL and Washington, DC.
Post-MBA Work Experience: Senior Manager, HCP Marketing in Gene Therapy; previously in Pfizer’s Marketing Rotational Program

Why did you choose to attend business school?
My college involvement and early career instilled in me a strong sense of working for the common good. I wanted to bring a perspective of creating positive, life-changing impact in a corporate setting. I believed pairing my principles and values with effective business acumen would help me make the best impact I could in the world.

Why Duke Fuqua? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I attended the Pride Weekend through admissions and was deeply impressed by how Fuqua not only accepted but fully embraced LGBTQ+ candidates like me. I saw that LGBTQ+ students were leaders throughout the school and knew that I would be respected authentically as I am. Furthermore, the care and concern that the school took to create an admissions pipeline specifically for underrepresented groups like the LGBTQ+ community spoke volumes of its values.

What about your Duke MBA experience prepared you for your current career at Pfizer?
Coming from the nonprofit sector, I embraced the academic environment as a playground for my intellectual curiosity. While some concepts might have been second nature to some students coming from the private sector, I was eager about everything that felt new. The MBA environment allowed me to evaluate my current capabilities and grow into spaces that challenged me. This was perfect preparation for a career at Pfizer, where individuals are encouraged to learn and grow in different roles and on different brands throughout their career. Since my first day at Pfizer, I feel as though I’m constantly learning and building on my capabilities. The MBA experience prepared me to effectively assess where I am and where I want to go.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned at Pfizer through the Marketing Rotational Program. The immense support from my brand team, the program, and Pfizer overall made the decision to return to Pfizer post-MBA an easy one.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
People and purpose are the two factors that stick out in my mind. Throughout the interview and internship process, it was clear that Pfizer colleagues support one another and challenge them in the best ways. During my internship, and into my current role, there is a host of people who are willing to answer questions, encourage you to expand your knowledge base, and offer support along the way. It’s truly special. Furthermore, the company phrase “breakthroughs that change patients’ lives” reverberates through the everyday work. That sense of purpose for patients is extremely important to me.

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Make real connections to people, not just transactional ones. Getting to know a person as a person and not just as a reference for a role helps you understand the motivations of people working at that company and whether or not it’s a good fit.

–One thing you would change or do differently as part of the job search?
I would have been more confident. Easier said than done, I know. There were times I let imposter syndrome keep me from answering a question or attacking a problem effectively. The reality is that you are capable of more than you think. Confidence does not mean you know everything already. It means that you clearly outline your capabilities and successes while humbly acknowledging areas of growth. That will come across in interviews. So prepare, take a deep breath, and speak knowing what you can do.

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
Pfizer was very clear in their expectations and evaluations. With regards to the process overall, I was surprised by the willingness of Pfizer and Fuqua people to help me with interview and case prep. Supportive ambition is such a hallmark of Fuqua and it shows during the recruiting process. It was clear that it’s also a huge part of the Pfizer culture, for which I’m grateful and plan to give back to.

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.