The Tepper Take: Group Makes All The Distinction

Carnegie Mellon MBA College students. CMU Tepper picture

There’s so much to think about when selecting an MBA program: the rankings, location, specializations, and (in fact) the community! Right here’s one other side that typically will get ignored: neighborhood.

In enterprise faculty, it’s worthwhile to carry your true and full self.  Whether or not you’re up late crushing a case competitors or visiting your native watering gap to unwind after class, your classmates provide the confidence wanted to take dangers and discover success.

Currently, I’ve been on a large Disney kick. I extremely advocate it as a wholesome approach to cope with quarantine fatigue. That being mentioned, there’s a metaphor that has caught with me. You need your MBA neighborhood to really feel extra just like the “Be Our Visitor” scene in Magnificence & the Beast and fewer like Simba strolling by means of the elephant graveyard in Lion King.


Within the Magnificence & the Beast scene, the ensemble is welcoming Belle to the Fort, dancing and singing as they make her really feel at house. In distinction, Simba feels unsettled and jumpy, frightened he could also be attacked at any second within the elephant graveyard. Your MBA neighborhood can imply the distinction between these two extremes. Regardless of the place you go, I hope you’ve the assist it’s worthwhile to develop and take dangers and don’t end up on edge as you pursue your MBA.

For me, Tepper’s neighborhood was the right match. They made me really feel like I used to be their visitor. Upon coming to Tepper, I found among the most wonderful colleagues and mates conceivable. They’re entrepreneurs trying to enhance themselves and launch huge concepts! They’re gifted musicians and artists who frequently impress our class with their talents and remind us to pursue extra than simply lecturers. They possess numerous worldwide backgrounds that allow us to think about enterprise and ourselves within the international context.

You’ll even discover a couple of engineers who seemingly acquired misplaced on campus and wandered into the Tepper Quad.


I wrote concerning the expertise of visiting Tepper in my final weblog. I discovered these college students to be refreshingly candid about their experiences. Being on the opposite aspect, I now perceive why they had been so open with the roles they had been enjoying to boost this system: the scholars right here put in work far past the decision of the classroom. I’ve seen mates spend hours planning out occasions that may present probably the most worth potential to first-years despite COVID-19. Different college students will bounce off hours of Zoom courses after which instantly run to a espresso store to be a mentor.


Don’t simply take my phrase for it although. There are many different college students who love to speak concerning the distinctive neighborhood we take pleasure in right here in Pittsburgh. Let me share some examples.

Nitzan Sherman is a second 12 months Tepper scholar, a board member of the Advertising Membership, and a primary spherical draft decide for the Tepper Soccer Membership. I requested Nitzan about his time at Tepper and he was joyful to share what made the varsity so completely different:

“Whether or not I wanted assist with classwork or getting ready for interviews, my classmates had been all the time out there and prepared to pitch in with their time.”

Nitzan Sherman

Tepper has a nondisclosure coverage with grades, and the smaller program dimension emphasizes the significance of working along with different college students in your discipline who could also be subject material specialists. After I requested Nitzan about his expertise with the Tepper neighborhood particularly, he targeted on the distinctive collaboration that Tepper instills in its MBA college students.

“It isn’t unusual for a gaggle of classmates all interviewing for a similar function, to assist each other the night time earlier than the interview.”

This willingness to assist folks you’re maybe competing instantly with highlights how far Tepper college students are prepared to go to help one another as we pursue our targets. Many instances, underneath regular circumstances, you’ll discover the Tepper Quad full of MBAs earlier than huge interviews. College students will share suggestions, give final minute pep-talks, and run case questions and behaviorals up till the final potential second. This collaboration extends past the confines of the Tepper constructing with college students additionally supporting one another as mates.

“Whether or not or not it’s attending membership occasions or assembly at a neighborhood bar or restaurant… I actually loved attending occasions thrown at Tepper, such because the expertise present or Diwali celebration,” Nitzan provides.


Talking of targets, Souvik Aswad was already a profitable entrepreneur who ran a tech startup in Dhaka, Bangladesh earlier than coming to Tepper. Whereas it may be intimidating to pack up and transfer half approach around the globe to pursue an MBA, Souvik mentioned Tepper gave him the guiding hand he wanted to achieve success from day 1.

I really feel extraordinarily properly supported as a world scholar at Tepper. From the very starting, I used to be supplied with the mandatory assets to transition easily into the US, each culturally and career-wise.”

I made a smaller transfer from Cleveland to Pittsburgh, a few 2 hour drive, and was curious what kind of assist Tepper offered for worldwide MBAs. Souvik ran me by means of among the help offered by this system. It included: particular occasions placed on by the profession heart for worldwide college students, sponsorship clarification classes from firms coming to campus, recommendation from the worldwide alumni neighborhood, and interview preparation from the Speed up Management Heart.

Souvik Aswad

“The middle organized particular occasions for worldwide college students and sought to make clear sponsorship associated queries from firms coming to campus. The worldwide alumni neighborhood was additionally gracious with their time and recommendation to assist us discover ways to thrive in a brand new surroundings. The Speed up Management Centre proved to be a wonderful useful resource for me as I used to be getting ready for my internship interviews.”

The Speed up Management Heart is likely one of the greatest assets on campus for Tepper college students. It provides one-on-one management teaching and workshops to assist us discover what we really wish to get out of this system. The ALC additionally supplies additional assist in inspecting our values and our management types as we grow to be the following technology of leaders within the worldwide enterprise area. Among the finest a part of the ALC, says Souvik, is that every scholar receives custom-made teaching.

“They helped me establish the cultural variations in interviews between my house nation and the US and guided me to carry out properly in them.”


One among my favourite components about Tepper is the wonderful range of backgrounds and tales that I get to come across by means of this system. This can be a pretty frequent response to the Tepper neighborhood and one shared by Souvik.

“Tepper is a melting pot of many alternative nationalities and cultures. The number of social and affinity golf equipment foster a way of belonging and cohesion.”

The variety of this system helps every scholar develop as a extra well-rounded particular person. With these advantages in thoughts the Tepper MBA scholar authorities has positioned an emphasis on fostering range, fairness, and inclusion. Melissa Bizzari is an entrepreneurship guru, a rising hockey star, and scholar physique president for the MBA program. With all the things that has occurred in 2020, neighborhood has grow to be a focus of the Graduate Enterprise Affiliation (GBA – our scholar authorities). That’s precisely what the MBA program has offered to Melissa.

Christopher Wendt, Tepper College MBA

“Group is core to the Tepper expertise. For me Tepper has created an area the place I will be myself and develop.”

Melissa has been instrumental in fostering a stronger neighborhood at Tepper by putting a give attention to Range, Fairness, and Inclusion (DE&I) to make sure everybody can thrive in this system. This consists of making DE&I one of many major pillars of the GBA, encouraging open communication between college students, and supporting faculty initiatives similar to Range Weekend. This give attention to range at a small program ensures everybody feels welcome once they stroll into Tepper, even because the classroom extends into our properties.

“The intimate class dimension has allowed me to get to know all of my classmates on a private stage,” Bizzari provides. “These numerous relationships are the inspiration to studying from others and feeling comfy taking dangers within the classroom.”

The MBA expertise is decided largely by the neighborhood on the faculty you select to attend. Tepper is a small program. Due to the dimensions, virtually everybody right here has an opportunity to steer, contribute, collaborate, and go away their distinctive mark on the varsity. Nitzan, Souvik, Melissa, and different scholar leaders have helped my class go away a legacy behind for this system.

For me, Tepper is a close to excellent match. Our neighborhood is extraordinarily collaborative to assist the pursuit of targets. Tepper programming encourages worldwide college students to supply distinctive views to us all as we work to use new ideas globally. Lastly, our give attention to range is making certain that Tepper is a extra consultant melting pot the place everybody feels welcomed. We’re all striving to proceed the custom of enriching the Tepper expertise. I’m really excited to see how future courses comply with in our footsteps.

Chris Wendt is a second-year MBA scholar at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper College of Enterprise. From humble beginnings as an aspiring music trainer, Chris has constructed his profession as a digital advertising and marketing guru and spent his summer season internship as a Product Advertising Supervisor at VMware. Chris enjoys music, whiskey sours, mountain climbing, and lengthy walks along with his pet FitBit.

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