Our Final Reflections on Business School Series profiles a handful of soon to be MBA Graduates at top MBA Programs as they share with us their parting thoughts.
You won’t find many students who are as involved as Tony Morash (Kenan-Flagler, ’16) on campus at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Admist his many duties and responsibilities, Tony took some time to reflect on his two years in Chapel Hill and shared with us his thoughts on how he stayed fully engaged while in business school
MBASchooled: What will you miss most about your MBA experience?
Tony: The people, without question. We had such a wonderful group of classmates that got along well and really made each day a lot of fun. The classes, group projects, socials, UNC basketball games, dinners, etc. – none of that is any fun without an extraordinary group of friends and classmates with whom to share it. I’ll absolutely miss the academic environment in which you have the freedom to learn and debate topics that are immediately relevant to our business careers, but that’s a distant second to our community.
MBASchooled: What is your favorite memory of business school?
Tony: Besides winning Blue Cup (our annual competition against Fuqua) in both years…I’d have to say the weekly poker and scotch nights that I shared with the most exceptional group I could ask for. Those nights really encompassed everything that was special about business school. We could shoot the breeze about politics, business, or sports, debate at the top of our lungs, and have a blast doing it. The group was a little microcosm of business school anyway, with guys heading into consulting, real estate, tech giants, startups, finance, etc. Kenan-Flagler always talks about how important it is to bring your perspective to school, and that – of all places – was where that perspective always felt most valuable.
MBASchooled: What are you most proud of from your MBA experience?
Tony: I’m most proud of how engaged I was for the full two years. To the bitter end, I was still working on Consulting Club events like our Spring Curriculum, which helps 1Ys and 2Ys get ready to head back into the workforce. I was also trying to take more technical classes in data analytics, pricing, etc. to make sure I was ready to go in my new career too. I think I’ll look back on the experience and be really proud that I stayed checked in the whole way, particularly since it helped me be available to 1Ys during recruiting, put a few extra smiles on people’s faces, and gave me two full years to make my mark on our program.
MBASchooled: What part of you has undergone the most transformation while in business school?
Tony: The salesman in me has absolutely developed in business school. I don’t mean that in a slimy way, but more that I learned how to be persuasive in my arguments and presentations. When I think back to our first case competition (the Deloitte Case Competition in the fall of first year) to now, my ability to assess the client’s needs, build a business case that makes sense, and deliver a compelling story has grown exponentially. Even before business school, I had the elements of these things, but in my classes, work with the Consulting Club, and summer internship really provided me the skills and confidence to bring it all together.
MBASchooled: Who is someone who has had a positive influence on you while in business school?
Tony: There really were so many, and I thought about this question for a long time. I’ll give you just two, although I’m leaving out a dozen others.
First was a guy named David Kearns, who was a year ahead of me and has since gone on to Deloitte. He was my career mentor, also a fellow in the Kenan Institute at UNC, and an enormous influence as I recruited for consulting. More than anyone else, he was my go-to when I needed advice picking between activities, getting ready for interviews, etc. I also tried to absorb and emulate David’s demeanor. He could be such a positive guy, but he’d never hesitate to give you the truth, and that’s not an easy thing to do among your peers. He’s a great leader for that very reason Most importantly, he showed me how fully committing to what you were doing (whether a simple class, case, or slide deck, or a full summer internship) doesn’t mean sacrificing your family.
Second, and this goes without saying, is my wife. It is literally impossible to put in words how much spouses put up with to let us live our dream at business school, so when she tolerated these two years with a smile on her face, she helped me have the energy to make the most of the experience. This was critical for us as we started to think about how the post-business school consulting lifestyle is going to impact our family, and she always brought out the best in me as I tried to find my way.
MBASchooled: Is there anything that you haven’t gotten to do that you wish you had done?
Tony: I wish I had been able to take advantage of our program’s global opportunities over the two years. I spent a lot of my pre-business school education/career living and working abroad, so this wasn’t really a priority for me. I also had a few big life events (my wedding included) that obviously took precedent.
However, when I hear about the experiences my classmates had, particularly the two week treks to explore a country through a business lens, I wish I had been able to take advantage of that experience too. That will be invaluable for them as we work for global companies.
MBASchooled: Where do you hope to be in five years?
Tony: Ah, the great unknown. I know more about the characteristics of where I want to be, as opposed to a location or job. Let’s assume that I’m lucky enough to be a manager at Deloitte in five years, still working my tail off out of the McLean office. I want to: be loan free (!), have found my home in an industry or service line, and have found a firm where I could stay forever if I wanted to. Most critically to me, I want to prove to myself that I have value to add. I want folks in our firm to be able to say “You need someone to do X project? Tony is your guy”.
Thinking outside of the corporate sphere, I’m a big proponent of giving back as soon as you can, so I’d like to have found 2-3 non-profits that I can add value to with my skillset. I’m already working with one to help paralyzed veterans reintegrate into the workforce, so I need to keep my eyes open for other opportunities!