Onetto Receives Community Welcome

Tepper School of Business students, faculty, alumni and staff were dressed for the occasion as they packed Pittsburgh’s elegant Carnegie Music Hall for the 2014 Welcome and Awards Reception. Along with the Alumni Awards, four outstanding students were honored and keynote speaker and Alumni Achievement Award honoree, Marc Onetto, MSIA’75, imparted his insight with humor and humility.

Tepper School of Business students, faculty, alumni and staff were dressed for the occasion as they packed Pittsburgh’s elegant Carnegie Music Hall for the 2014 Welcome and Awards Reception. Held August 24, the event drew second-years excited to return and first-years eager to begin, ready for the start of class the following morning.

“The Welcome and Awards Reception allows us to reconnect and welcome our incoming graduate students into the Tepper School community,” said Dean Robert Dammon in opening the evening’s festivities, “and also gives us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the exceptional achievements and outstanding service of our current students and alumni.”

Along with the 2014 Alumni Awards, four outstanding students were honored:

  • Arjun V. Gokhale Spirit Award – Monique Hutcherson, MBA ’15
  • McGowan Fellowship Award – Amanda Olar, MBA ’15
  • Part-time MBA Academic Achievement Award – Naveen Gupta, MBA ’15
  • Henry Ford II Scholarship Award – Tyler Deschamps, MBA ’15

The evening’s keynote speaker and Alumni Achievement Award honoree, Marc Onetto, MSIA ’75, later took the podium to impart his invaluable insight with humor and humility.

Onetto’s remarkably distinguished career includes serving as the top operations executive for two of the most renowned business leaders of our time, GE’s Jack Welch and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, as well as revolutionizing manufacturing with his ‘Made Next to the Consumer’ theory. His tireless advocacy of the Tepper School and its graduates enabled Amazon to become the top recruiter at the Tepper School (and Carnegie Mellon).

His dedication to the school also includes MBA fellowship support and service on the Business Board of Advisors since 2007, as well as attending and hosting countless events for the alumni, students, staff and faculty of the Tepper School community.

Onetto commented on the unprecedented rate of change he’d experienced over his 41-year career and credited his education with helping him to meet it successfully.

Noting his expectation of continued – likely accelerated change – he outlined four fundamentals learned at the Tepper School, “useful for the next 41 years of change.”

1.      Number one –play according to the rules of the game. Stay honest. Don’t cheat. There’s only black and white. If you think it’s gray, it’s black.

2.   Global teamwork. I learned to work with people very different from me, people from all over the world. Through my career, I worked with people from 32 countries.

3.   Accounting. It’s so important. If you want to play the game and play it honestly, you’d better understand how to keep score.

4.   A quantitative approach to business. That has been clearly at the heart of my success and my achievements. At Amazon, I could challenge them, I could lead them because of what I learned here – the quantitative approach to business. 

“Sometimes they call us a geek school,” Onetto said with a smile. “But the geeks are now ruling the world and with the innovation and progress ahead of us, I believe will do so for a while.” The room burst into rousing cheers.

“You are going to be amongst them because you will know how to manage success quantitatively,” he added in closing. “What you are going to learn here will be instrumental. I wish you the best of success in life.”

Following Onetto’s remarks, the group adjourned to a festive reception. A number of second-years gathered around Monique Hutcherson to offer their congratulations, ready to mingle with the incoming class.

“The Tepper School community is very important to all of us,” said Hutcherson. “We try our best to really help each other.”

“I believe it’s an obligation to help the class before me,” agreed Horacio Munoz, MBA ’15. “It’s part of the culture here. Cooperation is key to the smaller nature of the school.”

“It’s our first opportunity to welcome the first-years to the family,” added Grant Stewart, MBA ’15. “It’s like the first true family reunion for us.”