"Define your own success; don’t let other people define it for you."

GET TO KNOW DAVID

West Point graduate. Leader. Sports fan. 

Before coming to Tepper, I was a logistics officer in the U.S. Army. In almost six years, I lived in a variety of locations, including upstate New York, Virginia, Texas and southern Afghanistan. I have experience leading teams and working with many diverse individuals and vastly different projects. Although I am very proud of my military accomplishments, I knew that I did not want a life-long career in the Army. Earning my MBA will provide me with a strong foundation of knowledge that I can build upon to become the best business leader possible.

While West Point and the Army provided me with many opportunities to enhance my leadership and teamwork skills, Tepper’s focus on analytics allows me to further develop other skills that will help me be successful after business school. I did not come to Tepper with a quant background. I’ve probably had to work harder than most to make up for it, but I believe that is the point of school. Why would I attend a school where I already know everything, where I won’t be challenged?

I grew up two hours east of Pittsburgh in a small town called Windber. It’s a former coal mining town, a close-knit community tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains, where everybody tends to know everyone. Jobs can be hard to come by, and there’s never anything exciting going on (unless you consider high school athletics exciting), but I still love it. If you happen to find yourself there, go to Rizzo’s restaurant. It’s the best Italian food you’ll ever find for the price. Tell them you know me. They’ll probably have a few choice words to describe me, but in the end, they’ll tell you some interesting stories and give you impeccable service.

CAREER PLANS

My goal is to convert my internship in Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations group to a full-time position.

TEPPER ADVICE

The Tepper Consulting Club hosted a panel with three extremely successful people who were asked, “When did you realize you made it?” And one by one, they all agreed that they had not made it. Each of them have had wildly successful careers, attaining high-level positions at some of the world’s most revered companies, yet none of them were satisfied. If they were, they would not have risen to their current positions. So I gleaned two things from this. One, it is important to take time to reflect on your past performance; but once you are satisfied with your current status, it is time to make a change. Two, define your own success; don’t let other people define it for you.

Also, go to the William Penn Tavern for wing night. You won’t regret it.

YOUR LIFE + TEPPER

It’s hard to generalize a community so diverse in short-term goals, life ambitions and personalities, but I’ll do my best. One of the things I discovered very early at Tepper is that everyone here has an amazing story to tell. And all these stories and experiences tend to be vastly different, which is amazing, but that can also lead to challenging yet valuable learning experiences. Furthermore, almost everyone is very willing to share their experience and advice. If I had to describe the culture outside of the classroom in one word, it would be inclusive.