“I always strive to do my best, but I also value building others up and having fun along the way.”

GET TO KNOW DEREK

Bond analyst turned consultant. LGBT Advocate.

I’ve spent the past six years as a bond analyst at Eaton Vance (a large asset manager). Essentially, my job was to research companies, meet with management teams, come up with novel investment ideas and pitch them to fund portfolio managers. 

My background helps me immensely when it comes to thinking about strategic business issues and giving effective presentations. It was also very helpful for those pesky case interviews — future consultants, I got your back!

I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to develop myself as a leader, which for me meant two things. First, having only worked in finance covering a narrow set of industries, I needed to broaden my understanding of all business disciplines. Second, I wanted an environment where I could learn and practice leadership skills. I want to be more than a manager — I want to be inspirational.

Outside of school and work you can find me traveling, most often to Boston to visit my husband, Tim. We miss each other quite a bit, but he does seem to enjoy having twice as much closet space. My main hobbies include yoga, running and cooking.

YOUR LIFE + TEPPER SCHOOL

I chose the Tepper School because I wanted a small program where I’d be able to take on active roles within the community to develop my leadership skills. I think the school has exceeded my expectations on this front — I have the opportunity to serve on multiple club boards (both at the Tepper School and at the university) where I get to work with my classmates to improve the Tepper School experience.

We talk a lot about the close-knit community here. When I was in the depths of recruiting (no amount of reading will prepare you for that emotional roller coaster), we all were there to support each other in our failures and celebrate our victories. Having friends at several other business schools, I can say that is not the case everywhere.

My favorite memory so far is one particular night when I was working with my team late into the night preparing for a case competition. It sounds weird, but some magical bonding happens at 1 a.m. when you’re arguing over what shade of red the chevrons in your PowerPoint deck should be.

The Consulting Club has, no question, made the biggest impact on my career search. Recruiting into a new industry is a black box, and the programming and mentorship the club had in place prepared me for a successful internship search. Now as a board member, I look forward to taking what I’ve learned and paying it forward to the incoming class.

The career center was immensely helpful in my internship search. I first learned about Wayfair through an office visit on one of the Consulting Club’s treks (a trip organized by the TCC and the Career Opportunities Center where students visit companies). During interview season, my counselor helped me effectively navigate multiple scheduling conflicts (and provided some emotional support). Once recruiting was over, they served as a sounding board as I weighed the pros and cons of my offers — I couldn’t be happier with my decision!

I hope to impact the Tepper School community by promoting inclusiveness and understanding at a deep level. Many of the boards I’m on (Out&Allied and Tepper United) are focused on initiatives that will do just that. More specifically, I told my story at O&A’s annual Coming Out Stories to a packed room of people. I think it’s important to humanize the MBA experience, and sharing stories that have something for everyone are a great way to get those conversations going.

TEPPER SCHOOL ADVICE

I think it’s easy to get swept up into doing everything. When you get here, take the time to reflect on what you're passionate about, both professionally and personally, and seek that out first. You'll find much greater satisfaction giving your time to fewer things that you really care about rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

YOUR LIFE + PITTSBURGH

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is that it has all the amenities of a large city — restaurants, theater, museums, night life, etc. — at very accessible prices. I think it’s a great place to be a student.