Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Tommy Jaeger, New York University (Stern)
“A shameless, self-deprecating contestant who’s always up for a good time or an adventure.”
Hometown: Denver, CO
fun fact about yourself: I’m the 1999 Denver Stock Show Champion Mutton Bustin’! (Mutton Bustin is the rodeo event in which kids ride sheep for as long as they can.)
Undergraduate and major school: United States Military Academy; BS in Systems Management
Most recent employer and job title: United States Army; Armored Officer – Assistant Operations Officer
What excites you most about living in New York and how do you think it enhances your learning experience? I like the atmosphere of the city and the melting pot of talent that it is. You’re always surrounded by professionals, and it seems like every big company has a big office here, making it the ultimate playground for MBA students.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of NYU Stern’s MBA programming that made you choose this business school and why was it so important to you? NYU Stern objectively has the best MBA program for veterans. The Fertitta Veterans Scholarship and Program is the only one of its kind in the country. It can be a daunting time for veterans, but Stern puts veterans first and eases the transition from military to civilian service.
What class, club, or activity are you most excited about at NYU Stern? (and why)? There are two! The first is the Management Consulting Association (MCA) because I look forward to learning, preparing, and meeting other consulting hopefuls. Second, Stern FC. As a former Division 1 college football player, I’m excited to be back in organized football with my fellow MBA students!
What does EQ (emotional intelligence) mean to you and when have you seen its value in your career? For me, being able to connect, understand and have meaningful relationships with people is what EQ is all about. I used it every day in the army as an officer. You constantly work with people of all kinds who come from different walks of life and have different backgrounds. Being able to build a meaningful relationship with your soldiers is an important skill for every officer.
Describe your biggest achievement in your career so far: Simply put: serve honorably and impact those around me for 6.5 years in the US military. I enjoyed working with and helping shape the future leaders and soldiers of the United States.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My wife and I decided last year that it was time for me to pursue another career outside of the military. After much research and conversations with friends and mentors, I decided it would be best to pursue an MBA to pivot into an industry and profession that I found interesting. One of the areas I intend to explore at Stern is management consulting. I love the idea of being exposed to different industries while developing a wide range of skills as I begin my professional career outside of the military.
What is one thing you have recently read, watched or listened to that you would highly recommend to future MBAs? Why? My recommendation would be to dedicate time each day to reading the the wall street journal. Before starting the Fertitta Veterans Program at Stern, I started reading the the wall street journal every day. You begin to familiarize yourself with the terminology and better understand the financial landscape which becomes relevant to the class and the companies you wish to work for.
What other MBA programs have you applied to? I also applied to the University of Minnesota, Georgetown, UC Berkeley, University of Virginia, Northwestern, and UCLA.
What advice would you give to help potential candidates gain admission to the NYU Stern MBA program? Every school wants high test scores, good GPAs, and strong letters of recommendation. Stern attaches great importance to equalization. This is how you can distinguish yourself from everyone else. Understand your emotional intelligence and use it to stand out and be able to explain why you are a good candidate for Stern.