Peter Regan teaching
MBA Math at Tuck
About MBA Math - Board of Advisors
The MBA Math Board of Advisors consists of current MBA students from top MBA programs who used
the MBA Math course before starting business school. As experts in the MBA first year experience, they are uniquely
positioned to provide guidance and feedback on priorities for improving and extending the MBA Math course.
Below, they introduce themselves, their pre-MBA efforts, and their first-year experience.
Kate Canale, Darden School of Business at University of Virginia, Class of 2009
Michael Converse, Anderson School of Business at University of California at Los Angeles, Class of 2009
I have spent the last 8 years, after graduating from Harvard University,
working in feature film production and development for Sony Pictures
Entertainment and Universal Studios. Most recently, I completed an internship
at Comerica Bank. Through my career in the entertainment industry, I gained
experience solving unique business problems in a high pressure environment,
through relationship building, content development, project management,
financial analysis, and creative problem solving.
MBA Math was essential in preparing me for business school. After I passed out
of the statistics requirement at Harvard University as an undergraduate I spent
my time focused largely on humanities-based liberal arts courses. Additionally,
I had been out of the academic world for close to 8 years before I decided to
seek a graduate degree in business at UCLA Anderson. Needless to say it had
been a long time between quantitative courses for me. MBA Math gave me a
structured, go-at-your-own-pace outlet for me to prepare for the first semester
of business school. The early preparation not only allowed me to avoid getting
lost but also enabled me to understand and enjoy more of what was being taught.
I, with my classmates, found the first semester at UCLA Anderson to be
intensely academically rigorous and demanding. I know that being able to
prepare for it in the spare time leading up to the fall allowed me to excel AND
to enjoy the amazing experience.
Jelka Dasent, McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin, Class of 2009
After college, I joined Price Waterhouse where I worked as an intern and
pursued my chartered accountancy exams, graduating as a Chartered Accountant. I
then went on to obtain 12 years of industry experience in the manufacturing and
banking sectors, where I gained solid analytical and problem solving skills. I
have been responsible for identifying and resolving financial reporting issues,
as well as generating innovative methods to improve processes. Finally, before
coming back to graduate school, I took on a team leadership role, in the
restructuring and sale of the credit card and retail segments of the bank in
which I was employed.
I am now in my second semester, as a first year MBA student, at The McCombs
School of Business at University of Texas at Austin. The MBA Math internet tool
was instrumental to my smooth transition to graduate school. After completing
the first semester and doing very well, I was pleased with the time that I
invested working through the respective mbamath modules. This internet tool
allowed me to learn essential elements of the core that I was unfamiliar with
and to revise topics that I had previous exposure to, all at my own pace.
After completing the first and debatably the most challenging semester, I would
strongly recommend that all incoming MBA candidates use this tool both before
school starts and certainly during the first year, as needed. I guarantee that
students who use this user-friendly learning tool will be at a definite
advantage if the essential quantitative skills are well known.
Jessica Grote, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 2009
I am a second year MBA student at Washington University’s Olin Business School.
I graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign where I served as President of the Women in Architecture
organization and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. Before returning to graduate
school, I worked at an engineering firm and was highly involved in my community
as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and United Way. Now at Olin, I am
concentrating in Brand Management and Marketing Consulting/Strategy while
serving as President of the Olin Marketing Association.
As an MBA student with a non-business background, I found MBA Math to be
particularly helpful. The lessons gave me a comprehensive overview of the
quantitative work that would be performed during the core curriculum of the
program. MBA Math is unique in that it provides the flexibility to work at
one’s own pace to meet personal objectives. It’s a great transition to graduate
Joshua Izzard, Graduate School of Business at University of Chicago, Class of 2009
I am a first year full-time MBA student at Chicago GSB. I hold undergraduate-
and graduate-level degrees from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory,
which I completed as a concert pianist--so it is true that people from all
professions do go to top MBA programs.
In addition to my extensive performing career, I have many years of experience
in entrepreneurship, finance (most recently as an equities trader) and direct
investment in Russia, where I spent nine years after leaving my native United
States. While my education up to MBA level had been entirely musical, I had
considerable exposure to quantitative material at work and was thus not too
unprepared for the rigors of an MBA.
As I had thought of going into investment banking after business school, I
thought that Chicago GSB would be an excellent school to go to based on both
its reputation in finance and on its placement rates. I have been consistently
surprised by the quantitative rigor of courses at GSB, and have needed Excel in
all of my classes thus far. Calculus has proven necessary in exactly half of my
courses, statistics in all courses (in some form or another). I plan to expand
on these comments on the MBA Quant blog.
My experience during the first two quarters at Chicago GSB has been
immeasurably enhanced by the fact that I spent the time necessary to go through
all of the sections and problems on MBA Math. In fact, I continue to use it as
a reference or reminder of certain things even though we have gone into greater
depth long since. I cannot recommend this course enough.
Amos Peverill, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Class of 2010
After years of bumping the glass ceiling, I started planning on going back to
school for an MBA, but, when I saw what was about to happen to our economy, I
decided to move the plan up to immediate status. This is a great time to be
retooling and investing in your mind, especially if you come from a finance or
real estate related business, and that certainly includes me.
I’ve been in the realm of commercial real estate for awhile, so TVM
calculations were not unfamiliar, but the MBA Math program was a great tool for
revisiting the core quant areas that I’ve been using this year at the Pamplin
Business College at Virginia Tech. Pamplin’s program is strong on the
quantitative side, particularly for a finance concentration, so I would rate
MBA Math as an important investment in my success so far. I finished my first
semester with a 3.94 GPA while carrying an overload of courses, and I found it
really helped to get a running start by revisiting the concepts in a very
I’m interested in global issues in business and finance and am excited about
the possibilities that are opening up for me.
I wish you all the success you plan for and welcome you to a great and
Amber Rieg, Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, Class of 2010
I attended Wake Forest University where I majored in Communications and played
varsity volleyball. My first job was with the Baltimore Orioles, where I was
responsible for VIP ticket sales during the 2003 baseball season. In 2004, I
moved to Boston and began working for a communications consulting firm where my
responsibilities included: managing the development and execution of a range of
marketing communications strategies as primary client contact for corporate and
political campaigns, creating and implementing crisis communications and
strategic plans, authoring op-eds and letters to the editor and representing
corporations as spokesperson for print, radio and television interviews.
I am currently a first year student at the Johnson School participating in the
Strategic Brand Immersion. Because my background was not quant-heavy, before
beginning classes at the Johnson school, I used MBA Math to learn the
fundamental quantitative skills that were needed throughout my first year.
Michael Shannon, Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, Class of 2010
I am a first year student at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of
Business. I hold an undergraduate degree from Miami University of Ohio where I
majored in English Literature. To say that an MBA degree is a bit different
from an English background is an understatement. However, I have found that the
communication skills that are developed as a liberal arts student have proven
to be an asset. Before I came to Notre Dame, I worked for a greeting card
company as a sales manager. I currently am concentrating in the marketing and
consulting business areas, where I hope to pursue a career in this area.
Not having the quantitative background, I needed a primer before I immersed
myself in business school. MBA Math proved to be quite valuable as a way to get
a head start. Excel, balance sheets, and equity were all foreign terms that I
needed to master rather quickly at ND, and MBA Math certainly reviews these
Like many business schools, Notre Dame is no different in that it will
challenge you in ways that are unheard of as an undergraduate, or the "real
world" for that matter. Once your orientation begins, prepare to be overwelmed.
MBA Math helped me to get the fundamentals down, which were vital to my
success. I stand behind MBA Math, and encourage you to try it.
R'Kes Starling, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, EMBA Class of 2010
After I graduated from pharmacy school from Purdue University, I became a
registered pharmacist. Over the last nine years, I have been in various
leadership roles in healthcare. As a result, I began to informally gain basic
fundamentals of business accounting and finance. As my level of
responsibilities increased, it became ever more important to formally sharpen
my competencies in Excel, accounting, finance and statistics. Therefore, I
decided to seek greater knowledge and understanding.
Unlike the other MBA Math Advisors, I am enrolled in an Executive MBA program
at Kellogg (Miami Campus). As a part of the admission process, I was encouraged
by the Admission Committee to take the MBA Math on-line course to demonstrate
my quantitative latitude and to prepare for the rigorous quantitative courses.
Again, due to the pharmacy curriculum, I had never taking accounting/finance
courses and I was really concerned about keeping up in the accelerated program.
After successful completion of the course, I was granted admission to the
Due to having a non-business background, I have found the MBA math course to be
extremely helpful. More specifically, in my Accounting and Statistic courses, I
felt very knowledgeable about the basic fundamentals and was able to spend more
time on the core business concepts. Also, I have used MBA Math as a resource to
refresh my knowledge in methodologies leading up to particular courses. The “go
at your own” pace option allowed me greater flexibility and convenience.
Overall, I am strongly satisfied with the math lessons that MBA Math provided
and would highly recommend this course as comprehensive overview for any MBA
Anne Thompson, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Class of 2009
As someone who hadn’t solved a math problem since high school I owe my
admission to the Tuck Class of 2009 to MBA Math. During the admission process I
relied on MBA Math as an additional indicator of my quantitative abilities. In
preparing for the first year core curriculum at Tuck, going through MBA Math
again provided me with the confidence and the necessary tools to stay
up-to-speed with my classmates.
Professionally I have spent the past six years as a non-profit fundraiser –
first for a small arts-based non-profit in New York City, and then on a larger
scale as a major gift officer for Yale University, my own alma mater. In my job
I relied on Excel more as a recording tool than as a partner in solving complex
calculations and valuations. The MBA Math program helped ease me into the
“language of business school” and allowed me to see the value in developing
basic proficiency in key areas. This is not to say that the Tuck core
curriculum was made easy after taking MBA Math, but rather it was made
manageable and I had a familiarly with the material that allowed me to come up
the learning curve faster during the term. MBA Math, and Professor Regan in
particular have my full endorsement!
Andrew Troisi, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2010
After deciding to attend Wharton, I wanted to prepare for what I knew would be
a very analytical and rigorous program. Coming from a “non-traditional”
background, I sought a fundamental knowledge of the accounting, statistics and
finance topics that are a central part of the first year curriculum. MBA Math
offered that, and more. Working through the material on my own allowed me to
put extra emphasis on unfamiliar material. The course topics were clearly
outlined and the lectures and exercises gave a nice overview of the content I
encountered in greater depth when the academic year began. On more than one
occasion during the school year, I logged back in to MBA Math for a quick
refresher. The first year (and particularly the first semester) MBA curriculum
was very fast paced – I strongly believe taking the time to familiarize myself
with the basics was a prudent decision.
I recently completed my first year at Wharton, where I am majoring in finance
and strategic management. Prior to business school, I was a press secretary for
the City of New York.
Click here to
view bios and testimonials from past members of the MBA Math Board of Advisors