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Jermaine will start with North Highland Consulting as a senior consultant after graduation.
Jermaine will start with North Highland Consulting as a senior consultant after graduation.

Countdown to Commencement – Jermaine Fanfair

As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we spent some time with a few full-time MBA soon-to-be graduates to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College for their MBA program, and what they plan to do with their degrees after May 5.

Meet Jermaine Fanfair. Jermaine is from Atlanta and earned his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and juris doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. He describes himself as a “lawyer, father, husband, Knicks fan, history & politics nerd, who loves new technology, his beautiful wife and daughter.” Jermaine also loves to grill food year-round and shared that he’s a bit competitive with his brother-in-law sending photos of barbeque and trading grilling tips. Before Scheller, Jermaine managed his own law practice and was also a project manager and team leader for Counsel on Call. He interned with North Highland Consulting during the summer of 2016 and will return to North Highland as a senior consultant after graduation.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?
With the assistance of my wife and daughter, I’m proud of our ability to balance family obligations, my career-change and a full academic course load. We managed my obligations to the TI:GER program, which requires additional time commitments, as well as a full graduate research assistant position. I marvel at how we made it all work with a five year old daughter in school. There were times when I arrived at a team meeting with classmates and had some of my daughter’s toys falling out of my bag… let’s just say the lines of family, school and work were occasionally blurry.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
Representing clients in court hearing and trials. It taught me great composure, presence and how to passionately advocate for the interests of clients.

Who was your favorite MBA professor?
Professor Charles Mulford. Professor Mulford is a great person and an incredible instructor. He is a natural teacher. Professor Mulford has the ability to take the most abstract concepts in accounting and bring them to life. I am not kidding when I share that he performed a scene in class that was a conversation between direct cash and indirect cash, challenging each other on their respective differences. He performed both roles. Professor Mulford is brilliant (and a talented actor as well…).

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?
This is a tie. I have been molded in many ways by the TI:GER program that spans three semesters. I gained fundamentals about the innovation and commercialization process for new technology. I also really enjoyed Frank Rothaermel’s strategy course. I wanted to stand up and applaud at the end of each class. Professor Rothaermel teaches strategy with such precision. I marvel at his energy and level of engagement.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general?
I enjoyed being part of a social and professional circle that was completely unfamiliar to me and has now become my primary network. I also enjoyed the chance to challenge myself more than at any previous stage in my career.

Scheller offered the opportunity for instant differentiation on my resume. Since I already had a legal background and was interested in technology consulting, I believed that focusing on innovation at Scheller would allow me to distinguish myself in both the startup community as well as with consulting firms. Scheller has helped me in both of those areas.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you?
The level of engagement with peers. Business school really helps facilitate team dynamics. Through the process you learn a lot about your individual strengths as well as key contributions to your teams.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller’s MBA program?
I’d advise them to understand what differentiates Scheller from other business schools and understand how they fit into Scheller’s mission. It’s important to understand what you can offer Scheller and its community, as well as what you’ll gain.

What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
Georgia Tech students are socially challenged based on high technical aptitude. Anyone who has been to a social knows that this is false! I cannot keep up with the social calendar at Scheller.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…”
Solving the business challenges of my clients seemed more intriguing than simply resolving their legal issues.

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…”
Using Wikipedia to try to understand contribution margin.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?
To inspire others, and to help build something lasting.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?  
My wife and daughter. They are each super supportive and collectively serve as my muse.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
I’d like my peers to remember me as someone who helped enhance their learning experience, as all of them enhanced my own.


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