As part of our Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate and MBA programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Fall 2018 Commencement.
Meet Hunter Dreidame:
Hunter hails from Lexington, Kentucky, and is completing his Executive MBA (EMBA) in Global Business. Describing himself as a “socially conscious leader with a passion for optimization and sustainability,” Hunter is also a soon-to-be “Double Jacket,” who completed his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Where are you employed and what do you do there?
I work am Director of Operations at Qrypt Inc. in New York, on the 83rd floor of One World Trade Center. From annual budget creation to hiring decisions to analytics, I oversee all operational aspects of the company and keep it running day-to-day, reporting directly to the CEO.
Did your position change as a result of the EMBA program?
Yes; I was in a different role at a different company. My new role is responsible for the overall health of the company and I have influence and control over pieces of the business that would not have been possible before the EMBA program.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
Having received my undergrad degree from Georgia Tech, I knew just how challenging and thorough another Tech degree would be. So, shortly after moving to Atlanta at the end of 2016, I attended an info session at Scheller and was sold on the program. I didn’t even apply anywhere else.
Why did you choose the Executive MBA program?
I’ve always resisted the time commitment needed for another degree, specifically the duration. Already well into my career, I was not wanting to drop everything for a full-time program and I wasn’t interested in spending two-and-a-half to three years hacking away at a part-time program. Scheller’s 17-month program was perfect! And, of course, I was also excited about learning alongside other executives.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
There were so many great professors, I’m not sure I could pick just one. Atalay Atasu, Lucien Dhooge, Matt Higgins, Manpreet Hora, Ravi Subramanian, and Debby Turner stand out as favorites among a field of wonderful faculty. They all stand out for their passion for teaching, continued preparation to always be current, and ready availability.
What was your favorite course?
Comparative Studies with Alex Oett was my favorite course. I appreciated the clean structure of the class that allowed us to thoroughly breakdown through thoughtful, in-depth, in-class discussion. Through it, I was able to gain insight into considerations that need to be taken when considering international expansion.
What is your best advice to someone interested in getting their MBA at Georgia Tech Scheller College?
Go for it! And when you go through program, give it your all and be prepared for every class. The more prepared you are for the lectures, the more you’re going to get out of it. The professors are outstanding, so make sure you take advantage of their expertise while you’re there.
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College?
I’m not sure I know of any myths about Scheller College. Prior to joining the program, I spoke with several alumni who said the program is very demanding and challenging. The truth is, the program is exactly as demanding as you want it to be.
What was the topic/ business issue for your capstone assignment? How did your team address/solve the problem?
Our team has been working with Gulfstream to create a picture of what their customers are going to look like 20 to 30 years from now. We did this through industry interviews, journal and publications research, wealth analytics, and more. Through this process, we were able to provide an assessment of new areas where Gulfstream may want to focus product development and sales over the next few decades.
How do you feel your capstone experience has prepared you for post-graduation?
Going into the EMBA program, I was strongly considering a career shift and moving into consulting. Among other things I learned over the past 17 months, this helped reinforce that, in fact, I do not want to be a consultant! At no fault to the capstone, this was great exposure to what consulting looks like, and I realized that I prefer investing myself into a single company and focus over changing from project-to-project and client-to-client.
What were some of your key takeaways from the China international trip?
Both Beijing and Shanghai, whose subway systems were almost non-existent 30 years ago, now have subway systems that rival those of any modern, major city. It was also very interesting to witness the blooming entrepreneurial environment in China. Given strict governmental oversight and regulations, I had not expected to see small, driven startups. It was thrilling to see so many young companies starting to take flight.
Did you participate in one of the optional trips?
I participated in the trip to Panama and loved it. Georgia Tech has deep roots in Panama, thanks to the Panama Canal, and as such, we were able to have visits with the CEOs of several large companies. They were able to offer frank insight into their own organizations and industries, which helped paint a great picture of how businesses grow and function in Latin America.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…”
If I hadn’t gone to business school, I likely would have transitioned into a consulting role. With the EMBA program now nearly complete, I know for sure that my passion and future life are in operations scalability and business growth strategy. Business school helped me figure out what I wanted my next position to be.
Fun fact about yourself:
I once ran the New York City Marathon wearing a carrot costume!
Crossword and jigsaw puzzles; playing the violin, viola, ukulele, or concertina; soccer; reading; and learning new languages.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?
As someone who always brought his A-game and was a positive contribution to their EMBA experience.