As part of Scheller’s Countdown to Commencement series, we interviewed a few soon-to-be graduates from our undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs to learn about their backgrounds, why they chose Scheller College, and what they plan to do after Spring 2019 Commencement.
Meet Maggy Deiters:
Maggy is completing her Full-time MBA with concentrations in Business Analytics and Marketing. An Atlanta native, Maggy describes herself as an “art history nerd; dog mom; and pragmatic optimist.”
Undergraduate school and degree (Include graduate school(s) and degree(s) if applicable):
Sewanee: University of the South, Art History
University of Georgia, MA, Art History
Lipscomb University, MEd
Where did you work before enrolling in business school?
I was determined to make a positive change in the world and decided teaching was a good place to start. To achieve this goal, I joined Teach For America and landed myself a job teaching high school English in Antioch, Tenn. After spending three years in my Teach For America placement school, I moved back to Atlanta and joined Charles R. Drew Charter School as the 9th grade English teacher and 9th grade lead. It was an amazing experience because of the students and my fellow staff. Primarily serving a mixed-income housing unit adjacent to the school, I focused on building literacy through making reading fun and critical thinking in real-world situations.
Where did you intern during the summer of 2018?
I interned with Delta Air Lines in Commercial Strategy.
Where will you be working after graduation?
I’ll continue with Delta Air Lines in Commercial Strategy.
Why did you choose Scheller College of Business?
Having very little exposure to business due to my humanities background, I knew I wanted an up-close view into my future as a problem-solver for businesses. Scheller’s practicum courses were the answer I had been seeking; getting to work with NCR, Boeing, and the DeKalb Department of Watershed provided the opportunity to solve real problems for real companies. Additionally, I wanted to challenge the other side of my brain, and the quant-heavy course offerings have been essential to my growth.
Who was your favorite MBA professor (and why)?
This is certainly a challenge since the quality of Scheller professors has been absolutely top-notch – but I would have to say Charles Mulford. He exhibits what can only be described as pure joy when teaching accounting concepts, and quickly establishes a bond with his students through encouraging words and endearing anecdotes. Beyond our core accounting, I took a course on analyzing technological firms and gained insights on my own investing as well how to spot suspicious cash flow on a balance sheet.
Admittedly, two years ago, I don’t think I knew what a financial statement really was, so it has been enlightening to learn such a substantial amount from a professor with such substance. Not only was Professor Mulford an inspiration in best accounting practices, he is a great leader. Professor Mulford inspired me to think more deeply, work more assiduously, and live a life with great purpose, and for that, I am truly grateful.
What was your favorite course (and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it?)
Marketing Research with Cem Ozturk combined my two passions: marketing intuition and the analytics to guide business decisions. This course fundamentally changed how I think about decision-making and gave me the tools to validate my decisions. From building predictive models to testing those models, I felt a spark of excitement as I began to understand the “why behind the what.” Whether it was working through a pricing case or making sense of actual sales for a drug store, I was hooked. Not to mention, Professor Ozturk is a master of pedagogy, winning our “Elective Professor of the Year” award several times. I know I’m not alone in my appreciation for this course!
As a business student in the heart of Tech Square, how do you think Scheller College embodies the intersection of business and technology?
Working with my graduate research assistantship, VentureLab, I get a front-row seat to some of the impressive technologies Georgia Tech generates and the path to commercialization. As a Scheller student, I get to serve as a liaison between the creators and inventors and the business strategy that could propel the technology. Getting to work with the principals at VentureLab, I have learned that neither the business nor the technology can stand alone; instead, the two must be in constant conversation and working together in order to bear the fruit of transformative innovation.
Did the Jones MBA Career Center help you find a job or internship during your time at Scheller or after graduation? Did you end up working or interning for one of your top choice companies?
Absolutely! The Jones MBA Career Center began helping me sort through the job search the summer before classes started. Recommended reading and coaching sessions were followed by some hands-on experiential learning during orientation to help guide my thinking about job pursuits. Thanks to career services, I landed my dream internship at Delta Air Lines, which has turned into my dream job post-graduation.
MBA alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you?
First, I feel more hopeful for the world thanks to Scheller’s alumni and current students. This bunch of people has an unmatched drive and awesome creativity. I feel so lucky to have met and learned from each and every one of them.
Second, thanks to Scheller, I transformed my career and it started with the accumulation of skills. From the jargon and high-level economic concepts to the “into the weeds” technical skills and hands-on, challenging practicums, my ability to perform a number of different roles increased exponentially. This growth was due in large part to the core classes which were both rigorous and fulfilling. Finally, the career coaching was essential in my pivot from high school English teacher to Delta Air Lines intern. My advisor was a support system and a critic. (I am especially grateful for the practice interviewing!)
What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less?
While I couldn’t come to an exact number, as a current student in our Pricing Strategy and Revenue Management class, I feel that the value it’s added to my life and future path is well above what I paid. Scheller is certainly the best bang for my buck…I’d make the same decision again in a heartbeat!
Did you participate in a practicum? If yes, which practicum(s) and what year(s)?
Yes, several! Our strategy practicum was during the first year. My group had the chance to work with NCR. I also participated in the international practicum in Brazil, where I had the chance to work with Boeing in their innovation division. Finally, I took part in our pro bono practicum helping the DeKalb Department of Watershed with analysis of their recent awareness campaigns.
With our strategy practicum, we worked with NCR. As they are making a transition into software, we helped with long-term strategy in their move and run analysis on their competitors. Using some of their key metrics, we showed the potential benefits and threats of a speedy versus a slower transition. The Strategy practicum was a fantastic core class where I got to combine strategy skills with hands-on work with NCR. It helped me prepare to work with a technology-driven firm as our problem was thinking about NCR’s transformation into a software company.
In the International practicum, we built a business case for Boeing using titanium in airplanes. Working with the innovation team, we conducted research and built out the financials to make a case for the advantages of additive manufacturing with titanium. I was excited by the chance to travel abroad and work with Boeing. It solidified my interest in the aviation industry.
For the Pro Bono practicum, we created a survey to test an awareness campaign that the Department of Watershed had recently rolled out. It was exciting to work with the Atlanta government and get to deliver results that were so positive. I wanted to find a way to support my community and exercise my new business skills. It gave me a newfound awareness for the struggles faced by government projects.
Did you participate in any hands-on/experiential learning opportunities? If yes, which projects/companies did you work with and how did you help them?
One of my more hands-on projects was with the Pro Bono practicum. The Department of Watershed had recently revamped its awareness campaign but was unsure if people had gotten the message. Furthermore, they wanted to understand which county zones were getting the message to see if they aligned with the “problem areas” they had been targeting. Our group was able to develop a survey that would be easy to understand and translate if needed, and they gather the results of those surveys to perform some analytics to understand the awareness in different zones. In the end, we were able to help the Department of Watershed figure out where they need to focus and generate ideas for how they might access those harder to reach community members. It was a wonderful experience and felt great to give back to my beloved city of Atlanta!
Did you travel abroad during your time at Scheller? What were some of your key takeaways from the experience?
I sure did! Brazil with the international practicum was an amazing adventure in part because of the wonders of the country and in part because of the fascinating additive manufacturing problem. One of my key takeaways was around cultural awareness. Our group and our clients at Boeing had to learn how to best communicate and it was only then that we could move forward with the project.
If you took part in the international practicum, what company and please provide details of the project? How do you feel your education at Scheller prepared you for those challenges?
Boeing in Brazil – writing a business case for using additive manufacturing with titanium. We researched similar cases and built out financials to prove the possibility of using titanium for Boeing. Scheller prepared me to work with Boeing through providing the technical skills as well as the softer skills to collaborate with the innovation team.
How do you feel your experience with practicums has prepared you for post-graduation?
The practicums gave me a taste of what problems businesses are facing today and how I might approach those problems. It gave me confidence in my ability to think broadly and work with large organizations, but it was also a learning opportunity. Getting to work with such supportive and hands-on sponsors gave me the chance to learn about different ways to approach strategic decision-making. For instance, while in one practicum, much of my learning was about the front end of the project. With the other practicum, I was more focused on more action-oriented decisions.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
My second year as a teacher at Drew Charter School, our 9th grade team of teachers, students, and parents held a symposium for the community. We were raising money for education in the name of stopping child trafficking, specifically motivated by the film "Girl Rising." My students culled knowledge from their core classes and held creative events such as spoken word, games featuring facts around the tragedy of trafficking in third world countries, and even a mathematics exhibit all in the name of raising money to help fund education for this group of girls from the film. The producer of the film flew down to be our key note speaker, and our doors opened to the Atlanta community to come learn with our ninth graders. We raised over $500, and while this may seem miniscule, for a group of fourteen-year-olds from uniquely challenging backgrounds, it felt like a great feat.
My students used what they were learning in class and applied it to a project which would make the world a better place. As I watch those students get accepted to college and make their life plans, I'm proud knowing they remember this project and are still striving to work hard and be a positive change. As I shift into the world of business, I remember this project for all of the transferable skills - working across departments, motivating others, being resourceful, and keeping the big picture in mind.
What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into Scheller College?
My best advice would be: get to know the students! Come chat with us - attend a class. The best way to make your decision about business school is to truly put yourself in the shoes of current students, and they are eager to talk all things Scheller!
What is the biggest myth about Scheller College and how was it the same or different than what you experienced?
The biggest “myth” about Scheller is that its students are a bunch of analytics nerds! Okay… so technically, yes, we’re total analytics nerds, but we’re kind, collaborative, and from a wide range of backgrounds with diverse range of interests from rock climbing to investing to sustainable energy and real estate.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college?
I often say I took the circuitous route to business as my college degrees are in art history and education. It was my parents who encouraged me to pursue my passions of art history and teaching, and those same parents who later supported my decision to get my MBA at Scheller College. Although they took a “hands-off” approach, they were critical in helping me make decisions that led to my current path. They asked tough questions and were eager to learn with me at every step of the way.
Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program?
You will end up loving numbers, so embrace them now before you get started!
How did the extracurricular offerings at Scheller College help you during your time here? Is there anything Scheller didn’t offer that you feel would’ve helped you succeed?
Scheller’s extracurricular activities are wide-ranging and such a value-add to the overall experience. One of my favorite non-academic days of the year is the Scheller Day of Service. From picking up trash to cleaning up weeds around one of Atlanta’s favorite parks, it makes for a great way to give back to our wonderful city.
What activities were you involved with on or off campus, and did your business education impact those activities in any way?
My off-campus activities focused around the community at Drew Charter School. Working as a tutor and offering general guidance around college admission was important to me. In transitioning from teaching to corporate America, I did not want to lose touch with my students or with my roots as an educator. My business education offered a new lens for this work. I was able to help my students think both academically and with some business savvy.
Did you utilize any of Scheller College’s diversity initiatives? How did they help you during your time at the College? (Women in Business, Excel Program, Blacks in Business, Veteran programs, LGBTQ, etc.)
As a member in Women in Business, and later the vice president of Student Engagement, I found the group of women and men in this club fundamental to my Scheller experience. It was a place of thoughtful conversation and interesting speakers. Not only did I get to meet some amazing women, but also the many events hosted by our club from golfoutings to “Bring Your Puppy to School Day” helped bring our class closer together.
What community work and leadership roles did you participate in while at Scheller?
I was Graduate Research Assistant for VentureLab - collaborating and conducting research for entrepreneurs innovating in the tech and science space. As a Scheller MBA Ambassador I promoted the MBA program to prospective students. I was a Scheller Interviewer and conducted interviews with prospective students to help decide the future of Scheller. I served as Vice President, Student Engagement, for Women in Business where I worked with our members and other clubs to engage the women in our community and create empowering experiences. I was on the Alumni Committee hosting major events such as Homecoming. I was selected as the category winner in our annual first year case. I am a Drew Charter School College Essay Tutor where I help Drew’s Juniors and Seniors learn the art of essay writing and submit their final essays to their dream colleges.
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during your time at Scheller and why?
Outside of Scheller, I am most proud of my work tutoring Drew students and helping them write their college essays. While some of them were prior students of mine and some were not, I taught them about the power of story-telling and helped them write compelling essays to their dream schools. While many of these high school students were going to be first-generation college students, I am especially proud as they have received admission to some great colleges including University of Georgia, Yale, Tufts, and my very own Georgia Tech.
Within the Scheller community, I have especially loved roles that allow me to give back to Scheller. For example, on the Alumni Committee, I got to be a problem solver and connector for this year’s student body. A frequently cited issue was lack of substance in networking experiences and I wanted to help turn mediocre conversations into meaningful ones. My idea was a simple one: create casual, open-conversation spaces for alumni and current students within the same industry to get to know one another. My vision came to fruition in the fall with our first dinner. Alumni from all across the city working in technology firms including Amazon, Mailchimp, and Salesforce -- gathered with several tech-focused students and enjoyed some real talk. From pitfalls of the job to the daily aspects that got alum excited, everyone learned something. The alumni enjoyed reminiscing about their favorite professors, and the students were able to make authentic connections that they will be able to carry well into their job searches. Now, the dinners will be annual, and future Scheller students will enjoy this unique opportunity.
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…”
I would be unabashedly hounding sixteen year olds about the importance of grammatically correct semicolon usage; it is the “game-changer” of punctuation.
Anything outdoors! Lately, I’ve enjoyed hiking the trails that surround Atlanta, and am training for a half marathon. And, as a future Delta Air Lines employee, travel is pretty high on the list as well!
What is your favorite movie about business and what was the biggest lesson you learned from it?
Hidden Figures. I learned that superior work wins and smart negotiations can lead to win-win situations for all parties.
What are the top two items on your bucket list?
- I studied abroad in Italy and I’d like to return… mostly for the gelato.
- To cheer 100% of my first group of Drew freshmen students across their graduation stage.
As a friend with a positive attitude and a creative solution to whatever problem needs solving.
Fun fact about yourself:
Although it was a secret at the time, I was my school’s mascot for sporting events in college. My favorite team to cheer on was our women’s lacrosse team -- their teamwork was amazing!