Kevin Barry, MBA alumni of Boston College Carroll School of Management, discusses the unique aspects and greatest assets of his MBA program, how his business school degree helped propel his career at S&P Global. He also shares his "dos and don'ts" for prospective students.
Name: Kevin Barry
School: MBA, Boston College, Carroll School of Management
Hometown: Manhasset, NY
What has been your favorite classroom experience?
My favorite classroom experience was the experiential learning course called TechTrek West. The course involved a week-long field study to Seattle and Silicon Valley where we would have sessions with senior executives, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. During the sessions we would connect with BC alums at high-profile companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Amazon, and Twitter. It was a great opportunity to soak in the knowledge of the experienced professionals and ask questions. It was also inspirational to visit WePay and thredUP to see how start-ups have successfully grown their companies.
In addition, another favorite experience was the Diane Weiss Consulting competition – our team worked directly with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and we were able to immediately apply our data analytics coursework which felt rewarding.
What is your program’s greatest asset?
The MBA program at Boston College is very focused on building practical skillsets. The career service center works very closely with employers to get a sense of what sort of technical skills are desired in the marketplace. There is a lot of thought put into the core curriculum to ensure that each student has the core technical skills to be successful. As part of the core, students have the opportunity to learn SQL and R. The program is also focused on professional development and provides extensive case study training to prepare you for interviews, and public speaking workshops to ensure that you have an executive-ready presence as you re-enter the workforce.
What do you think makes your MBA program and experience unique?
Boston College is unique due to the type of individuals it attracts and its innovative curriculum. Programs like Manager’s Studio and Boston’s College Chief Executive Club bring CEOs from Fortune 500 companies onto campus. The Shea Center for Entrepreneurship gives students the mentorship and support needed to get their ventures started. Additionally, study abroad opportunities like International Consulting Project allow students to travel abroad to countries like China and Peru and get global experience. Boston College students tend to be very involved with campus activities and community service. The student government also does a great job with organizing campus events such as trivia nights, 5K runs, football tailgates, and intramural soccer and flag football.
Why did you choose your MBA program? Do you have any advice for students on how to make a decision?
When I was searching for business schools, I wanted to find a program that had a strong faculty for finance and accounting. Additionally, I wanted a school that had a tightly-knit community, strong parent brand, and loyal alumni network. When I was making my list of schools, Boston College had my requirements. Boston College also had many intangibles that made the school feel like home – collaborative and down-to-earth student body, beautiful campus, Division-1 sports, and being in a great metropolitan city.
When prospective students are looking at schools, there are many considerations. They should look at the school’s employment statistics to get a sense of what type of companies actively recruit on campus. They should ask themselves what they are looking for out of their MBA, and reach out to current students and alumni to see if the school is the right fit. Boston College has always impressed me with its deep sense of community, and I am happy I chose the Carroll School of Management.
How much are you in touch with the alumni network? Are they helpful in making connections with companies? What did you learn about creating and utilizing networks during your MBA?
The Boston College network has been amazing and incredibly supportive. Throughout my internship and job search, I reached out to many alumni and received great advice and support. Career services at Boston College is top-notch and they are well-connected to the alumni base which makes it easy to establish connections. The culture of the school is alumni going out of their way to help. Networking is a large part of the MBA experience, and I am grateful that the Carroll School of Management at Boston College has such a dedicated and influential network.
Advice for Future Applicants
What are some dos and don'ts in the MBA preparation process?
It is helpful for candidates to have a clear understanding of what they want to get out of their MBA experience. By having clear goals, it will make it easier to write focused essays and have a compelling interview. In terms of process, it is best to first focus on GMAT preparation since the score is valid for five years. For essays, research the website thoroughly and do not just write a generic essay. It is important to demonstrate how the school is the right fit and how the program will help you accomplish your career goals.