Career check-in: 2022 MBA grads start impactful new roles

Brenton Ho (MBA ’22) was about to graduate. He needed a job, but the hunt had been a whirlwind. The interviews were intense. Some companies never called back. Others had interesting offers but weren’t quite the right fit.

Then Samsung offered him a job, and he took it.

Two months into the new role, Ho is only starting out in one of the largest American tech companies, and by all indications, he chose well. He loves his schedule. He thrives in the collaborative culture.

And Ho isn’t the only MBA grad whose job search was a success: 100% of the Freeman Full-Time MBA class of 2022 accepted job offers by three months post-graduation.

Carla Coury, executive director of Freeman’s Career Management Center, said right now, employers are deeply interested in hiring MBA graduates, following a dip in interest during the first part of the pandemic. Many top companies value the degree because of MBA students’ specialized training and fresh ideas.

Brenton Ho, Samsung

Brenton Ho, Tulane MBAHo is based in Dallas, but his Thursday and Friday remote work schedule makes trips home to New Orleans easy.

He is a finance manager for U.S. retail operations at Samsung. His role focuses on financial planning and analysis, and it’s his job to submit and provide funding to get the company’s watches, tablets, smartphones and other devices into thousands of stores across the country.

“There’s so much back-end planning,” Ho said. That comes with questions: “Does it align with our budget? How much is it going to cost?”

He works closely with Samsung’s marketing department to answer those questions. He also works with upper-level management to get budget approval on company projects. And with a background in accounting plus an MBA from Freeman, Ho is equipped for that level of analysis and collaboration.

Right now, the work is busy. But it’s also exciting – Ho wanted to work at a big company, and now he’s helping drive the success of a major American tech firm.

His MBA marked a shift: he had worked in accounting at small healthcare companies before, but he was determined to work somewhere bigger. At Freeman, he realized that goal was within his reach.

“The MBA opened my eyes to the bigger picture,” Ho said. “It made me believe that this is actually possible.”

Now, he communicates with dozens of departments from supply chains to marketing. The size of the company and breadth of coworkers is much different than the work environments Ho was used to. But he’s proud to have made the shift, and now, Samsung’s size is Ho’s favorite part of the job.

“I get to work with so many people,” he said. “That’s been eye-opening.”

Maggie Robert, GRIPNR

Maggie Robert, Tulane MBAMaggie Robert (MBA ’22) works fully remote from her home in New Orleans. So does the rest of her small team at the local tech startup, GRIPNR.

GRIPNR is a Web3 company that is “bringing tabletop roleplaying games to the blockchain,” Robert said.

Robert was new to the industry, so she dove into research, listening to podcasts and reading books to learn about the world of cryptocurrency.

The jumble of new words eventually started to make sense – GRIPNR is creating an online game that people play by buying non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as game characters. An NFT is essentially a digital asset, and each character in the game is tied to an NFT. That means players can use the characters to earn real money if they succeed in the game.

A connection at Freeman led her to the job. GRIPNR’s CEO partnered with one of Robert’s professors during her MBA. That led her to a summer job at another of the CEO’s ventures, and eventually to her role now at GRIPNR.

The MBA also gave Robert a broader understanding of how a company operates: now she understands the whole picture, not just her role in marketing. With that knowledge, maybe she’ll even start her own company someday, she said.

And the job still means Robert is using all her marketing skills – just in a radically different way.

“It’s the same tactics that I’m using. It’s just building a community of people who want to be a part of what we’re doing,” Robert said. “It’s just in different places and a whole new language.”

Lloyd Lyons, CVS

Lloyd Lyons, MBALloyd Lyons (MBA ’22) wanted a career in healthcare and technology, and it came with a mission.

“How do we make patients’ lives better?” he said.

Now Lyons is a manager of new business development at CVS Pharmacy, and he’s combining both fields to bring pharmaceutical services to digital platforms like the CVS mobile app.

He hasn’t worked in the role for long, but he’s already diving into research and analysis. Much of his day-to-day work consists of developing slide decks to tell compelling stories of the team’s strategic goals.

“You see the everyday impact of going to the stores; you can pick up your prescription, or you just go and grab a snack or something like that,” Lyons said. “But it’s cool seeing the whole back end. This is where the other 200,000 employees are.”

For Lyons, the job hunt was less stressful than some. He interned with CVS last summer and got the job offer last August. It allowed him to explore, looking around at other companies but eventually deciding to bring his talents to CVS.