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A Family That Competes Together, Stays Together

By Hally Darnell

Whether a fourth-generation legacy or the first in a family to experience student life at Michigan State University, Spartans have one thing in common: a sense of green and white pride, which runs deep. When it comes to the Yassay household, this sense of pride ignited something fierce within the family.

The Yassay men? Competitive? Well, maybe a little bit. Meet Mark Yassay (MS Supply Chain Management, ‘16), Michael Yassay (JD-MBA, ‘17), and Mark Yassay, Sr. (Executive MBA, ‘13). Aside from sharing a surname and competitive nature, this father-son trio share another common trait: they’re all Eli Broad College of Business scholars.

Three Yassay men
Mark, Mark Sr., and Michael Yassay turned their Broad successes into family competition.

“My family is pretty competitive. When we got into our master’s programs, we all compared GPAs,” said Mark. “My goal was to beat both of them in GPA, so while my primary reason was to have the highest GPA of the Yassay boys, it also helped professionally.”

While the Yassays have their fair share of similarities, their reasons for choosing their respective Broad master’s programs differed across the board. Mark was attracted to the depth of knowledge you could obtain in a specific field rather than a generalized overview of many subjects. With Michael, it came down to the people behind the program.

“The MBA faculty, career services office, and students all go above and beyond”, Michael said. “This in indicative of what the MBA program is known for, hard work and excellence in all areas of business.”

As for Mark Sr., it was the “Spartans Will” mentality that made his decision an easy one. “The Broad’s business program provides the tools to succeed in business. However, you need the will and determination to work hard and overcome the obstacles in the business world,” he said. “Going to Michigan State you do not feel entitled; what you do feel is empowered. With the education provided through the Broad Business program, hard work, and determination, you can succeed in the business world.”

For the better part of the last five years, Broad has been a part of life for the Yassay family.

While each family member’s time at Broad occurred during different points in their professional lives, all agreed that they have more opportunities today that wouldn’t have been possible without their Broad experiences.

“Being a little more experienced than the normal MBA student, Broad impacted me a little differently than others ”, says Mark Sr. “Specifically, my MBA gave me the opportunity for an overseas assignment with Ford Motor Company in Dubai, as well as my present position in Ford’s Treasury Department working with a very talented team.”

Mark continued his career with Stryker after earning his master’s in Supply Chain Management, but with newfound opportunities to advance his career. Michael signed on with General Motors following the internship experience and connections gained through the MBA program.

So you may find yourself asking, who won the GPA competition? Well, according to Michael, “I believe my brother Mark won the competition, my Dad came in second, and I came in third, but it came down to hundredths of a point.”


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