On May 1, Andy Whitaker, a graduating Broad College Full-Time MBA student, was honored by Poet&Quants on its list of 100 “Best & Brightest” MBAs. Whitaker extends the college’s legacy of success as our MBA students have made the list since 2016 and undergraduate students since 2017.
Upon graduation, Whitaker will become a two-time Spartan alumnus, having also received his Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology at Michigan State. He noted that entering the business college with an open mind helped him succeed in the MBA program.
“I promise you that if you come into this program open to new experiences and ready to dive in and work hard, you will leave here with everything you need to be successful,” he said.
In his interview with Poets&Quants, Whitaker highlighted how the Broad Spartan community made his MBA experience memorable.
“To me, it’s not so much the class and curriculum that sets an MBA experience apart from the rest,” he said. “Rather, it’s the professional, social and charitable events that commingle with what we are learning in the classroom that lead to a well-rounded business school experience.”
In his time at the Broad College, Whitaker has been highly involved, taking on roles like president of the MBA Association, being a graduate assistant for the program, co-creating an inaugural small business trek in Michigan and more. His willingness to take on leadership roles stems from his previous work coaching football at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. His perseverance and determination in each of these roles sets a great example for future Spartan leaders.
“Andy can be a leader and a great teammate, with key strengths in both roles,” Wayne Hutchinson, managing director of the Full-Time MBA program, said. “Andy knows how to create a strong organizational culture that is centered on people, framed in important tenets of corporate social responsibility.”
Hutchinson recognized how Whitaker was driven to be a key part of re-establishing the program’s culture and sense of community, which was strained due to the pandemic and a remote learning environment for the Class of 2022’s first year.
“He took a leap of faith, to try to make a difference,” he said. “In my opinion, he succeeded beyond any expectations, because he helped bring our student community back in multiple ways. His ability to understand the challenges other students face, and work to create consensus, is rare among our student community.”
As he leaves the banks of the Red Cedar for the second time, Whitaker takes on a career at Deloitte as a finance transformation senior consultant.
“I’m about to graduate with a great job at Deloitte, a rich foundation of knowledge with which to build off from my new upcoming experiences, and above all, a new, empowered sense of self that a former football coach and kinesiology student can successfully pivot into the corporate world,” he said.
Ultimately, Whitaker hopes to find a perfect work-life balance and even explore working in a foreign country one day. His favorite MBA event was an education abroad experience this semester in Sicily, which gave him a curated experience and one that pushed him past his comfort zone.
“It was a great reminder, as I close out my MBA career, that it’s a big world out there,” he said. “Even though I’m a few weeks away from attaining my degree, there is still so much out there to discover and learn.”