Professional headshot of MBA student Jamari Brooks

Jamari Brooks (MBA ’20)

On May 2, Jamari Brooks, a graduating Broad College Full-Time MBA student, was recognized by Poets & Quants on its list of 100 “Best & Brightest” MBAs. Alongside Brooks, Broad MBA students have been recognized on this annual list since 2016 and undergraduate students since 2017.

Brooks began his course work at Broad in 2018 after several years working in pharmaceutical sales. “I found myself wanting to gain more breadth about business: best practices, analytic usages, different functions etc.,” he said. “I wanted to grow my network, and lastly, I wanted to remove the glass ceiling from my career.”

In his interview with Poets & Quants, Brooks noted that the collaborative culture at Michigan State was a primary factor in his decision to become a Spartan. “I chose MSU’s business school for two reasons,” he said. “First: culture … MSU created a genuine feeling of backing and personal investment into my goals. The second reason is the alumni base. … It is truly a remarkable feeling knowing that graduating from MSU opens so many professional doors to you based on the huge amount of current and past students.”

The Spartan culture came to be Brooks’ favorite aspect of his MBA as he became involved over his time on campus. Brooks served as a resident advisor for MSU students, where he created an environment of safety and inclusion. In addition, he joined the MBA Association as the VP of community events, where he planned and organized gatherings for fellow members.

Wayne Hutchison, managing director of the Full-Time MBA program, said, “Jamari’s events are strategic, well-resourced and flawlessly executed, the hallmarks of a true professional. Yet, no matter how intense the experience, I have never seen a student more at ease with what he was doing, no matter the difficulty.”

Brooks admitted that at first, connecting with fellow classmates wasn’t easy. “[During my first year] I would rarely go to events, and when I did go out, I was looking to leave soon and finish a task,” he said. By the second year of the program, he set a goal to connect more with his peers and make lifelong friends.

“Broad does a great job of putting students in various teamwork scenarios; thus, we struggle together, we learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and, naturally, we overcome challenges together,” he said. These challenges often resulted in strong friendships between team members. “These were my favorite moments because, to me, it’s bigger than simply passing a class or finishing a project. I got to know classmates beyond the surface level, and now we are all out celebrating and getting to know each other.”

After completing his MBA, Brooks is set to begin a two-year leadership development program through BASF, a chemical production company. “Who knows where my career will go afterward? My goal overall is to contribute to the incredible, robust pipeline of MSU MBA alumni,” he said.

“It’s truly an honor to represent Broad for Poets & Quants,” Brooks said of his selection. “MSU has given me abundant resources to thrive, and I’m blessed to be able to depict an amazing program.”

Read more at Poets & Quants for “Best & Brightest MBAs Class of 2020” and an in-depth interview with Jamari Brooks.