Malcolm Brooks

M.S. in Commerce 2018

Leveraging liberal arts with business

I often use the analogy of going from a microscope to a telescope in terms of the shift in perspective I experienced. I studied food science, which is focused on the biological and chemical makeup of food and its production. That analytical rigor translated well to the broader context of business. Being able to deconstruct a business scenario into its “ingredients” and reformulate the recipe is a powerful ability!

Preparation for the workplace

Every day I face a unique challenge that lets me deploy one of the skills I learned in the M.S. in Commerce Program. Adaptability, logical thinking, and, honestly, being able to banter through a little business speak with confidence pay off phenomenally.

Most memorable class

“Strategy and Systems” blew me away in unraveling how complex and turbulent the world the business world really is. The skills to needed to navigate and comprehend that Darwinian ballet were imparted by Professors Ira Harris and Steven Johnson in a thoroughly engaging way. Yet I also can’t imagine my experience without Professor Amar Cheema’s thoughtful and consistently mind-blowing revelations about consumer behavior—the man himself is just as legendary.

Leveraging Commerce Career Services

I started out with a resume that looked like an essay and an interview technique that was pretty meandering, in hindsight. CCS took my resume to a 10, took my network to a first-class lineup, and helped me refine my approach to target my ideal job with surgical precision. The most important service, though, is the self-insight CCS staff and their tools help facilitate.

Advice for future students

Being flexible and willing to learn is your greatest asset. I applied for a sales job, started out in a research role, and transitioned into a mix of analytics and strategy using several pieces of software I’d never heard of. Be persistent in applying for roles, because you can’t always tell what an opportunity will evolve into!

Importance of the Global Immersion Experience

My GIE experience plays a huge role for me! During my interview process, I was able to connect with a colleague who’d spent time in China, and later, because of my global experience, I was tapped to help with the cultural and business dimensions of our expansion into Japan.

Most memorable GIE moment

Visiting Ogilvy in Shanghai was a highlight! Our hosts wove together many of themes from our curriculum, from advanced analytics to brand management. It was flavored with some distinctly Chinese elements, though, such as the tale of a KFC-branded phone that functioned as a jukebox.

  • Undergraduate Degree B.S. in Food Science and Technology 2017
  • Undergraduate Institution Mississippi State University
  • Current Job Olson Zaltman, Insight Associate (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • First Job Post-Graduation pymetrics, Global Accounts Analyst (New York City)