Interviewing the Interviewer

How often do you get to interview someone whose profession involves a lot of interviewing! BizBeat took some time and caught with the new member of Admissions team – Randy Tripp!

Q: To start with, can you talk about your background?
RT: I graduated from W&M in 2005 with a degree in Kinesiology. My intent was to pursue a career in Physical or Occupational Therapy. I wanted to take a year or two before returning to graduate school, so upon the suggestion of one of a mentor of mine, I looked into working in the Undergraduate Admission Office. That one year turned into five and I found a home in higher education. I left W&M to see if I really like higher education, or if I just loved W&M. In the year and a half I spent at the University of Maryland, I found that I really did enjoy the field of higher education and I see myself working in this field for the long haul.

Q: You worked at W&M before and then moved. What drove you back here?
RT: William & Mary is a special place and will always be a special place to me, so it wasn’t difficult to convince me to come back. I had a great student experience and a great professional experience, so when the opportunity was brought to my attention, I knew it was something I would consider. It would (and has) provided me with some great new challenges and opportunities in a familiar place, I could reconnect with great friends and colleagues and be closer to my family. I also had a great former boss and friend in Henry Broaddus who suggested the position to me and a great new boss and friend in Amanda Barth who convinced me it was the right fit.

Q: What has been the most exciting part of your few months here at Mason Business School?
RT: The most exciting part of my time here would easily be travel season. I had the opportunity to see 9 countries and 14 cities around Asia this fall. I had never been to any of the places I was assigned for recruitment, so I was excited to be able to experience these different places even if only for a short period of time. I was able to meet some amazing candidates who I genuinely feel would be great assets to Mason. It was exciting to engage with some excellent prospective students and experience the different cultures, as well as meet some fantastic colleagues at other great schools around the world. Many people think it is all fun and exploration, when in fact there is a lot of work and travel involved in just a 6 week period which at times can be exhausting. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, but will admit that it was great to come home and sleep in my own bed.

Q: How has your experience been in the Admissions department?
RT: I think the Admissions team here is incredible. We all have a great level of respect for one another and understand that we all bring something different to the table. We work really hard to bring in the best and brightest students and we work really well together. Amanda does a great job of fostering a culture of collaboration while also allowing us each to work independently to our strengths and interests. I am still learning a lot every day, but I think I have some of the best people in the building on my team to learn it all from.

Q: What do you think differentiates us – the Mason Business School – from the other business schools across the world?
RT: Our Executive Partner network sets us apart from other schools. The expertise our students receive from their coaches and mentors cannot be matched. Not only do they bring a lot of experience to share with our students, but the fact that they are volunteers makes it even more special and unique. It is very much a reflection of the W&M and Mason community to have individuals who bring so much to the table and who are willing to offer their time and do it for free.

Q: When you are looking for potential future MBA candidates for Mason, what do you look for?
RT: The short version is I look for someone who has a clearly articulated vision for achieving their goals and someone who has a creative, but practical approach to achieving those goals. They have to first be able to communicate effectively because communication is essential to success in an MBA program. They must also have goals and a vision for themselves and understand how the MBA fits into that plan. They, then, must have a creative mind and collaborative spirit to be able to adapt to the ever changing business world and work effectively with others, but finally a practical and realistic expectation of how to achieve these goals.

Q: Little bit about yourself – what do you like to do in your free time?
RT: Like many people, there is nothing like spending time with the people you love the most, so I am happy that I am closer to my family who lives in Norfolk. I get down to visit them a lot now that I am back. I enjoy watching sports (diehard Redskins fan and follow the NY Mets), I hope to get more active again, and I like live music. I also am looking forward to having my fiancée back in Virginia permanently in December when she finishes up her Masters of Architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Q: Tell us some story about your undergrad experience at W&M.
RT: There are so many stories that I have about my time here. I could probably fill up all of BizBeat. One of my passions when I was a student here was the African American Male Coalition which was an organization that served to dispel harmful stereotypes that African American males are often subject to and to provide a social outlet for us on campus. One of our signature events was the Women’s Appreciation Dinner in the spring where we show our appreciation of women at W&M through a dinner and different presentations. We also had social events (intramural sports, date auction, parties) to just have some fun, and we also put on an affirmative action forum in order to bring awareness to the College community on this topic. It was a great experience for me being able to lead this organization for a couple of years and it was an integral part of my undergrad experience.

We would like to thank Randy for taking the time out to interview with BizBeat! We wish you all the best in your new role and getting Mason Business School a lot more talent!

Ed. Note: This was originally published in the Dec. 9, 2012 issue of BizBeat.

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Nimarta Kaur

Nimarta Kaur is a full-time MBA student at the Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary.

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