2015 MBAs To Watch: John Henry

Author: Jeff Schmitt

john_henry

Some students look at what is and move along. But John Henry imagines what could be – and takes action. Known as a serial entrepreneur, Henry served as the president of Mendoza’s Entrepreneurship Club. At the same time, he co-founded the Haiti Business Plan Competition, providing advice and needed working capital to low income entrepreneurs. After graduation, he will continue working at a two year-old startup that markets SaaS products.

Age: 32

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Undergraduate School: Davidson College

Undergraduate Degree: Religion

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Co-Founder of Rate My Study Abroad (online review platform for study abroad programs) and Shipping Entertainment (online retail company) and a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Vennli, South Bend, Indiana

Where will you be working after graduation? Vennli, manager of customer success

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I saw my MBA friend developed financial statements for my online retail startup. I had been busting my head against the wall for a long time, trying to keep track of transactions in Google Docs, desperately in need of an elegant solution.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in DC, working for a consulting company or another startup. Whatever the case, I would probably be doing similar things, but not as well.”

What are your long-term professional goals? Being a serial entrepreneur and supporting a local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Favorite Courses: Business in Light of Catholic Social Teaching, Marketing Analytics, VC Fundamentals

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? Founding the Rate My Study Abroad venture right after college gave me the entrepreneurial bug, and I’ve been fortunate enough to launch and join several other startups. Most recently, several classmates and friends of mine were able to start a business plan competition for Haitian entrepreneurs with the support of the Notre Dame administration and a non-profit called EGI-Haiti.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? My parents, for helping me love good work, and for my wife, who makes good work possible.

Why did you choose this business school? I wanted a school that would take the theology and philosophy of work seriously.

What did you enjoy most about business school? Being in an idea playground; so many excitable and intelligent people in one place means you can work on some very interesting projects with people you really like.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? My son was born over Christmas break in the first year. It has been a wonderful place to be with lots of other young families.

Fun fact about yourself: First job out of college: video-game tester

Favorite book: “Surprised by Joy” by C. S. Lewis

Favorite movie: Christmas Story

Favorite musical performer: Springsteen

Favorite television show: The Office

Favorite vacation spot: Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

What are your hobbies? Dinner parties with friends, family trips to state parks, reading, and video games

What made John such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“John Henry is truly an exceptional MBA student. I have worked very closely with John, and I have the utmost respect in him as a student and as a leader. He stands out as an invaluable addition to the class of 2015 in many ways.

  • John epitomizes the student entrepreneur: While a student, he founded at least three startup ventures, and after graduation, he will be working with a startup that was founded by a Notre Dame faculty member. Given his background in consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton and upon completion of his MBA, I’m confident that he could have had many higher paying opportunities. He is following his passion and interests to pursue this different path.
  • He is driven by his passion for the Catholic social mission: While in the MBA program, John devoted countless hours as co-founder of the Haiti Business Plan Competition, which is run by our MBA students under the direction of my colleague Melissa Paulsen in the Gigot Center of Entrepreneurship. His efforts created an ongoing, annual business plan opportunity for low-income Haitian entrepreneurs, providing mentoring and capital to the best Haitian ventures.
  • John was an invaluable, tangible addition to our entrepreneurship team, willing to give so much of his time to work with us on student initiatives. Significant changes in our flagship event – the McCloskey Business Plan Competition – required that we quickly develop a platform to connect students with alumni founders. This was a huge task and needed to be done well within a very short period of time. John stepped up immediately and worked tirelessly leading a team of graduate and undergraduate students to develop the platform. It was a rousing success and a critical component of the competition. The connections facilitated by this platform were tremendously important – the system developed under John’s guidance worked beautifully.
  • As president of the MBA Entrepreneurship Club John was passionate about collaborating with others across campus to create awareness and generate excitement about innovation and entrepreneurship. He is a superb student leader and inspires other student leaders to collaborate and combine efforts to produce better results.
  • He is the consummate, professional, poised leader who is well-liked and respected by members of the faculty, administration and fellow students. He is extremely mature, well-grounded, balanced and professional.

Throughout my 30-plus year career in academia, including time spent at Babson College, Rollins College, the University of Cincinnati and at the University of Notre Dame, I’ve worked closely with many MBA students. John rises to the top of my list very quickly. He is truly exceptional.”

– Karen Slaggert, Associate Director/Concurrent Assistant Professional Faculty, Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship

Read this story on the Poets & Quants website.

Originally published by Jeff Schmitt at mendoza.nd.edu on June 11, 2015.