Class of 2020 MBA Spotlight: Benjamin Johnson and David Pearlroth

Our final Class of 2020 Spotlight features Benjamin Johnson and David Pearlroth, recent MBA graduates:

Benjamin Johnson ’20 (MBA)

Ben.Johnson '20 (MBA)Where are you headed after graduation?
I’ll be moving to Seattle to start in Amazon’s Retail Leadership Development Program.

What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite class was Macroeconomics with Dean Bauer. First, Dean Bauer is a fantastic teacher and an expert on the subject of monetary policy. Second, I really enjoyed the subject—it is something that greatly influences the world, but I had no idea about. Now more than ever, monetary policy is incredibly important with all of the moves the Fed and banks around the world are making in response to COVID-19.

If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?
Fun, hard, and rewarding.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
It’s hard to name just ONE thing that Simon has taught me that will help me at Amazon, because it is such a well-rounded education. But if I were to name one thing, it has to be the competence that Simon has given me in the analytics realm. The ability to understand data, synthesize it, and turn it into a cohesive story has proven incredibly useful.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
It has to be traveling to ten different countries in 2019, three of which I did on my study abroad trip to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. It was so great to learn about entrepreneurship in the start-up capital of the world and also to get to know my fellow classmates so well!

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself! I was constantly afraid that my background, my experience, my goals, etc., weren’t good enough and I had to be pretend to be someone else. Don’t do this. Simon values individuals and unique stories and experiences unlike any other school in my experience.

 

David Pearlroth ’20 (MBA)

David.Pearlroth '20 (MBA)_PREFERREDWhere are you headed after graduation?
I am heading to SimpliSafe in Boston to become its first ever manager of marketing procurement. I am a main owner of the Customer Acquisition Cost metric, which is one of the company’s primary KPIs. So it’s an amazing opportunity to prove all that I’ve learned at Simon.

What was your favorite class and why?
Professor Ravi Mantena’s Business Modeling class. The class taught me how to create seamless business models using Excel to solve complicated business problems. More importantly though, it provided me a structured way of thinking through almost any business issue.


If you could use three words to describe your MBA experience, what would they be?

Transformative, confidence-building, and teamwork.

What have you learned that will help you most in your new role?
I learned how to be a truly great leader. Simon’s unique management communication coursework helped me understand the science behind being a good leader, and the ability to have board roles on multiple clubs helped me put those learnings into action.

What is your favorite Simon memory?
My favorite memory is actually from our first year Orientation trip to Niagara Falls. There were many great memories that followed, but during that trip I quickly realized just how amazing the next two years would be.

What advice do you have for prospective Simon students?
My best piece of advice is to have clear and specific goals before walking on to campus. My goals included:

1) Building a strong network to assist with internship and full-time offers
2) Becoming president of the marketing club
3) Getting on the Dean’s List every quarter
4) Giving back to the community in some way

The last goal was a bit vague but I ended up finding my role as VP of marketing for the Simon Volunteers club. You can edit your goals when you arrive on campus, but it’s crucial to have your own plan of success beforehand.

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