Alumni Spotlight: Evan Morgan, MBA'94
So how does a boy born in New York City and raised just outside of Manhattan in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, end up in the full-time MBA program at the Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland? For Alumni Association Board President Evan Morgan, you follow your heart.
“I thought that with an MBA I could get into venture capital or money management, or be an analyst or a sales person,” Evan remembered. “So I quit my job,moved to Cleveland for personal reasons (my girlfriend and now wife was out here), and applied to Weatherhead...and they were kind enough to give me a scholarship. I did the 42-hour program starting in June 1993 and graduated in May of 1994.”
Weatherhead was not only Evan’s first choice for his MBA, it was his only choice. “I only applied to Weatherhead,” he said. “I did some research and found it to be the best of the bunch. Case Western Reserve University, even for someone who spent most of his life on the east coast, was a name that resonated. The Weatherhead School had been getting some pretty good press as an up and coming MBA program and that appealed to me.”
Evan graduated from Columbia University in 1985 with a double major in economics and history. He was recruited to play football for Columbia and was on the team for four years. “It was a terrific opportunity, and I made a lot of friends,” Evan says of his time on the team. He also played baseball at Columbia for one year.
After graduation, there were stints with Chase Manhattan Bank and Apple as well as work towards an MBA at New York University. After working for Apple in Connecticut and commuting into Manhattan for classes, Evan decided it was time for a change. “After about 18 months of doing this business planning job, I saw where the real action was, and the fun was in the field as a salesperson so I interviewed for a ton of sales jobs,” he explained. He eventually went to work selling MacIntosh computers in the IBM-devoted area of upstate New York in late 1989.
“Trying to sell MacIntosh in this environment was a challenge,” Evan recalled. “It was really like getting a hands-on MBA. It was a great experience.” After less than a year, he was transferred to Boston which was a much larger market. He spent the next several years there. Of course, the MBA had to be put on the back burner. “All this time I had been a junkie for the market, and I thought that I wanted to finish that MBA because I hate having unfinished business,” Evan said. “I thought it would be helpful, and I wasn’t totally committed to the computer industry. I didn’t have a passion for technology as much as I did for investments and the stock market.”
Evan believes the benefits of an education at Weatherhead are numerous. “To begin with, the class size was smaller, it was very friendly,” he noted. “The faculty took an individual interest, and I built some great relationships. I really got to know the faculty and maintained those relationships after graduation. Richard Osborne came to my wedding, and I became pretty friendly with him. Sam Thomas and I go back and forth. So, I've maintained those relationships and still call these folks for advice.”
The second benefit according to Evan has been the opportunity to hire Weatherhead students for his company. “I have hired people from Weatherhead, and I’ve been a mentor,” he shared. “There are great students there. They are perfect for this business because they have already demonstrated an interest in business and an understanding of business from the academic standpoint. They obviously want to get a job, and this is an industry where you can kind of put all those things you learn in an MBA program to work. We’re analyzing the financial statements of companies, we’re analyzing management, we’re looking at their operations, we’re touring their plants, and we’re trying to figure out how they are doing competitively. This job is like an MBA microcosm. It’s a job where everything comes to play.”
“I would tell prospective students you really will learn. It would be hard to get out of Weatherhead without learning something,” Evan advised.
“I think the faculty really takes an interest in the students, the class sizes are small, and the facilities are terrific,” Evan bragged. “I think it’s a terrific place to get your MBA, and the opportunities afterwards are pretty good. If you work really hard, you can stand out there, and if you really push yourself you can write your ticket. It’s a place where you can make a difference in the class. I really enjoyed it.”