James McCoy

James McCoy

Nationality: American

Age: 28

Last job title: Accountant at Brookfield Asset Management

Previous degree and university: Bachelor in Business Administration and Accounting from Texas Tech University

1. Why did you decide to do an MBA at RSM?

“I wanted to move away from being a number cruncher, learn how to operate in the business world, and learn how to work in teams. And I wanted to find where my niche and interests lie and come up with an entrepreneurial pursuit. I was accepted to several MBAs in the USA, but I’d met an RSM representative at a career event in Florida and they genuinely cared about my career. I liked this qualitative aspect, as well as the one-year duration and tuition fees of the programme.”

2. How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?

“This is the best thing about the MBA. PLD allows me to be more introspective. I had to dig deep at what motivates me and what fulfils me in work. The programme makes me think about my experiences, my interests, and in what direction I want to move forward.”

3.Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within diverse teams in the programme?

“I appreciate tough criticism. But that doesn’t always work across the board. Through PLD and the teamwork I’ve learned to be more empathetic towards people who aren’t used to this. It’s challenged me to put myself in the other person’s shoes and I’ve found better ways to get my point across. Focusing on my soft skills and giving each other feedback about strengths and weaknesses in team coaching sessions has helped dramatically. I’ve softened up a lot.”

4. How would you describe the RSM MBA experience?

“The people are wonderful, they’re some of the smartest and most helpful people I’ve met. We’re not overly competitive. I think people who are still deciding where to study should talk to as many alumni as possible so they get a good feel for the flow and people of the programme.” 

5.How do you hope the RSM MBA helps you to be a force for positive change?

“RSM inspired me to come up with a sustainable start-up business plan in the fashion industry. Being able to see where my values lie provided clarity about my next steps. The RSM MBA provided me with a platform to explore these values through the PLD programme, the core curriculum and the concentration of sustainability. My start-up idea focuses on the fast-fashion industry; shops with cheap clothes that people throw away. I want to create a platform where people – men and women – can exchange or rent out fashion, just like how Airbnb rents out space in houses. With every transaction there’s a service fee. I can’t wait to see if I can make this entrepreneurial pursuit when I go back to New York City.”