Interview by Howie Rhee.
Duke I&E: What did you do before Fuqua and where did you live?
AM: I started my career in advertising with a start-up ad agency. I worked with clients like The Truth and Real Salt Lake. From there, I teamed up with a Private Equity firm. They had recently bought a 125 year old milk home delivery company. I joined the executive team and we turned that company into the fastest growing online food home delivery company in the country.
Duke I&E: What did you focus on at Fuqua? What were your main activities and areas of study?
AM: Entrepreneurship! Entrepreneurship! Entrepreneurship! Well, that’s not entirely true. I also took a number of Energy and Environment courses both at Fuqua and the Nicholas School. I love the intersection of innovation and our environment.
Duke I&E: What did you do after Fuqua?
AM: I went to Bain & Company for just over three years. While at Fuqua, I was hoping to start a company. However, looking back, going to Bain for a few years was incredibly beneficial. I learned a new way to think and having Bain on my resume now gives me credibility world wide. I also worked with incredibly talented people and that network will be with me for the rest of my life. Finally, it allowed me to pay off my student loans which gives me incredible financial freedom to do what I want.
Duke I&E: What are you doing now?
AM: I left Bain in March of this year (2014) to join a fellow Duke Alum and start a company called UserIQ. We raised money from a number of local Atlanta VC’s and we’re now off to the races. We give marketers of web and mobile companies the ability to interact in-application with their customers. Best of all, we can do this without requiring any custom code.This means that a marketer can create in-app interactions, such as guided tours, in-app messages, surveys, and more that are triggered based on who the individual user is and how they behave inside the web or mobile application.
Duke I&E: Any key pieces of advice to pass on to Fuqua students?
AM: Build deep friendships and worry about learning, not getting a job, that will work itself out. Most students at Fuqua get a job before they graduate and many of my friends have moved on to new jobs since graduating in 2010. So this first job does not make or break one’s career. But being a real student of leadership and taking both experiential classes and classes from professors that are doing cutting edge research will pay dividends for years to come. Notice, I didn’t say, take the classes that teach you “hard skills.” You’ll learn all of those when you start working, and mastering those is not what will make you successful. Being an effective leader that can understand changing environments, inspire people and then guide them through change is what will make you successful.
Duke I&E: Favorite memory of Fuqua?
AM: Meeting my wife, my friends (two were in my wedding) and the outside-the-classroom experiences. P4E was by far my favorite course, and it’s the reason I got a job at Bain. It taught me how to think critically and strategically about real world problems.
Duke I&E @EshipAtDuke
Duke I&E @EshipAtDuke
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