2018 Best EMBAs: Maurice Andrew Malcolm, University of Maryland (Smith)

Maurice Andrew Malcolm

Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

“Fun-loving, passionate, but yet a competitor who plays as hard as he works.”

Age: 48

Hometown: Columbia, Maryland

Family Members:  I am married to my loving and supportive wife, Kina, of 24 years and we are blessed with bookends as I like to say, “a girl, Briana, and a boy, Markel.”  In addition, we have extended family members who provide support over the years, especially during my time in the University of Maryland’s Executive MBA program.

Fun fact about yourself:  I am known to my family as a ‘Jamerican,’ who is someone who has two parents from Jamaica, but grew up in the United States, and living a Jamaican lifestyle.  This includes a West Indian cuisine, summer vacations in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and being molded by my West Indian parents’ customs and values.

However, the real fun fact is how I became a Jamerican.  It was through the kindness of Shirley Chisholm, then-U.S. Representative of the 12th District of New York.  Meeting my father at a function, she was impressed by his career and family-related ambitions. Also, Rep. Chisholm recognized that he did not have the funds or the U.S. immigration contacts to stay in the country and personally referred him to an immigration lawyer to solve the dilemma. Ultimately, my father’s chance meeting with Shirley Chisholm was a simple “twist of fate” that allowed me to grow up in the U.S. instead of Jamaica and his dream of going to the US for a better life.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

University of Baltimore, BA, Interdisciplinary Studies

Howard Community College, AS, Electrical Engineering

United States Air Force, A.G.E. Mechanic

Where are you currently working? Dasidual Management Services, Columbia, Maryland: As managing principal of its healthcare division, I work with healthcare organizations to improve ambulatory, in-patient, and patient outcomes through Health IT and improved patient-journey mapping.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

I currently serve as Chair for the Board of Lead4Life, a non-profit organization founded in 2008. Lead4Life’s mission involves reducing the number of youth entering the juvenile justice system, the number of out-of-home placements, and the youth recidivism rate. I also provide support and insight for eHealth Initiative’s Executive Advisory Board on Privacy and Security, and I participate on the Maryland Health Care Commission’s Health Information Exchange Policy Workgroup, which focuses on the exchange of electronic medical records as part of the continuum of care treatment model.

Formerly, I chaired the Boy Scout Troop 939, but now, I am just a father of a kid on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. I do enjoy the Boy Scouts, and I still participate on campouts and scouting activities when my teenage son allows me.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Wow!  What can I say?  I am sure anyone who has been around me for two minutes would blurt out, “Global Studies.” Exemplifying this was an international business leadership study trip to India focused on CAGE analysis. I maximized this opportunity, both personally and for my classmates, before and after. First, I accepted an invitation from classmate Ameya Soparkar to travel a week earlier to India to experience the country as “a local” — avoiding the tourist spots.  This included, in the company of Ameya’s family, shopping at the local mall and bringing in the New Year 2018, in Bangalore, which was an experience in itself.  The subsequent coursework in India involved two weeks of meeting with and learning from Fortune 50 business leaders at the likes of Tata, Airtel, and Infosys. Our UMD professors also led us to such landmarks as the Taj Mahal and Red Fort including the iconic Hall of Public Audience. Concurrently, I created and posted to WhatsApp short videos documenting the experiences for cohort classmates unable to make the trip due to work schedules and personal commitments.

Finally, the return travel to the U.S. connected through the United Arab Emirates. So, I, with classmates Trang Tran, Miata Koroma and Tricia Wallace, applied for a visitor’s visa and joined Travoris Culpepper and Luis Valdivieso (both part of a concurrent Smith School EMBA study program in the UAE) and experienced three days of customs and business practices in Dubai, UAE.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of my work with Health Information Exchanges. In 2014, I was a product owner and development team leader on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration contract to address security and privacy in patient record sharing. We developed Consent2Share: an application that enables patients to give their healthcare providers consent to share their personal health information across the health system.  Adapted and piloted through the Prince Georges County (Maryland) Health Department, Consent2Share has further personal significance.  I have family members with diagnoses that draw discrimination, and this application allows them to preserve their dignity, sharing required health records only with those who need to know.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Among the multiple executive MBA courses I experienced and value greatly, Corporate Finance prepared me to more confidently practice accounting, strategize, evaluate a company’s qualitative and quantitative inputs, and present to a board.  When evaluating a business as an MBA, it is assumed you do so primarily by looking at the balance sheet and the income statement.  However, Corporate Finance broadened my awareness to see that ‘”good will and efficiencies” can make the difference between closing a deal or having it fall apart.

Why did you choose this Executive MBA program? I chose Smith’s executive MBA program for its study abroad opportunities, executive coaching, strong focus on data analytics, and the faculty who bring both academia and real world experiences to the classrooms. This extends to the international India opportunity and its impact on me (which I’ve described).  The executive coaching has been just as important in that it shows how to transform your derailleurs into positive attributes.  Your executive coach walks you through the 19-month program, providing input and guidance on how to put our lessons into practice.  With big data being critical to business today, the ability to learn about data modeling, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are all critical. Therefore, I knew a program focusing on data analytics would prepare me, and give me an edge for sorting through data to find solutions. It is not unusual for UMD faculty to work in their fields of study outside of the University.  After all, we are not looking to learn concepts and tactics that cannot be implemented in our places of business.  We want the latest proven research, which comes from UMD faculty through their commercial and government experiences, which gives us an opportunity to practice the lessons we are learning in the classroom from both academia and industry.  A good example is my Corporate Finance Professor, Dr. Michael Faulkner, who was  recently nominated to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? My Air Force experience has led me to appreciate the group learning environment as one that begins as a journey of learning in a group of people that you have never met. I find the executive MBA cohort model to bring so much to the table and enjoyable as it has given me a way to complete a very rigorous journey with people who have become friends.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? For my study abroad, I had to get a few things in order before leaving for a place halfway around the world. The biggest was my father, a kidney transplant patient, who relies on me as part of his healthcare regiment. He is very independent, and I usually just fill in the gaps. Well, I needed to create an extended network of family members to check-in on him, be available for doctor visits, and complete weekly grocery shopping. Part of that process was getting the family network on WhatsApp to stay in connect without added expense. This allowed me to check in via video, phone calls, and text.  With the time difference, I usually made my calls before starting my day; which corresponded with them getting home from work. Subsequently I was able to participate 100 percent in the India trip and he was very excited to hear about my travels on my return.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? This is such a personal question, as everyone seems to look for something different. Executive MBA programs can be used as a career reset or a way to continue your upward mobility. However, there some common themes to consider. The first is how the program fits your professional trajectory. Some programs are heavy on finance, while others are heavy on entrepreneurship. Involve family in the decision process, to prepare them for your limited availability sometimes due to study groups and class assignments. In addition, prepare to get fully engaged — from doing pre-work to class lectures and bonding with your classmates. Some of the best nuggets of information came from my cohort classmates who had specific insight into course objectives. Finally, evaluate how to finance your executive MBA. Having your company fund the program is a great present-value factor. But also consider whether you are giving up a great opportunity by committing to your existing company for a period of time after graduation.

What was your biggest regret in business school? An easy answer might by ‘waiting too long’ to pursue my MBA. In my case, timing was ideal. Pursuing an MBA, say 10 years ago, likely means I wouldn’t have attended the Smith School. I know for a fact that waiting for the right program, as I did, allowed me to be ready to be engaged and to maximize the experience and teachings of such a distinguished faculty. Getting an MBA 10 years ago also would have meant missing out on the India trip that greatly affected me. In other words, a regret doesn’t come to mind.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I know that it may sound ‘Mom and apple pie,’ but my cohort can attest that this is how I show up in answering this question. The MBA classmate I most admire is a composite of my classmates and their qualities I grew to recognize and appreciate: The classmate who came into the program and surrendered ego at the door to be open and vulnerable to the cohort; and the classmate who followed the values of the cohort: curiosity, reflection, engagement, mindfulness, and resilience. Finally, it is the classmate who took advantage of this program and transformed into a better leader. For the above reasons and many more, I most admire Leigh Clayton.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I was told by Dean Reece, University of Maryland School of Medicine Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, during a mentoring session: “If you are serious about leading an organization, get your MBA.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still believing that my professional life was perfect… no self-improvements required.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term professional goal revolves around being a Chief Operating Officer or a Chief Executive Officer in the healthcare vertical that allows me to connect business decisions to helping people.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone who gave more than he took, fostered an environment where we could grow and practice being our better selves

Favorite book: Dare to Win by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. I have read many books since, but this book started my thirst for becoming a business person. It was given to me by my Vice President, John Shetrone, early in my engineering career, before boarding a plane to California. I am not sure if it was a test, but I finished it in a five-hour flight, and that same VP started to mentor me in the art of business.

Favorite movie or television show:  Blackish: I can relate to the storyline and watch with my kids. (Black Panther is my favorite movie based on the storyline of a super hero, the costume designs, the cinematography, and making me guess how it was going to end)  

What are the top two items on your bucket list? First, I would like to take my Mom and other family members to Bangalore, India, and share with them what I have learned about the country and the connections to my maternal Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather who migrated to Jamaica from India as a young persons.

Second, I would like to become an adjunct faculty member and teach at the undergraduate level in a university setting.  I believe this would keep my MBA skills sharp and relevant in my professional life.

What made Andrew such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

Andrew Malcolm is one of the most thoughtful and engaged EMBA students I have known. He was a participant in the Study Abroad to India course which I taught in spring 2018. In this class, we visited several high profile companies in India and met with their senior executives. In all our interactions with the companies that we visited, Andrew was the most professional and articulate participant. With his knowledge and expertise, he impressed each of our hosts, and truly was an outstanding brand ambassador for Smith School of Business. Andrew took a leadership role in a team project that examined funding and investment models for enterprise blockchain networks. Andrew and his team’s findings were highly appreciated by the project sponsor, Infosys (India). What impresses me the most about Andrew is his rare ability to motivate and inspire everyone around him to perform better.”

Progyan Basu
Clinical Professor of Accounting
Robert H. Smith School of Business

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