2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Alec DeLange, Michigan State (Broad)

Alec DeLange

Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business

Age: 37

“I am a husband, father, & passionate business leader who thrives by helping others succeed.”

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Family Members: Wife of 15 years and 4 young children

Fun fact about yourself: I earned my private pilot’s license during COVID

Undergraduate School and Degree: Calvin College, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Where are you currently working? Caldwell & Gregory; Vice President of Operational Efficiency

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Deacon, Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 2019-present. Chair of Deaconate 2022-present.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of continuing to serve those in need through my role as a deacon at my church throughout my EMBA journey. I travel frequently for work, so between that and the EMBA program, it would have been easy to drop that responsibility and justify spending time on me. However, by taking on a lot of activities simultaneously, it forced me to focus on what is important and spend less time on myself and more time on others.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? One of the key highlights for me was meeting a stranger at a bonfire, striking up a conversation, and realizing he was someone I wanted to have working for me someday. He had never managed anyone before, but had the clear qualities of a leader. Two years later, I had the opportunity to hire this individual, and was able to help him realize, develop, and utilize skills he did not know he had. Finding hidden talent and helping them to realize their potential is one of the most rewarding things for me as a manager.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Brian Pentland, AKA Dr. Decade. Professor Pentland was my favorite because he took a topic that I did not expect to be relevant to me (I.T.), and used case studies to help students realize incredibly valuable lessons about risk mitigation, technology investments, and crisis management. He did so in a manner that was precise, effective, and relevant.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I chose MSU’s Flex EMBA because it is a solidly ranked program that also offered an option to be in-person once a month with an asynchronously balanced schedule. This enabled me to get an EMBA when my work schedule would have otherwise not allowed it.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Spend money where it matters. This sounds basic, but I am the type of person that thrives off of clean data, and using that to make well-informed decisions. The temptation is to overspend in areas that may make me feel good about our data integrity, but have no impact on adding value to the business or its customers. This lesson became incredibly relevant at work when managing a large deployment of a field service management tool, where I was tasked with managing the scope of a project that was already over budget. I had to manage demands from the stakeholders and identify where the current design was good enough, so we could have resources left over to improve the areas of critical functionality that would have a meaningful impact on our employees and customers.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? I brought business textbooks with me while on vacation with my wife in St. Lucia. That’s the nature of the program. It becomes part of the fabric of who you are, what you spend your time on, and how you interact with others over the 21 journey. I am blessed to have a family who understood that commitment, and supported me despite the times that it took me away from spending time with them. That sacrifice motivated me to make the most out of my time in this program.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Have your goals for the program clearly defined when you begin and spend time building friendships & networking with others in the program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Brock Dunlap. Brock was on my team, and demonstrated incredible consistency & resilience throughout the program, despite his involvement in so many things outside of work and school. Brock also is a very good listener, and is someone who takes a genuine interest in those he interacts with.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? It was important that I had the accountability and networking opportunities of an in-person program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I aim to be CEO of a small to medium sized company, so I can directly impact the culture of the organization and the impact we have on our employees’ lives.

What made Alec such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“It is a true pleasure to nominate Alec Delange for Poets & Quants Best and Brightest. When I think of one word to describe Alec it is humble. I say this because he is someone who did not need an MBA but wanted to advance his education to better understand how his decisions impact the employees he leads.

From the time of his admission interview, Alec has stressed the importance of relationship building through selflessness, compassion, and understanding. His classmates look to him as a confidant, counseling and advising on well-thought-out solutions to critical challenges within the classroom. Alec’s robust professional experience has allowed him to creatively advocate for diverse input from his team members while respecting differing opinions.

Alec truly was a dream candidate, student, and now alum. He (and his radio voice) will be missed by the Broad Executive MBA team, but I know he will achieve his goal of becoming a CEO sooner rather than later!”

Kara Tripi
Associate Director, Broad Executive MBA

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