2023 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Peter Evans, University of Michigan (Ross)

Peter Evans

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

(Ann Arbor Cohort)

Age: 35

“Husband, Innovator, Leader, Active Listener, with a Positive Mental Attitude.”

Hometown: Bettendorf, IA

Family Members: Kayla Evans (wife), Ellery Evans (Daughter)

Fun fact about yourself: During COVID, my wife and I took up cycling. We finished the 2020 season with a double metric century bike ride (200km).

Undergraduate School and Degree: Purdue University, Mechanical Engineering

Where are you currently working? Novelis Corp, Operations Leader

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: Fatherhood, Cycling, Golf, Hiking, Development Director for Metro Detroit Young Professional Kiwanis, Operations Leader responsible for 80+ employees and four departments.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of continuing my annual hiking trip with my friends from elementary school and my annual lake trip with my friends from undergrad while attending business school.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The achievement I am most proud of in my professional career is the network of colleagues I have developed throughout my career. I would not be where I am today without the support and dedication of many others.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is a tough question since the program is loaded with a myriad of talented professors. I would have to say my favorite professor was Ari Shwayder. Ari’s ability to weave the complexities of economics into the dynamics of business strategy made for an interesting learning experience.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Ultimately, I chose the University of Michigan’s Executive MBA program because of their curriculum and leadership development. When choosing my Executive MBA program, I started by looking at top-ranked programs. After seeing University of Michigan Ross School of Business on the list, I was immediately interested in learning more about what they offered. I took the time to explore their curriculum and learn more about their Leadership Development Program. After doing my homework, I applied to the University of Michigan and looked forward to learning and developing through a top ranked Executive MBA program.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The biggest lesson I gained was learning the value and importance of building and flexing your network. I was able to apply the lesson at work to align on the next steps for my career, ultimately resulting in accepting a new role within my organization.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? The best story I can think of was the birth of my first child. My team and I were meeting to finish our final team assignment for EMBA 611 – Managing the Value Chain/Supply Chain Management. Our team had been working together for three months by this point and they were well aware my wife and I were expecting our first child. When my wife went into labor, everyone on the team was extremely accommodating and made sure I was able to focus on the birth of my first child without distractions from school. After bringing my daughter home, the team coordinated a meeting to review our final assignment before the final submission. Throughout the entire process Novelis was extremely supportive as well, offering paternity leave to allow me to support my growing family.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? I would recommend they speak with their families to ensure everyone is on the same page about the time commitments of the program. While the University of Michigan has designed the program around working professionals, your nights and weekends will not be the same throughout the duration of the program.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The biggest myth I heard about going back to school was that it’s extremely challenging to go back to school while working full time. This was very different from what I experienced. The University of Michigan Ross School of Business’ Executive MBA program was designed for working professionals. I traveled 42 weeks for business in 2021 then welcomed a daughter, changed jobs, moved states in 2022 – all well attending school. With the support of my classmates, my employer, and the tailored Executive MBA program I was able to successfully balance life, work, and school.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret in business school was not taking the time to audit other elective courses. There were electives I prioritized due to my interest. However, I would have liked to sit in on different lectures to learn about other content.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The MBA classmate I most admire is Macresia Alibaruho. Throughout the program, Macresia became someone I would look to for both personal and professional advice.  She is a strong and caring leader who is open to sharing her experiences and helping others. Plus, with her proven track record at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, she can drop the phrase “Mission Control” in casual conversation.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The main reason I chose to do an Executive MBA program over other MBA programs was leadership development. I wanted to learn and develop key leadership skills while also earning my MBA. Additionally, I chose the Executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives due to my desire to finish my MBA quickly while having in-person interaction with other students in the program. The University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive MBA program allows you to quickly finish your MBA and engage with your cohort in-person once a month, all while continuing to work full time.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?  My long-term professional goal is to become a C-level executive at Novelis.

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

“Peter’s desire to learn and his commitment to make the most of his time in the program was evident during orientation and never waivered the entire 21-month program. This was confirmed in his peer reviews where people described him as exceptionally smart, leading with kindness and that he makes a team stronger by pushing everyone to achieve more. Peter is respected and extremely well-liked by his EMBA classmates, faculty and staff for his work ethic, sense of humor and leadership.

While Peter wrung out every bit of value from the academic learning, team experience, and professional network growth he continued to excel at work. In fact, half-way through the EMBA Peter was offered and accepted a promotion as Operations Leaders that required relocation from Michigan to Iowa for his entire family. And all the while he kept his grades in the top percentiles.

We are confident there are no bounds to where Peter will continue to grow and succeed and we are proud to call Peter a Michigan Wolverine and to have him represent the Ross School of Business.”

Donna Humphrey-DeLosh
Senior Associate Director, Executive MBA Career Advancement
Ross School of Business


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