Favorite Leaders Of Top Business Majors

Sara Blakely

“I most admire Sara Blakely, an entrepreneur who faced many rejections but would not give up on her concept because she knew it would be successful. Ms. Blakely’s first year revenue was $4 million on a $20 item. “Failure to me became not trying versus not succeeding,” she said.  After building her billion dollar company, she uses her experience to educate and empower upcoming entrepreneurs to turn their idea into a productive business. “
– Megan Kohner, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for my fellow Hoosier Darwin E. Smith, former CEO of Kimberly-Clark. Author Jim Collins has done a tremendous job of detailing his strengths in several articles. Smith quietly excelled where many of the high profile CEOs today struggle. He made the right business decision, breaking from industry and organizational path dependency to move Kimberly-Clark on a trajectory towards renewed growth. He moved Kimberly-Clark from its original business areas within paper and forest products to new products with a humble determination to overcome personal challenges and professional hurdles. He managed to accomplish all of this while outliving a terminal throat cancer diagnosis, and to me he represents the perfect blend of character, critical thinking, and business savvy.”
– Benjamin Fouch, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Jacqueline Novogratz

Chris Anokute. He helped sign and develop artists like Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Iggy Azalea and consults the Artists & Repertoire department at Epic Records. I’ve been lucky to work with him this semester as the college tour marketing manager for his artist LÉON. Chris has incredible foresight in the industry and really takes my ideas to heart. He’s been an amazing mentor to me.”
–  Angela Jin, Boston College (Carroll)

Jacqueline Novogratz: CEO and Founder of Acumen. To me, Jacqueline represents the confluence of disciplines that I aspire to embody. She’s had a role in changing the tide of the way business thinks, and is harnessing the power of investing, to affect positive change around the globe. Her company and her ideas have started to transform the world of philanthropy, and to bring humanity into the business equation. She’s effectively created a venture capital system to benefit the world’s poor. Beyond Acumen, Jacqueline has spread her message and agenda, by sitting on boards like the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative and on the Council on Foreign Relations at the World Economic Forum. Her persistence in a business-approach defense of humanity’s most basic principles is beyond admirable: it’s what we all should aspire to.”
– Ishani Unmat, University of Washington (Foster)

“It hard to select just one, but Karim Abouelnaga from Practice Makes Perfect would have to be my choice. He came from a similar background like mine, from Queens, first gen, single mother, and went on to grow an educational start-up, which I am trying to do now.”
– Josuel Plasencia, Babson College

“One executive that I particularly admire is Yvon Chounard, founder or Patagonia. Over the course of Patagonia’s history and development as a company, Chounard has placed corporate, social and environmental responsibility at the core of the company’s mission to “use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” The company’s values are explicitly enacted in all of their business decisions, from the choice of their product’s materials to the living conditions of those who make them. In a profit-driven world of pollutive consumerism, I admire the way Chounard’s values have remained transparently constant and evinced by Patagonia’s conscious business practices.”
– Barrett Redmond, Wake Forest University

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk has to be my favorite entrepreneur – unapologetically brutally honest with a pulse on what’s new and upcoming in social media and digital marketing.”
– Jeremy Goldstein, Northeastern University (D’Amore McKim)

David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management, a distressed-debt hedge fund. His commitment to excellence and disciplined approach to investing has inspired me to continually improve my own knowledge. Perhaps his greatest trait is his philanthropic nature — Tepper has consistently contributed to the improvement of higher education and reduction of poverty. I deeply appreciate his charitable efforts and hope that the world of finance can adopt his approach toward helping the disadvantaged.”
– Kenneth Sang, Cornell University (Dyson)

“One of the executives I most admire is Deborah Turness, president of NBC News. Having interned at NBC News for a year, I observed many tense, fast-paced and critical situations. I witnessed Ms. Turness in these same instances, and she always maintained the utmost integrity and calmness to lead the organization. As one of the few women executives in the journalism world, she constantly pushes boundaries and strives to better her organization and the people who work alongside her.”
– Zoe Makropoulos, Rutgers Business School (New Brunswick)

DON’T MISS: The Best and Brightest Business Majors – Class of 2017