2018 Best & Brightest: Margaret Shull, Case Western Reserve University

Margaret Shull

Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:









Fun fact about yourself: I had 5 wisdom teeth!!

Hometown: Kingsport, TN

High School: Dobyns-Bennett High School

Major: Finance

Minor: English

Favorite Business Course: Financial Modeling

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: During my time at CWRU, I have been extremely involved. I have been a member of the University Program Board for 4 years and have held an executive board position for 2.5 years. Freshman year, I was initiated as a member of Alpha Phi where I have also held various leadership roles, such as Vice President of Chapter Operations and Director of Formal Recruitment. I have been a Teaching Assistant for various courses within Weatherhead School of Management, and I also work at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. During my freshman year, I was nominated for the Most Outstanding First Year award, and junior year I received the Kevin J. Semelsberger scholarship.

Where have you interned during your college career? KeyBank, Investment Banking Analyst – Cleveland, OH

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Company, Business Analyst

Who is your favorite professor? I couldn’t pick just one!! They have all helped me in different facets, and I am so fortunate to have built relationships with many of them.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The camaraderie and mentorship amongst the students!

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Stay true to yourself. I have read countless case studies and heard from multiple speakers that reiterate the idea that a business fails when it drifts away from its original concept. Know who or what you are and be the best version of that possible.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Take as many math classes as you can! I tested out of Calculus I & II. Since I was not required to take any more math courses, I didn’t. That is one mistake I’ve made, so I would encourage anyone interested in business to also stay strong in mathematics.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Chemistry on a Pre-Veterinary track. I LOVE animals!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? In high school, I took a personal finance class at the recommendation of my father. I needed another course, and he thought I should learn how to budget and write a check regardless what profession I pursue. A fire was sparked, and I thought the concepts were fascinating yet practical. As a result, I began to take more business-related courses. At the age of 18, I opened an IRA, and I might be the only girl in my sorority who carries a checkbook. It’s all thanks to that personal finance class I took in high school.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? As mentioned above, I am a member of the University Program Board. Our organization brings the biggest, most talked about events to campus thanks to our half-million-dollar budget. My junior year, I was leading the committee that oversaw planning the Spring Comedian (our second largest event of the year). My goal was to sell out all the seats in Severance Hall, home to the Cleveland Orchestra. To achieve this, I decided that we should poll the student body to see who they wanted. Of course, the winner was out of our price range, and said he didn’t want to perform at a college campus anyway. I brought this news back to my committee, and we decided to keep trying and win him over. After multiple emails and phone calls, I was able to book Trevor Noah (the students’ top choice) as the act! But it doesn’t stop there. Ticket sales soared, and we quickly sold out all the seats, so we opened up standing room – and that sold out too! Furthermore, Trevor’s contract stated he would perform for 30-45 minutes – he ended up staying on stage for 75!! This event’s success is my pride and joy.

If you were a dean for a day, what’s one thing would you change about the business school? I would require more math classes.

Which classmate do you most admire? I’m not sure if this is allowed, but I’m going to choose a peer who isn’t a business major. My sorority sister Beth amazes and inspires me. She is a Materials Science major on the Pre-Dental track. Beth works part time at NASA and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout college. Although this is all extremely admirable itself, what’s the real kicker is she’s a first-generation college student. Beth works harder than anyone else I know, and she has not taken her college experience for granted. These are just a few of the reasons why I admire Beth.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My family – my parents have always told me I can do anything I want if I work hard, and my brother has continuously been a support system and sounding board. I think they believe in me more than I believe in myself at time, and I am so grateful for their infinite love.

What would your theme song be? “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. When I was in the fourth grade, I was invited to a birthday/sleepover party where we sang karaoke. All of the other girls chose a Britney Spears or Hilary Duff song, and I belted out this 80’s power ballad. I think that pretty much sums up my life. I’ve never quite done what all the other little girls are doing.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1) Visit every continent (yes, even Antarctica)

2) Hike in a dozen State or National Parks

Favorite book: Wow – these next two are really difficult. I’ll say Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Favorite movie: I know Jim and Pam from The Office would be ashamed, but Legally Blonde.

Favorite vacation spot: Edisto Island, SC

What are your hobbies? I enjoy dog sitting, cooking, eating what I’ve cooked, and running.

What made Margaret such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Margaret exemplifies every characteristic of what I hope for in our best undergrads – she’s smart and curious, she cares deeply about personal relationships and the community around her, and she is passionate about a broad variety of important activities around campus, whether it’s her sorority, admissions, the programming board that brings entertainment to campus, etc.  She may be the only student I’ve ever had that I’m equally comfortable talking about advanced financial concepts and hip hop artists like Wakka Flocka Flame. She always brings a smile to my face when we interact and pride in my soul given her near perfect academic standing and her accomplishments with leading employers including KeyBank and McKinsey. I know the relationship we began several years ago when she was a sophomore will continue for decades to come.”

Scott Fine
Professor of Banking & Finance


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