2019 Best & Brightest: Chip Chambers, University of Georgia (Terry)

Chip Chambers

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business

 “Lover of puns, people, podcasts, pigskin, Planet Earth, propitiation, and my grandmother’s jalapeno cornbread muffins.”

Fun fact about yourself: I tied my shoelaces wrong until last year

Hometown: Watkinsville, GA

High School: Homeschooled

Major: Biology (BS) and Economics (AB)

Minor: Health Policy and Management

Favorite Business Course: At the risk of stating the obvious, this is incredibly tough to choose. But ECON 4950, Competitive Strategy, stands out as a rare amalgam of theory, practice, case studies, good-natured debates, adventure, deliberation, analysis… and a lot of fun!

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Involvement: Economics Society (President), Tate Honor Society (Co-President), Honors Program Student Council (Co-director of Mentorship), Terry Deer Run Fellow, Mercy Health Center (Clinic Manager), Institute for Leadership Advancement (Leonard Leadership Scholar), Honors Ambassador, UGA Cheerleading (Mic Man), Honors Teaching Assistant, UGA Strategic Planning Task Force (Student Representative), Watkinsville First Baptist Church (Sunday School Teacher)
  • Awards: Mid-term Foundation Fellow, Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO Honors Scholar), Blue Key Tucker Dorsey Memorial Award Recipient, Homecoming King, Phi Beta Kappa, Woodruff Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career? Greater New York Hospital Association, New York City (Summer 2018 Intern)

Where will you be working after graduation? I plan to attend medical school after graduation, then pursue a joint MD/MBA degree.

What company do you admire most? The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). For the past couple of decades, IHI has been leading the way in educating both students and health professionals in what it means to pursue quality within healthcare institutions. Their renowned “Triple Aim” of improving care at the individual level, improving population health, and reducing the per capita costs of healthcare, have totally revolutionized the conversation about where healthcare needs to go from here and how to get there. After launching a successful campaign 15 years ago to save 100,000 lives through improving the quality of care in our hospitals and reducing adverse events, IHI has been the leading advocate for patient-centered, evidence-based medicine that is both effective and sustainable.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? As we all know, the factors that shape you into a better person are course rigor, technical skills, fancy university facilities, and being set up to make a lot of money after graduating.

Yeah, right.

Of course, none of us would say that those things are what really make the difference in how you think, what you value, or what makes you into a decent human being. Yet reading the promotional pamphlets of most business schools, those are exactly what you see advertised.

In my experience, UGA has all of those things (believe me, I’m quite grateful for the new multi-million dollar facilities we have!) but the intangible aspects of the UGA community, most notably its people, have made all the difference. From professors that take you to lunch, to friends that send you challenging articles asking for your thoughts on them, to a cohesive community built around a pursuit of truth, I’d say UGA has made my college experience unforgettable.

So which quality do I enjoy the most about the Bulldog community? Easy. The Bulldogs.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I’m tempted to quip some oft-repeated one-liner or buzzword from business classes (e.g. “synergy,” “win-win,” “value proposition,” or “money is neutral in the long run”), but that feels a bit disingenuous.

As trite and overused as some of the phrases often seem, business is where the rubber meets the road for academia, drawing from countless different disciplines to better serve people like me and you. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is what the “value proposition” of studying business itself is, and it’s certainly been a synergistic win-win! Business is the intersection of people, data, resources, and passions, and apparently, it took me an expensive 4-year degree to realize that. But, hey, money is neutral in the long run.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Well, I’m already a biology major with a minor in health policy and management, so I hope my unconventional marriage of business, policy, and the natural sciences is already apparent. With such disparate interests, I’ve contemplated many different programs of study, but if I could clone myself and study something just for the heck of it, it would be physics and mechanical engineering. Physics answers such fundamental questions about the universe, and mechanical engineering is just incredibly fascinating. Ever since I was little, I would build little forts and elaborate structures of sticks and vines in my back yard, and I suspect I haven’t entirely kicked that boyish fascination.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad. If there’s one person who best embodies the spirit of servant leadership, of leadership with integrity, and in doing so earning the respect of all those around you, it’s Paul Chambers. I was fortunate as a homeschooler to get to hang out with my dad on many work days, and he taught me invaluable skills of public speaking (“tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell you what you told them”), meetings (“always leave knowing who will do what by when”), and, most of all, integrity. We could use more Paul Chambers in this world.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? As much as I’m tempted to answer the 100 on my 8th-grade research paper (seriously though, you should’ve seen me beaming that day), I’ll have to go with my MCAT score. Last May, I was fortunate enough to score in the 100th percentile on this standardized medical school examination, which I can attribute at least partially to hard work. But mostly I have to attribute it to the excellence of my science professors, the advice of countless mentors, and the friends who checked in on me frequently despite me being AWOL for about 4 months. Y’all the real MVPs.

Which classmate do you most admire?

My friend Josh, who studies Marketing and Statistics, and a part of the Institute for Leadership Advancement with me. In addition to being brilliant, Josh is thoughtful, and there is definitely a distinction between the two. He approaches every problem, whether financial, personal, or spiritual, with a candor and honesty that is simply refreshing. He’s smart, loyal, kind, hilarious, and one heck of a friend.

Oh, and did I mention he’s single?

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mom.

In addition to being a phenomenal mother, she’s been my teacher, mentor, cook, and best friend. I call her just about every day, and she never fails to drop what she’s doing and pick up the phone. She stuck with homeschooling me even when I was rambunctious and restless (she had to teach me my multiplication tables while jumping on one foot because I couldn’t sit still) and I can’t thank her enough for this. Mom, you rock.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Lead an integrated healthcare system with emphases on patient-centered, evidence-based, whole-person care for everyone.
  2. Watch UGA’s football team win the national championship

What are your hobbies? For the same reasons I love being a science major, I absolutely love watching Planet Earth. The images are captivating, the storylines suspenseful and the narration absolutely wonderful.

I also try to stay well-read, so I can often be found posted up in my room reading books on theology, economics, leadership, church history, or health policy.

Lastly, I love some weekend basketball, racquetball, or Spikeball with some good friends. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, even if we take the game way too seriously. But hey, I’m just trying to show everyone that I mean business.

What made Chip such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“As one of the most well-rounded students I’ve had the pleasure to teach, Chip’s intellect, communication skills and humor make him an invaluable addition to the class of 2019. Even amongst a peer group of high achieving undergraduate scholars within the Terry College of Business, Chip has set himself apart. Chip arrives to class prepared with well-informed questions. His curiosity stems from a keen interest in learning and desire to push himself to gain a thorough understanding of the topic at hand. His modest wit comes alive both through his charismatic personality and in his writing. In addition to thriving in the classroom and being held in high regard among his classmates, Chip also serves as the Mic Man for the UGA cheerleading squad. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say few students even contemplate pursuing such a wide range of interests (i.e. president of the Economics Society, Terry Deer Run Fellow, clinic manager at the Mercy Health Center, Sunday school teacher, etc.). Whether hyping up the student section at a home game or encouraging underclassmen to get involved with the college, Chip brings energy and sincerity to everything he does. Chip’s versatility and purposeful mindset make him a standout student, not just at Terry, but at the university overall.”

Dr. Donald Addison
Terry College of Business

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.