2020 Best & Brightest: Liam Walsh, Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

Liam Walsh

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

“Studying business has risen this student’s stock in the world.”

Fun fact about yourself: I once met Denzel Washington because he came to my rural hometown to film a movie in a rustic barn.

Hometown: Burgettstown, PA

High School: Burgettstown High School

Major: Business Administration (Concentrations: Operations Management and Finance)

Minor: Economics

Favorite Business Course: 70-460 Mathematical Models for Consulting

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Executive Board of Alpha Kappa Psi (Fall 2016 – Spring 2020)
    • Created $1,500 scholarship fund for underserved high school seniors in the Pittsburgh area.
  • President of Enactus (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019)
  • Chief of Staff for the Student Government Cabinet (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019)
  • Trip Leader for Habitat for Humanity (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018)
    • Led 14 undergraduate and graduate cohort to Florida to rebuild homes
  • Director of Finance for Moneythink (Fall 2017 – Spring 2018)
    • Led team to local high school to mentor high school students on topics of financial literacy.
  • Attorney for Mock Trial (Fall 2016 – Spring 2017)
  • Teaching Assistant for the following classes:
    • 36-207 Probability and Statistics
    • 73-102 Principles of Microeconomics
    • 73-265 Economics and Data Science
    • 70-460 Mathematical Models of Consulting
    • 70-495 Corporate Finance
  • Tepper University Honors: Beta Gamma Sigma (Top 10% of graduating class)
  • Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar
  • Alpha Kappa Psi Outstanding Leader Award for Service in 2018 (sole recipient across country)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Private Equity Associate Intern at Generational Transfer Entrepreneurs (Fall 2017)
  • Finance Summer Associate at UPMC (Summer 2018)
  • Summer Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company (Summer 2019)

Where will you be working after graduation? Business Analyst at McKinsey and Company

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Professor Zetlin-Jones. I was able to have Professor Zetlin-Jones for both Intermediate Macroeconomics and Financial Crises and Risk. I admire Professor Zetlin-Jones’ mastery of the material and his talent to also instruct the class in a fun and easy-to-understand way. He is always available outside of class to answer questions or discuss what is happening in the economic world.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? My favorite part of the Tepper School of Business has been the diverse student body. The moment you arrive on campus, you are surrounded by motivated, extremely smart, and friendly individuals. I have enjoyed every moment of learning about a classmate’s start-up idea, their experience growing up in another country, and debating business topics that we discuss in class.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest takeaway I have learned from business is how interconnected our world is. Studying business has opened my eyes to understanding the second-and-third order conditions of events around the world, such as how a natural disaster affects the supply chain of a B2B company or the stock price of a B2C company?

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Be prepared to be constantly learning. Since business is so broad, there are endless events and cases to study!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? In my experience at the Tepper School of Business, I was surprised at how quantitative business was. In our program, we always look at the data, conduct analysis, and analyze patterns in order to get to the solution. Majoring in business does not only mean studying cases or reading textbooks, it also means working directly with data and solving real world problems.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of?  I am most proud of leading my business fraternity to create a scholarship fund for underprivileged high school seniors in the Pittsburgh area. Coming from a rural background, I understand the financial challenges that students face when going to college. In addition, since most of our students are not from the Pittsburgh area, it provides our members the opportunity to get to learn more about our community. We were able to reach out to local high schools to have students apply, work as a team to fundraise our $1500 scholarship, and then choose an applicant who best exemplified the values of scholarship and service. We beat our application goal for the first year, and it’s been a tradition of our chapter ever since!

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate Milana Heifetz. She is pursuing a dual degree in both Violin Performance and Global Systems Management. She is able to characterize both left brain and right brain and balance playing in the CMU Philharmonic and leading negotiations in class. I admire her for her work ethic, her motivation, and her ability to stay humble.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom more than anyone. She has been the rock in my life and in the lives of my siblings. She is an extremely smart and talented woman, and seeing her optimism towards the future and her sacrifices for my family has made me a harder worker.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? First, I would love to work abroad! It seems incredibly impactful to learn about the culture of other countries while serving parts of their community. Second, I would like to work on a start-up. Being able to start a company and work towards making it sustainable seems incredibly rewarding.

What are your hobbies? I like to go see musical theater, support friends in their activities, and relax at the end of the day by talking to others.

What made Liam such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Liam is driven by his intellectual curiosity. As his professor, I saw how he engaged with course content in a rich way that reflects his excellent academic performance. His leadership within the classroom is matched by his leadership across campus.”

Burton Hollifield
Head of the Undergraduate Business Administration Program
PNC Professor of Finance
Professor of Financial Economics


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