Favorite Companies Of Top Business Majors

Matthew Shernicoff, Tulane University (Freeman)

“I have always admired the company culture and emphasis on customer service provided by Zappos (the online shoe retailer). While CEO Tony Hsieh could have easily retired young after selling his first start up, he decided to dedicate his next adventure to creating an engaging corporate culture. The emphasis on having fun, taking risks, and delivering superior service demonstrates a new standard for human capital utilization that many other companies could learn from.”
Matthew Shernicoff, Tulane University (Freeman)

“While doing research for a class project, I stumbled upon Impact America Fund (IAF)’s website. They’re a venture capital firm who look for opportunities situated in low- and moderate-income communities that are often overlooked or chronically undervalued. Their portfolio contains predominantly founders of color who come from areas that face the problems their company is trying to solve, many of whom struggle to obtain funding elsewhere despite a lucrative business model. What I love about IAF’s investment philosophy is that impact isn’t just a box-check; it’s tied into the revenue model of the companies in their portfolio. They exist in the world of traditional Wall Street while also uplifting marginalized small business owners. Their work opened my eyes to the enormous good that business can do; it’s a direction I’d love to pursue in my career.”
Lori Steffel, Emory University (Goizueta)

“I deeply admire all the Elon Musk companies, but I especially admire my future employer, SpaceX. Just as most countries decided space exploration was not worthwhile, Elon Musk decided to reignite the global space race. Since the inception of SpaceX, many other private companies have entered this space including Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The most admirable aspect of SpaceX for me is that this company pushes the boundaries of possibility and reminds us that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to it. Thanks to the work of SpaceX, space is once against the next frontier for humanity’s development and I cannot wait to see this saga unfold.”
Blake Nolan Bradley, Indiana (Kelley)

“I admire SpaceX for their ability to continually re-imagine what is possible and innovate in a previously untouchable industry for private companies. I will gladly admit that I am a space geek. Beyond my admiration for their scientific contributions is an appreciation of a business that has defied all odds to emerge as one of the world’s most valuable private companies. Their ambitious vision has not only inspired the masses, but it fosters a culture of extraordinary prototyping and a drive for perfection that is truly inimitable. Establishing a company with the organizational capabilities of SpaceX has been nothing shy of rocket science, and it epitomizes the potential of total cooperation toward a common goal.”
Lucas Dionisopoulos. Washington University (Olin)

“The company I admire most is BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, due to the impact they have on the financial sector in promoting a vision for sustainability. While there are ample ways to promote change, I am aware that change is most easily promoted using capital and shrewd leadership. In 2020 Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, made a widely-publicized statement in his annual letter to executives in which he warned that the firm would be exiting investments that present sustainability risks. Fink acknowledged the imminent dangers of climate change and urged companies to evaluate and seek to address their impact. More recently, Fink has called upon all companies to disclose a plan to position their business to adapt to a net-zero economy. BlackRock seeks to use their platform in the financial world to create lasting good as opposed to simple returns, which is something I hope to do in my personal career as well.”
Jake DiBenedetto, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Milena Rogers, University of Denver (Daniels)

“I admire Patagonia for its early recognition and adoption of sustainability in its business operations. With BlackRock and other leading asset managers recently placing a direct emphasis on the importance of sustainability, many companies have changed their operations to more forward-thinking guidelines. Patagonia has always been a leader in this realm, sourcing sustainable materials for their products and donating 1% of their annual sales to sustainability related causes. I admire their forward thinking and their ability to remain conscious while still running a profitable business operation.”
Milena Rogers, University of Denver (Daniels)

“I admire the outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia. Patagonia is a great example of a for-profit company that has woven social and environmental responsibility into every facet of its operations. With support from its B-Corp certification, Patagonia has developed a strong market position while putting ethical working standards, sustainably-sourced materials, and transparency at the forefront of its mission. With the recent surge in greenwashing from large multinational firms, I find Patagonia’s proven dedication to social, environmental, and governance standards to be a refreshing change of pace.”
Abigale Purvis, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Megan Whelan, University of Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“One of the companies I admire the most is Yeti because they faced a number of risks by entering a mature market; however, they came up with a superior product and outperformed all of their competitors. The founders of Yeti saw a need for a better-quality product that would have a lifespan of more than a few seasons. They wanted their products to be of service to their customers, so they engineered coolers, drinkware, and backpacks that outperformed everything else on the market. In 2006, they produced a series of products that were worth the risk of entering an established market. Since then, they have achieved a remarkable amount of brand loyalty from customers who try and use their products.

While their products come with a premium price tag, they are often indestructible unlike other coolers and water bottles on the market. By creating an indestructible product, they are also helping their customers produce less waste because they will not be looking for other products next season. At the core of their messaging, they promote the preservation of the outdoors, which is also something that is attractive to me. I think they have cultivated a voice for their company that is well aligned with their product, and they are producing quality products and securing loyal customers. Finally, along with delivering a superior product, their success stems from their marketing campaign, and their ability to convince customers to purchase expensive products that were “built for the wild” and for lifetimes. They revolutionized the industry by creating standards and expectations for similar products across the industry.”
Megan Whelan, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

“I always have, and continue to, admire the National Basketball Association (NBA).  The NBA is a driving force in the sports industry with many innovations, like the recent success of the “NBA Bubble,” and they have always been ahead of their time. It is a company that is aware of how powerful their platform is and is not afraid to use it to take a stand in sports, societal issues, and injustices.  The NBA makes sure that their statements are not only just words but are acted upon and recognizes their social responsibility. Because I admire the NBA and am also interested in the intersection of business and social responsibility, I volunteer in the “NBA Cares” program.  The NBA has been able to create a unique brand and even lifestyle. They truly embody Lebron James’ motto of Bigger than Basketball.”
Anna Russo, Providence College

TALA is a sustainable fashion brand that is disrupting the fast fashion market through their affordable and eco-friendly clothing and lifestyle pieces. TALA’s founder, Grace Beverly, is a 23-year-old entrepreneur from the UK who started her journey as a fitness and lifestyle blogger while a student at Oxford University. Her passion for sustainability is especially admirable given her ability to transform an interest into a successful multi-million-dollar business. She was able to achieve this without compromising sustainability. TALA is one of the first companies I examined that provided extreme detail in their eco-friendly supply chain. I always appreciate companies that are authentic and transparent–trust is everything!”
Rachel Perry, University of Richmond (Robins)

AllBirds, a company I first discovered through the “How I Built This” podcast with Guy Raz, has continued to inspire me. AllBirds is a pioneer in developing a more sustainable, environmentally conscious way to produce comfortable footwear through lower carbon footprints.

The one thing I admire most about AllBirds is the company’s approach to competitors. AllBirds decided to join forces with Adidas, considered a major competitor, to reach the goal of creating a carbon-neutral shoe even faster than before. This emphasis on melding cooperation and competition is inspiring since companies can go even farther together than alone. Also, AllBirds took a controversial stand against Amazon, which created a knock-off “AllBirds” product at a cheaper rate while completely neglecting the environmentally friendly production process. The AllBirds CEO wrote a bold letter to Amazon, essentially saying, “If you want to copy us, at least do it the right way – the sustainable way. We would even be willing to share our production process.”

AllBirds’ focus on the big picture needs of our planet will continue to inspire me throughout my supply chain career, which I ultimately chose to make a positive impact on the planet.”
Ashley Servais, Texas Christian University (Neeley)