The BC MBA Experience: Q&A with David Cote (MBA ’19)

Dave Cote head shot

David Cote is a second-year MBA student in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, and is President of the Boston College Graduate Student Veteran Association. David is also a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and is assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment in Fort Devens, MA. He most recently served as an Operations Research Analyst in the Pentagon helping the Marine Corps make resource allocation decisions.

What are your program’s greatest assets? 

A: Get ready for lots of P words; I chose the MBA program at Boston College because of the Program of study (small class size, data analytics track, and electives), the People (peers, professors, and the postgrad alumni network), the Placement upon graduation, and finally the tremendous Privilege to attend Boston College as a Jesuit Catholic community focused institution of higher learning.

What has been your favorite classroom experience? 

A: Sometimes you get a great class, sometimes you get a great prof. Management Science with John Neale is that optimal intersection of getting both, and has been not only my favorite classroom experience, but also the most valuable, practical, applicable, and relatable course for my MBA goals—taught by an industry expert that Boston College and its students are lucky to have as a professor. 

What activities are you involved in outside of class? 

A: Several—I like to keep busy and integrate myself in the total experience with the hope to make it better for others. Graduate Management Association, Graduate Mentor Program, Graduate Student Veteran Association, several Office of Graduate Student Life programs, and even flag football. Finally, I love helping the Carroll School Admissions team as a Graduate Assistant. The opportunities are there, you just have to take advantage of them and try to intersect your passion with the greatest unmet need. 

How have your classmates influenced your MBA experience? 

A: The depth and breadth of the class is exceptional. When you consider the greater population of all graduate Carroll School students (in addition to the full-time MBA): the part-time MBA, MSA, and MSF, all of us integrated in coursework and class projects.  We are talking about men and women who are proven leaders, and have real world experience across industries. They have all greatly influenced my experience to better think about business problems, find solutions through a lens of diversity and inclusion, and cultivate a growth mindset to think strategically about the business challenges we face.

How did you decide that an MBA was the next step for you?

A: I saw two views, external and internal. Externally, I envisioned for myself the long game, by taking a critical look at where I wanted to be, why I wanted to be there, and how I might make that happen. The MBA is a big decision and requires a significant investment in self, but to me, it was worth it. Internally, I noticed the kinds of questions I liked to ask about business problems: how we formulate strategy to achieve a goal; how we measure and improve performance, success, and progress; how we model problems and remove barriers; and how we create and capture value in the work we do.