Marcus is a member of Fuqua's Minority Alumni Advisory Board.
What do you do professionally?
I lead business development for Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). MLT is a nonprofit organization that is changing the face of leadership in the private and social sectors, by helping organizations to build strong and diverse talent pipelines. I am responsible for developing strategies and partnerships with companies that work with MLT to recruit, retain, and develop high performing professionals.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I love when companies experience the value of the MLT partnership for the first time. This is often at an event where business leaders meet our Fellows in person. Our partners are consistently impressed by the quality and preparedness of our Fellows. Every day there are headlines highlighting the lack of diversity in the workplace. Being an active part of the solution for our partner organizations is the biggest thrill for me.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
The biggest challenge I face is helping business leaders understand the playbook for success. In a world where a diverse workplace is increasingly a competitive advantage, leaders often believe that diversity issues will be solved merely by getting candidates into the company. In reality that is only one step in building a successful and sustainable pipeline. I encourage companies to pursue diversity with the same fervor that they pursue their core businesses. This means committing the resources necessary to be successful.
What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?
During my time with MLT I have had the opportunity to visit the offices of many of our 80+ partners. To date, my travel has been domestic, but I hope that will change in the near future! Visiting our partners is exciting because I often get tours of parts of the business that provide a broader perspective of people, products, and services in the economy. I am amazed by the diversity in culture and ambiance at various companies. I especially love the creative spaces found at technology partners in Silicon Valley.
What is the best professional advice you've received?
Not long after Fuqua a good friend of mine shared a piece of advice from his CEO father, "Find an opportunity at some point in your career to work in sales. Executives tend to think top to bottom." This resonated with me over the years, as I spent most of my career on the product side, first as an engineer then moving to investment research after Fuqua. Leading business development efforts and driving revenue at MLT gives me a different and valuable perspective for business leadership.
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
Coaching college basketball. I love the game and appreciate that visible emotion and enthusiasm are valuable attributes that are critical to leadership. As a tech and data guy, it is also exciting to see so many tools available today that support deeper analysis of game situations and player development. I would love to get a call from Coach K one day.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my wife and kids. I coach my son's teams and really enjoy helping my kids with creative projects. Parenting often brings out the big kid in me. I also do quite of bit of mentoring with young professionals.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
The goal of business is to maximize shareholder value. This can be achieved in many ways, but is always the primary goal.
Who was your favorite professor?
Jim Smith and Alon Brav. Two different personalities, but both were intellectually inspiring, enthusiastic and passionate about educating students at Fuqua. Jim's Decision Models class really clicked with my way of thinking and exposed me to decision science tools that I incorporated into my work after Fuqua. Alon's Investments class was my first investment class, and was the catalyst for my love of capital markets.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
Campout was awesome!
Why do you support the Fuqua Annual Fund?
Fuqua continues to provide students with an unparalleled business school experience. The Annual Fund ensures the value of my experience will be solidified by a pipeline of leaders to come. I believe continued investment in that pipeline is my responsibility.
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
Team Fuqua is a concept that encourages strong relationship building for the purpose of more effective, higher integrity outcomes that benefit the team members individually and collectively. Eleven years after graduation, this concept is more important to me than ever. I apply it in almost every facet of my professional and personal life.