School News

Learn About the Two Michigan Ross BBAs Honored as the ‘Best & Brightest’ of 2022 by Poets&Quants

By Hannah Shapiro

Ross School of Business students Drew Arnson, BBA ’22, and Kirsten Lam, BBA ’22, were awarded spots on Poets&Quants’ “Best & Brightest” Class of 2022 list honoring the top 100 undergraduate business majors from the nation’s best business schools.

Each year, P&Q publishes its Best & Brightest Business Majors list to recognize standout students from the top 50 undergraduate business schools. Schools nominate students based on their academic excellence, extracurricular leadership, personal character, and overall impact on their B-school program.

Arnson and Lam are two students who exemplify the best in business education through their impact and leadership both inside and outside the classroom at Michigan Ross. 

Below, meet the Michigan Ross “Best & Brightest” recipients and learn about why these BBA students earned this title. 

Drew Arnson

Arnson took advantage of the many opportunities that Michigan Ross has to offer for BBA students. He served as the vice president of consulting for the Michigan Ross Impact Investing Group, the lead case writer and lead student volunteer coordinator for the Sanger Crisis Challenge, curricular design assistant for the course, Business and Leaders: The Positive Differences, and student researcher for Cathy Shakespeare, the associate dean of teaching and learning at Ross. 

Through his extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and pursuing a minor in education policy during his time at Michigan Ross, Arnson said he has been able to work towards his ultimate goal of making a lasting difference to improve childhood literacy in America.

I have been able to gain experience in every aspect of the learning process from early literacy to corporate learning and development, giving me a holistic view of how people can learn and grow throughout their entire lives. I knew that I wanted to go to business school to develop a set of skills I could apply to the education sector because giving people the foundation of reading creates many more avenues of success in the future.

Drew Arnson, BBA ‘22 

Timothy Webb, curriculum engagement director at Michigan Ross, shared with P&Q that Arnson’s passion and contributions have shaped the very foundation of the Ross undergraduate curriculum. 

“He has made deep, meaningful impacts on the curriculum and sought to enhance the experience of his fellow students and future students in the BBA program,” wrote Webb. “This commitment to education, education policy, and its intersection with the Ross BBA Program made Drew an elite addition to the Class of 2022.” 

In addition to his incredible mentors and professors, Arnson told P&Q that the entrepreneurialism of his peers has motivated him and made a positive impact during his Michigan Ross experience.

“The creativity and passion people have shown in order to get new ventures off the ground — whether it’s a new club, an app, or an entire business — is very inspiring to me. I’m not sure what I expected coming into college, but I found it very energizing to see my classmates push themselves beyond our already rigorous coursework and extracurriculars,” he said. 

READ MORE ABOUT DREW ARNSON

Kirsten Lam

With her innate leadership and passion for paying it forward, Lam’s involvement within the Michigan Ross community has helped foster a more inclusive and introspective space for all. 

Lam noted that she is most proud of the work she has done with her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, such as founding the fraternity's DEI committee to improve diversity and inclusion in all facets of DSP, both internally and externally.

 

A group of brothers and I also spearheaded Michigan Ross community efforts to make the school more inclusive within the admissions process, academic representation, and other cultural and curricular aspects. I’ve been extremely lucky to have the privileges and opportunities I have, and we wanted to make that accessible to more students.

Kirsten Lam, BBA ‘22

This passion was highlighted by Katrina Vegter, academic advisor for the Michigan Ross BBA Program, who said that Lam’s leadership on the Ross Undergraduate Student Advisory Board has made a positive impact on the experiences of all BBAs. 

“Kirsten’s positivity, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness during discussions were an incredible asset to the board. Particularly during the past two years, RUSAB was instrumental in providing feedback on evolving policies and instructional formats; Kirsten consistently displayed an approach that made sure we were considering and including the experiences of all students,” she wrote. 

Lam told P&Q that her biggest takeaway from studying business was how to confront ambiguity with creativity and problem-solving. 

“Coming into college, I had a very rigid, systematic idea of how things could be done and hated having to deal with any gray areas. Whether it was dealing with vague essay rubrics or being given the freedom to develop a strategy as long as my team could defend it, I am thankful to the business curriculum for keeping me on my toes and pushing me to be more creative with my problem-solving skills,” she told P&Q. 

READ MORE ABOUT KIRSTEN LAM 

Advice to students interested in majoring in business 

“Spend a lot of time thinking about what truly motivates you, or as I like to say, “Find your ‘Why.’” If you haven’t found that certain thing that helps you get out of bed every morning, keep trying new things, keep reading about new topics, and periodically reassess what really drives you forward. For some, it’s as simple as earning as much as possible, while others may be very passionate about an industry, or just enjoy performing a specific skill," said Arnson.

It’s up to you to understand what is pushing you forward before you take the steps necessary to get there. Once that final goal is established, then decision-making becomes very straightforward: you can pick the option that gets you to your goal more effectively. Bringing this perspective on decision-making has helped me tremendously through many tough choices. Sticking true to my “why” has always been a way to confidently move forward.

Drew Arnson, BBA ‘22 

Stay curious, explore, and do what resonates with you! Although I did end up choosing the field I was initially interested in, one of the best things I have done going to business school was exploring other options. I’ve learned so much talking to students and professors within different concentrations and non-business-related passions. Looking at other avenues has given me the confidence to pursue jobs outside of my comfort zone that ended up being some of the best learning experiences to date.

Kirsten Lam, BBA ‘22

Read about all the Poets&Quants’ “Best & Brightest" Business Majors

Featured Faculty

Cathy Shakespeare
  • Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning
  • Arthur Andersen Professor of Accounting
  • Associate Professor of Accounting