Cooper DePriest

Cooper DePriest, BBA '17

Ambitious, Innovative, Inquisitive

Cooper DePriest came to the University of Michigan fresh out of a high-achieving high school, where nearly all of his fellow students attended a four-year college upon graduation. He was used to being in a driven, goal-oriented environment — which is why he was drawn to the Ross School of Business.

"I saw Ross as a great way to make my goals come to fruition,” Cooper says. "A lot of times the focus in college is this broad sense of betterment. You’re expanding your mind and you’re learning. I knew I would be able to do that at Ross, and I also knew I’d be really focused on mapping out the next step of my life.”

Make sure you expand your horizons.

Once at Ross, Cooper, BBA ’17, found that he enjoyed the smaller classes and the focus on teamwork and critical thinking.

“You’re looking at a problem and everyone is trying to figure out how to solve it,” he says. "What I’ve seen in my exposure to the business world so far is that there’s not just one correct answer. And so our classes force you to figure out multiple, different answers and why the one answer you landed on is best."

It’s this kind of open-ended problem-solving that inspired him to take part in the Center for Positive Organizations at Ross. The CPO is a world-class research center that brings transformational research to students and business leaders through events, scholarship, and partnerships. Through its Magnify program, Cooper consulted at Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, interviewing employees and developing a set of recommendations to help staff feel more engaged in their work.

Cooper has also studied abroad at Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Paris, a world-renowned business school, and he loved the experience so much he may want to go back for his MBA. First, though, he wants to work for a few years, and he already has a job lined up at Strategy&, a global strategy consulting firm.

He credits the resources at Ross, and taking full advantage of them, for helping him create a plan that he’s happy with. His piece of advice for future Ross students? “Try new things, and figure out what you want, sophomore year especially. Make sure you expand your horizons.”