Jamie Yeung

Jamie Yeung, MM '21

Chasing Olympic Dreams While Earning Her Master's Degree

Jamie Yeung, MM ‘21, swam the breaststroke leg of the 4x100 medley relay for Hong Kong at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. While Jamie trained for the Olympics, she was also a full-time Master of Management student at Michigan Ross. As far as pursuing her professional swimming career and achieving her master's simultaneously, Jamie describes the experience as, “absolutely crazy, time management-wise.”

During her undergraduate experience at the University of Michigan, Jamie competed for four years on the university's swimming and diving team as a breaststroke swimmer. After graduating in 2019 as an economics major with a minor in entrepreneurship, along with several accomplishments in swimming (including as a three-time Academic All-Big Ten Award recipient (2017-19) and four-time U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Award recipient (2016-2019)), Jamie had one focus.

I had the sole goal of trying to qualify for the Olympics, and then saying bye to swimming and moving on with my first job. However, COVID hit, and I was faced with a tough decision. I had to swim for another year and it's a full-time job, basically. I had to decide what else to do to continue to improve in terms of my knowledge outside of swimming to raise my experience.

Jamie Yeung swimmingAs she considered her options, Jamie recalled how she had enjoyed economics in undergrad because of the many diverse opportunities in business it provided, and wanted to explore the more specific areas of business that interested her. Jamie was drawn to the Michigan Ross Master of Management Program after hearing great things from U-M swimming alumni and speaking with Michigan Ross Professor Marcus Collins, whom she credits selling her on the program. 

“I know some of the professors and I’ve talked to them, and I know that they’re a bunch of world-class professors, so I really wanted to immerse myself among these people, along with the brightest students around to see what I am really interested in, in the business world.”

When comparing master's programs, the Michigan Ross curriculum stood out to Jamie because of its focus on building a strong core foundation in different areas of business, as well as the diverse range of electives it offered.

It provides you core classes that force you to know the fundamentals, such as accounting and finance, that would build up your base for any kind of job in the future, and that was really important to me because I lacked expertise in those areas,” Jamie said.

Since the Master of Management program was remote during the 2020-21 school year, Jamie trained to qualify to swim in Tokyo during the day and attended her classes at night from Hong Kong, working on homework and group projects in between naps and meals. 

I think it [the program] really pushed me out of my comfort zone. It really made me be more organized as a person and remind myself just how blessed I am to be able to do these two things at once.

“And so, while it was a struggle for a little bit, I got great support from the school and from my coaches here, and so I think it was very worth it, and very rewarding at the end.”

Although simultaneously pursuing her Olympic dream and obtaining her master's degree was challenging, Jamie benefited from support from school leadership and Master of Management Program leadership. Jamie recalls the resources that assisted her to maximize her recruiting experience. 

“I was able to do a lot of Zoom meetings with the career coach, Josh, and several seniors in the BBA school that helped me with mock interviews. That really helped, because they're so good and they helped me with consulting interviews. I'm really glad that they offered help even though everything was remote.”

After competing in the Olympics, Jamie will begin working full-time as a business consultant at EY as part of the digital transformation team in the Hong Kong office.

“I'm really excited to see what challenges I'll face and hopefully use the tools that I've learned from Ross to tackle them.”