Diversity of Experiences Help MBA Students Find Winning Solution

Nicholas Graham, Natalie Howell, Pulak Jain and Edward Reff

Great minds think alike, but a variety of backgrounds can also contribute to complex solutions. That describes the four Whitman MBA students who took home first place and a $50,000 prize in the Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Competition, held at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in November 2023. Their varied background are an outstanding example of the diversity of experience that makes up the MBA program at the Whitman School.  


Nicholas Graham ’24 MBA, L’24 

Nicholas Graham

Graham not only earned an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship and finance but, at the same time, a J.D. with a concentration in corporate, finance and securities law from the Syracuse University College of Law. He is a corporate law clerk at the law firm Scolaro Fetter Grizanti & McGough PC in Syracuse. An advocate for startups and small businesses, Graham was an advisor at the University’s Blackstone LaunchPad while earning his degrees. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and commerce at the University of Alabama and was an intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as several law firms focusing on finance and securitization transactions. 


Natalie Howell ’24 MBA

Natalie Howell

After earning an undergraduate degree in international business management from Clemson University, Howell served six years as a supply corps officer in the U.S. Navy, where she gained experience in leadership, supply chain operations, defense contracting, military logistics and crisis management. After leaving active duty, she decided to pursue an MBA at the Whitman School. Now in her final semester, she is also working as a contract administrator for Wesley Medical Staffing Inc. 


Pulak Jain ’24 MBA

Pulak Jain

Jain earned an MBA with a STEM designation, majoring in finance and business analytics. He distinguished himself as an apprentice for the inaugural year of the Panasci Local Leadership Initiative, consisting of 12 selected students. While at Whitman, Jain served as a graduate teaching assistant, research assistant and lead inclusion intern. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology in India. He brings more than three years of professional expertise from companies such as Amazon and Reliance. Jain’s experience leverages financial models, conducting due diligence and providing insights. His proficiency extends to analyzing complex data, forecasting market trends and mitigating risk.  


Edward Raff ’24 MBA

Edward Raff

While earning an MBA at Whitman, Raff continued as the director of emerging AI and a scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, a leader in AI and cybersecurity to advance civil, defense and national security priorities. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science specializing in machine learning research. He received master’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer science from Purdue University. 








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