Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Jesse Tyson. Jesse is currently the President and CEO of the National Black MBA Association. Previously, Jesse led the Global Aviation business for ExxonMobil based in Brussels, Belgium. Jesse was in town to receive the Fisher College of Business “Pace Setter Executive Award”, which is the highest award our college could bestow on an executive.
Jesse’s story is one that is common and unique at the same time. Growing up in the segregated south, the lessons of his grandmother shaped his moral compass and drive for success. This drive took him to Lane College for a BS in economics and to Ohio State for his MBA. After Ohio State, Mr. Tyson began what would be a 35 year long career with ExxonMobil that would take him to dozens of companies and allow him to rise through the ranks.
Jesse’s career has truly been global and he encouraged students to take risks and develop international careers. This is his top suggestion for being successful in a large company. Jesse shared his thoughts on the evolution of diversity over his career and how he managed his career throughout. When asked about his 35-year career at ExxonMobil, he engaged and facilitated the group in a discussion about the positives and negatives of either staying at a company long term or short term. What was most impressive about Mr. Tyson was that he has demonstrated a career of service. He understood his obligation to Fisher and the university and he truly wants to pay his experience forward. I feel fortunate that such a strong individual is closely aligned with Fisher.