Member Spotlight: Tom Tyree

Tom Tyree, a 1989 Wharton MBA, talks about his work serving on boards following a long career in investment banking in New York at Goldman Sachs and his time in Colorado working in private-equity backed energy businesses.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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Graduation Year:  WG’89 (East)

ConcentrationFinance, Entrepreneurial Management

What do you do professionally? These days, I primarily serve on boards in areas of interest to me. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Antero Resources and Enerflex, a member of the Board of Trustees at Colgate University, and a member of the Advisory Board of Project Canary.

How has your Wharton degree benefited you?  Before Wharton, I'd already spent a year in a bank training program taught by business school professors, so I was well-prepared going into Wharton. However, TA-ing for Accounting 642, a tough financial analysis course, was invaluable. I got to know classmates headed into investment banking, mastered challenging material, and gained credibility for my bank interviews. Some of my closest friendships were formed over beers at Murphy's. I joined Goldman Sachs with a Wharton buddy (now my son's godfather!), and another classmate founded a Denver business in which I'm an investor and board member. These are just two of about ten close relationships forged in Philadelphia.

Finally, the Wharton credential itself is a huge benefit. It carries an assumption of intellect, work ethic, and financial acumen that few institutions can match. The value of this imprimatur has been hugely additive to me and my career.

What advice would you offer those alumni who recently completed Wharton? My background might be "old school," but I believe some wisdom is timeless. Here are a few nuggets I've picked up along the way:

Marriage: Choose your spouse wisely — it's the most important decision you'll make. Aim for "marry once, marry for life."

Career: Intellect and luck play a role, but work ethic is the one factor you control. Hustle hard. Corporate success is great, but entrepreneurship often offers a better path to building wealth.

Relationships: They're vital for happiness and success, but they take effort. Send actual written messages and thank-you notes, call people on their birthdays, and meet with people to catch up. 

Making an Impression: Be the person others want to know. Be in the office five days, dress sharp, and have something to say. Become an expert in your field to build credibility quickly.

Is there any support you’d be open to providing to a local Wharton alum?  Absolutely. If I can be helpful, ask. I'll be happy to advise/consult.

What are your favorite hobbies? In short, family, friends, skiing, golf, and a bit of travel. We have a place in Vail, so we spend a good chunk of the winter hitting the slopes. Come summer, you'll usually find me on the golf course at Cherry Hills or in Nantucket, where we love to visit.  With all three of my kids pursuing careers similar to mine, I make sure to visit them often in New York and London. They're busy, but it's great to see them doing well.  And, I stay connected to my roots. I'm involved with both Hotchkiss, my high school, and Colgate University, where I'm honored to serve as a trustee.  It's a life that keeps me happy and grounded.