Marshall Munden takes his studies seriously, but himself? Not so much.
When asked what single word describes him best, he deadpans, “strategery”—Saturday Night Live’s mock George Bushism.
Munden’s sense of humor, combined with his intellect and ambition might actually be an excellent strategery for success. It certainly helped him land a spot on the roster of Cornell Scholars.
“All of the Cornell Scholars are pretty much the same kind of driven overachiever,” he said. “Given the nature of the student that this program attracts, I’m sure we would all put pressure on ourselves to succeed no matter what. But we’re incredibly lucky to have been given a great gift. It allows us to excel in this environment with other equally driven students.”
Like most Cornell Scholars, Munden has a pretty solid strategery for how he’d like to apply his talents. First, this fall, he is studying in Spain, which will contribute to his thesis (a comparative analysis about attitudes toward work, Spain vs. America). After graduation will be business school (his GMAT score of 720 puts him ahead of the average MBA candidate at Harvard, Wharton, Dartmouth, and Yale).
After that, he jokes, his dream job is assistant to the World’s Most Interesting Man.
“Really, I can see myself in business or maybe social entrepreneurship,” he said. “Or I can see myself in politics, too.”
Munden has had a taste of the political as president of Chi Psi fraternity, where he helped raise money for Children’s Miracle Network. He has learned about teamwork as a former Texas high school football player. And as a Cornell Scholar, he has learned about a global world view, with his core studies in international relations.
Now if he could just lighten up a little…
Major: International Relations
Hometown: Austin, TX
Little-known fact: Played high school football
Would rather be: Fishing on Lake Virginia from a rented canoe
Known for: Napping
Admits to… hating the word “no”
Favorite toy as a child: Fireworks, army men, GI Joe
You did what? Scored a 720 on the GMAT (good enough for Harvard Business School)
Favorite quote: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat. You don’t grind, you don’t shine.” (Mike Jones)
In 10 years: Beach. Sleep.