Welcome to my first blog post! My name is Evan Pinnix and I am a first-year undergraduate student at Tepper (Class of 2026, if you’re reading this in the future and don’t want to do the math). Over the next four years of my undergraduate studies, I will be using this platform to share some amazing content and opportunities that come out of Tepper.
My Road to Tepper
First, you should probably know a little about my backstory: I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pittsburgh is the first time I’ve ever lived in a somewhat urban environment. Back home, I lived just outside the city limits in a weird suburban/rural transition area. Downtown Raleigh was about a thirty-minute drive, but even then, Raleigh’s downtown area is small and not very urban. Just a year ago, I was a normal student attending my average-ranked public high school. Like many, I had my eyes on the big league business schools — Wharton, Sloan, Ross — and right at the end of the pack was one that caught my eye: Tepper. Tepper seemed different from the other top schools. Rather than having a strong name brand and an unnecessarily large endowment, the school seemed to care about being at the forefront of innovation, and technology’s intersection with business — an idea Tepper refers to as the Innovative Future. This marketing campaign, combined with the ability to take courses at the #1 ranked computer science school, and a 4-year-old $200 million building to work out of, Tepper was at the top of my list.
Now that I’m Here
College applications were a nerve-wracking process, but the Saturday morning I received the acceptance letter welcoming me to Tepper, I was so relieved to have been accepted to a top-ranked school. Now that I’m here only a few months later, the weight of my accomplishment is only now starting to set in. I’ve been on campus for exactly a month now, and have already had so many amazing opportunities. Orientation week was packed full of activities, where I was able to get accustomed to CMU’s campus, Tepper’s academic opportunities, and meet hundreds of fellow first-year students. I began exploring the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship (located inside the Tepper Quad!) and looking into the many clubs Tepper offers, like Scottie Ventures, 180 Degrees Consulting, and the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association.
Yesterday kicked off the fourth week of classes here on the Pittsburgh campus. So far, I am absolutely loving the academic environment and the freedom I have over my schedule. Unlike in high school, I can dictate when I want to do things, and I can choose what is most important to me. Having this flexibility and utilizing strong time management skills have allowed me to excel so far. Even while enrolled in 15-112 (CMU’s notoriously difficult and time-consuming introduction CS class), I have not yet felt overwhelmed. Contrary to what you typically hear about top-ranked schools, I have found that by planning my schedule and keeping a focus on the bigger picture, I am able to have plenty of free time to explore my interests and entertain myself.
The University of Pittsburgh is just a 10-minute walk down Forbes Avenue and is home to many incredible restaurants, stores, and non-CMU students for you to meet and become friends with. Just a short bus ride away from campus, you can visit Target, the movies, or even some of the phenomenal downtown restaurants. I have not once felt bored while living at CMU.
So far, I am loving my experience at Tepper as I have endless opportunities, work in a supportive environment, and live in a busy city with lots to do. I can’t wait to share stories, advice, and photos of my Tepper experiences over the next four years.