Name: David Noël
Nicknames: Dollar Dave, Daveed, Sweethands, Young Diesel
Originated From: Miami, FL
Undergrad Institution: University of Central Florida
Major: Economics & Finance
Job Before Booth: Digital Strategy At A Boutique Creative Ad Agency
Summer Internship 2019: Venture Associate for Quake Capital in Austin, TX (check out his experience here)
okay…now for the good stuff:
Prior To Booth
I was brought up in the Miami area as a first-generation Haitian American. I am the oldest of four and am constantly inspired by my family, what we believe in and who we have become.
When my parents first came to this country, my mom worked in hospitals as a respiratory nurse and my dad became a taxi driver. In the 80’s my dad made good money driving taxis. However, he along with his fellow Haitian drivers in our community quickly began to see and predict how the advent of Uber and Lyft would impact their careers. They knew that they would make better money longer term driving UberXL or UberLux, so they banded together and purchased a luxury SUV. They’ve collectively been driving with the Uber platform and have been doing well.
My three siblings embody the best of who we are and inspire me everyday to be better. My sister Makisha started an organization called “The Living Room Project: They bring young people together in living rooms to have real conversation and build relationships. My brother Jefferson is a professor at Florida Memorial University and he started an organization called “Barbershop Speaks”. Around the 2016 election, Jefferson started to realize and understand that people have very disarming conversations in barbershops. With Barbershop Speaks, he creates spaces for enlightened conversations in barbershops and brings people in to talk about topics like mental health and understanding local politics. My youngest brother Anderson has down syndrome. He is a gift from God, and his condition has been kind of a blessing in disguise. He brought our family together and taught us to have more patience, and to be more generous with our time and energy.
After graduating from UCF I worked at Deutsche Bank. I was learning a ton about investment banking , but it was very narrow in scope. Everything was about optimization and minimizing costs. So much so, that at one point they took our garbage cans from our desks to save money.
I knew it was time to take a leap, because I hit a ceiling. In summer 2015 I left my job and back to back educational programs. I went to Vanderbilt and did their Accelerator program – a 4 week consulting bootcamp. Then, I went to Chicago Booth’s Summer Business Scholars Program- a three-week Booth immersion where you go to class and interact with real professors.
That summer gave me time to think about the next step that I wanted to take. I knew I wanted to be doing something creative and strategic in the internet space. So, I went back home and worked for a digital agency and it was the most fun ever – it was like working at a Bay-area company, but in Miami. It was a super diverse laid back office. We would have happy hour socials in the conference room. Our office was so diverse that whenever it was someone’s birthday, we’d sing the happy birthday song in different languages. I loved it there, but it was always in my plan to go back to school. I wasn’t sure for what exactly. I knew I didn’t want to specialize in finance and that I wanted to have a broader business understanding. What I did know is that I want to start a company one day – and gaining this knowledge was going to be important.
Best Trip Of Your Life Thus Far:
Family thanksgiving cruise to Haiti and the Bahamas
If You Didn’t Have To Work What Would You Do:
Be an instagram influencer
Currently Reading / Listening to:
What do you think made you unique in the MBA app process?
My personal touch with admissions. By the time they saw my application, they had probably seen my face 7-10 times. I was in constant communication with the admissions team. I also did MLT. During the Summer Business Scholars program I fell in love with the program and was able to really speak eloquently to my personal experience with Booth, since I got to connect with students and take classes with Booth professors.
What App Needs To Be Made:
Social Component To Netflix – a second screen platform to connect with other watchers and friends and have discussions about the content while you’re watching.
Favorite Disney Movie:
The Lion King
What’s The Hardest Lesson You’ve Learned Thus Far?
Do things because you want to do them, not because others want you to. Follow your gut and your heart. Take advice and concerns and consideration but don’t let that make your ultimate decision.
Favorite Booth Memory Thus Far:
After the 2019 Dusable Conference, an alum created a safe space for us black students to connect on a very deep level and share our aspirations and fears, etc. My classmate Peter and I had a ball, acting as the party bartenders. I even got to play a couple tunes on the piano. It was just a great night.
What Job Would You Be Terrible At :
I’m willing to do a lot of things.
What Age Do You Want To Live Until:
I want to cryogenically freeze myself and live forever.
What Do You Wish You Knew More About:
The AI revolution
Drake, Jidenna, Summer Walker, J. Cole
What Is Worth Splurging On Everytime:
How Will You Make Your Life A “Good Life”?
Pursuing what makes me happy. Learning, doing and experiencing more while having a positive outlook. Assuming positive intentions from others. Not comparing myself to others. Setting goals and striving to achieve them.
What are you involved with at Booth:
Booth Experience Team (blog for the booth experience blog)
Venture capital career advisor
Graduate Business Council
Innovation & Design Club
Most Memorable Gift That You’ve Ever Received:
My mentee in my business fraternity gave me the watch that I wear everyday
What Lifestyle Changes Are You Trying To Make?
Sleep and wakeup earlier. Listen, understand and care more. Be more spontaneous.
What Do You Think Makes A Good Friend – How Much Do You Live Up To Your Standards?
A Person that supports you even when they get no benefit from supporting you, especially during bad times. Someone that laughs at the same jokes as you and has similar humor. Someone that is just as weird as you are.
I 100% live up to those standards. Weirdness is the spice of life.
Favorite Place To Eat In Chicago
Asian Cajun: Best catfish po’boys in the city.
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?
Start and run a company with my brother and sister
Do You Think That Aliens Exist?
They’re amongst us and just watching – not saying anything.
Who Do You Go Out Of Your Way To Be Nice To?
What Industry Do You Think Will Be Revolutionized Soon?
The Internet of Things (IoT) – Companies will become the operating systems of your life
Baby Ruths & Peach Rings
If Magic Was Real, Which Spell Would You Try First?
Wingardium Levioso – kidding. I want to be able to control time. Somethings need to be paused, some need to be fast forwarded.
What Do You Want To Get Out Of B-School?
I want to walk away with a solid foundation for interacting with the world that I can use for the rest of my life.
To have a career that I am absolutely in love with and jump out of bed to run to.
- To be a family man and raise kids that get 100x further than I do.
- To put myself in a position where all of my family is taken care of.
- To leave legacy of leaving spaces better than when I first entered them.
What Would Your Last Meal Be:
Steak, Potatoes and Asparagus
How Would You Describe Your Booth Experience:
I’ve been using it as a sandbox to experiment, whether that be leadership, group projects, etc . I approach each experience with an open mind so I can practice how to approach them in real life.