Smith Soc Featured Member
Questions and Answers with Adam Smith Society Featured Members.
Anthony (Rek) LeCounter | UVA Darden Chapter
Rek served as the 2020-2021 Chief of Staff of the Smith Soc chapter at Darden, where he also served as President of the LGBTQ MBA student group, Pride at Darden. Before Darden, Rek studied political science at Yale and worked for free market and liberty-oriented organizations in Northern Virginia. As a proud Southerner, Rek loves college football (Go Gators!), soul food, country music, bourbon, and seersucker.
Name something you’ve gained from your membership in the Adam Smith Society that you feel like you could not have gotten elsewhere in your MBA program.
Smith Soc gave me my first practical sense of how markets worked. The BeerX stock market simulation at Darden deeply tested my basic understanding of market forces, collective action, unanticipated shocks, speculation, and the “invisible hand.” Through a fun exercise with friends and beer, Smith Soc helped me to appreciate the inherent flaws of trying to impose central planning and excessive regulatory assumptions on the complex and vastly beneficial engines of wealth creation.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
As an Army brat, I’ve lived in nine states across three continents—North America, Europe, and South America. At different points of my life, I’ve been able to passably speak German (learned in Germany), Spanish, or Portuguese (learned in Brazil).
How do you curate your intellectual diet? What blogs, publications, etc. do you read regularly?
I try to get a good mix of ideas from a variety of sources. I regularly listen to 3 Martini Lunch podcast from National Review and Radio America; Commentary Magazine Podcast; Young Heretics podcast about Western culture and heritage, from my friend Spencer Klavan; Tides of History podcast from Wondery; and Short Circuit podcast from the Institute for Justice, a former employer. I also read The Dispatch, National Review, Washington Examiner, Andrew Sullivan, Washington Post, Politico, NBC, and an occasional smathering of conservative institutional blogs, including AEI, ATR, Cato, Heritage, Hoover, Reason, and R Street.
MBAs are used to being interviewed and having an employer make an offer. But, let's turn it around. What if you could pick your boss? If you could choose any entrepreneur, CEO, or political leader to go work for, and learn from, who would it be and why?
I would love to work for Nikki Haley. I admire the principled, versatile, and effective leadership she displayed as a historic Governor of South Carolina and US Ambassador to the UN. As a fellow Southerner and ethnic minority, I’ve been deeply moved by her ability to rise up through conservative politics in the Deep South and in the federal Cabinet, fostering healing of old, unpleasant wounds among folks of profoundly different perspectives.
Following the completion of your MBA, what are your future plans/goals?
I came to business school in part to figure out how we can combine the civic-mindedness and moral clarity of nonprofit organizations with the scalability and wealth creation of the free market. In the short- to long-term, I want to figure out how best to go about that in whatever roles I serve in after graduation. My husband, a law student, and I both graduated from UVA in May, and we’re looking forward to putting down permanent roots as a family in Atlanta.