2015 Best MBAs: Emily Groffman

Emily Groffman - HEC Paris-PoetsAndQuants (1)

Emily Ruth Groffman

HEC Paris

Some MBA students aren’t looking for a bigger title or paycheck. Their end game is developing the skills to tackle the world’s big problems. Emily Ruth Groffman is one of those students. Originally a Texan, she came to HEC Paris to be around people from wildly diverse backgrounds. Even more, she came to make a difference. And she is well on her way. As an MBA student, Groffman served as the president of Net Impact Club, to help inspire and educate students on how to create a more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable world. Her impassioned leadership of the student organization would eventually led the dean to recognize it as club of the year – and Groffman herself would win the Leadership Award on a vote from her peers. Over the summer, she also interned at UNICEF and UNESCO. After graduation, Groffman will head to Haiti to fight malaria as part of the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Age: 27

Hometown: Colleyville, TX

Undergraduate School: American University, Washington DC

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in International Studies and Business Administration, with a minor in French

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Apple, Inc., Business Analyst, Austin

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014?: UNICEF, Advocacy Intern for HIV/AIDS Section in the Programme Division, NYC and also at UNESCO, Volunteer Consultant for Gender Equality Division, Paris

Where will you be working after graduation? Clinton Health Access Initiative, Senior Malaria Country Associate, Haiti

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized the people I most respected at work all had MBAs.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…doing something else interesting and exciting, but I would not be making the most out of my skills.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I plan to work for international organizations in the global health or human rights sectors, managing programs that have a global impact.

Favorite Courses: Advanced Management in Global Enterprises, Geopolitical Shifts and Global Consequences, New Business Models at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I am most proud of earning a Leadership Award from my peers at HEC Paris, helping with the launch of UNICEF’s “All In to End Adolescent AIDS” initiative during my internship there, and most recently for the work I am doing in Haiti to eliminate malaria on the island.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I am infinitely grateful for my parents. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams and they’ve done everything they can to support me.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose HEC Paris, the top business school in Europe, because I wanted to study with peers from all over the world. I knew that a career with an international non-profit organization could take me anywhere. Unlike American business schools, which typically have a 20-30% international student body, my class was 90% international, representing over 40 countries. I also wanted the opportunity to live in France and further develop my French skills.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed getting to know people from all around the world, learning about their cultures and sharing food with them.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? My most memorable moment from business school occurred during our two-day leadership seminar at Saint-Cyr Military Academy. We carried out a unique set of training activities in small teams under the supervision of French army officers, who are accustomed to making difficult decisions under pressure. Each person was required to lead a team of 11 classmates to perform a real task in an unusual context. I led my team up the “giant ladder” while overcoming my own fear of heights.

Fun fact about yourself: I have traveled to over 30 countries on four continents, including backpacking around Southeast Asia and India for three months in 2013.

Favorite book: The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux

Favorite movie: Little Miss Sunshine

Favorite musical performer: Art Brut

Favorite television show: Star Trek: The Original Series

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere I haven’t been to before!

What are your hobbies? Traveling and road cycling

Twitter Handle: @emilygroffman

What made Emily such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Emily was a truly valued member of her class, a participant who was always ready to get involved in the HEC Paris community. In particular, her tireless efforts as the president of Net Impact Club set her apart, providing her fellow students with numerous opportunities to learn more about the non-profit sector. Her involvement undoubtedly led to the organization winning the Dean’s “Club of the Year Award”, and played a considerable role in her own winning of a Leadership Award. Her passion for social, economic, and environmental sustainability has shone through in all of her work, making her an invaluable addition to the class of 2015.”

– Bernard Garrette, Professor of Strategy and Associate Dean

Best of 2015

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The Complete List: The 50 Most Exceptional MBAs of 2015

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