Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2017

Members of the Class of 2017 at Emory University's Goizueta School of Business

Members of the Class of 2017 at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business

Ever wonder why some second years can’t stop smiling when they arrive on campus? Chances are, they bagged the elephant, turning their internship into a six-figure job after graduation. Talk about a sense of liberation. Say goodbye to the uncertainty of slogging from interview-to-interview. Now, they can focus on leading clubs, following passions, and turning peers into lifelong pals.

The second year of business school is a special time, particularly at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Here, 100% of the student body land summer internships year-after-year. More important, over 60% return with jobs in the fall. In recent years, Goizueta has consistently produced some of the highest placement rates among Top 20 schools. And that includes a 94.8% rate for the 2014 Class, a success rate that eclipses bigger names like Stanford, Columbia Sloan, Tuck, and Darden.


Goizueta grads are popular among recruiters, no doubt. Since the Great Recession, Emory MBAs have experienced a 28% growth in their starting pay and bonus – topping out at $128,347 in 2014. That’s better pay than graduates from higher-ranked programs like UCLA, Yale, Texas, and North Carolina receive. More important, it’s $13,000 more than intercity rival Georgia Tech.

But the placement and pay doesn’t come easy at Goizueta. First year orientation starts in late July, with courses stretching to mid-January. Think of this time as business bootcamp, where students master the core curriculum. And this approach appealed to many members of Goizueta’s Class of 2017, including Simone Brathwaite, who was once the executive assistant to the CEO and President of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm. “I always knew the education I’d receive at Goizueta would be world-class. The program is designed to prepare students for their internships through an approach of “Day One Readiness,” in which we complete all core classes by the end of our first semester and begin taking electives in spring of year one. The internship and job placement rates spoke to the benefits of this approach.”

In other words, says Clay Daniel DeMarcus, a Vanderbilt grad who spent five years at Accenture, “students can essentially design the remainder of their schedule around their interests and preferences.” And that’s crucial for career switchers like Elen Thompson. “I needed a business school program with a great internship placement rate and challenging academics to equip me to make an impact in my internship and in my career post-graduation.”

Goizueta may not be a jobs factory, but the curriculum is geared towards giving first-years a head start. With the second semester devoted exclusively to electives, students can take the proverbial deep dive into the specialty areas where they someday hope to work. Steeped in the fundamentals and armed with technical expertise, first-years can hit the ground running in the internship. Even more, first years are required to take an experiential elective before their internships, reinforcing their abilities to partner with employers, work in team settings, and execute deliverables.

Brian Mitchell

Brian Mitchell


When it comes to pleasing employers, previous classes have set the bar high for the Class of 2017. After sizing up the 167 member class, Brian Mitchell, associate dean of the full-time MBA program, has few concerns about their readiness. “I expect great things from the Class of 2017,” he tells Poets&Quants, “because they have already shown dedication to academics and involvement within our community. They bring a diverse and valuable set of experiences that will enrich the classroom and ultimately the value they provide to their employees post graduation.”

This year, Goizueta received 1,460 applications for its incoming class, up 126 applications from the previous year. At the same time, the class size shrunk by 11 students. Overall, 34% of the incoming class are women, up 4% over the 2016 Class (and a 10% jump over the 2015 Class). International students, hailing from 15 different countries, comprise another 35% of the class. That’s down from the school’s 43% high last year – but a far cry from the 23% who were part of the most recent graduating class. Minority students made up another 14% of the incoming class.

Academically, the 2017 Class collectively averaged a 678 GMAT, down three points over last year, with GMAT scores stretching from 620 to 740 in the 80% range. At the same time, the class’ undergraduate GPA rose from 3.3 to 3.4 (at a 2.87 to 3.85 range in the 80% range). Business majors (which include marketing, accounting, finance and business administration) account for the largest bloc on undergraduate majors at 25%. Professionally, the largest portion of the class consists of consultants at 15%, followed closely by finance professionals. The class also consists of 18 U.S. military veterans, with the class bringing an average 6 years of work experience to the program.

Go to next page to access student profiles of this year’s incoming class. 


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