2016 Best MBAs: Coral Taylor, Georgetown

Coral Taylor Georgetown

Coral Taylor


Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

“I have the spirit of an entrepreneur and the desire to do social good. In the long-term, I aspire to start, lead, or invest in companies that are making social-economic change in a sustainable way.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Prunedale, CA

Education: Stanford University, BA in Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? After college, I worked at Barclays Capital as a Sales Analyst, but that was 2007-2008. I make a 180-switch into education and worked at the KIPP Foundation for about 6 years in NYC and San Francisco. I was first an executive assistant, then project manager, and then senior program manager.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Starbucks – Seattle, WA

Where will you be working after graduation? Starbucks – Brand Management

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Graduate Marketing Association – VP of Career
  • Student Liaison – CGSM (The Consortium for Graduate Study of Management)
  • 2nd Place – 2015 Georgetown Startup Pitch Competition
  • DC InSITE Fellow – Engaged in semester long consulting projects with 4 startups in DC
  • 2015 VCIC (Venture Capital Investment Competition) Global Competition Champion
  • Membership in International Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma
  • I remained on the Leadership Board for the San Francisco Chapter of SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Winning the Global Finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) in 2015 was incredible! In VCIC, teams of 5 students act as investor groups and evaluate real startups. We are judged by VCs on how well we negotiate and build rapport with entrepreneurs, how we conduct due diligence, the investment we pick, and term sheet we construct. For my team, the global final was the culmination of many months of hard work and true teamwork. In order to compete in the global finals, my team had to win two internal rounds at Georgetown (Nov) and a Regional competition in Colorado (Feb). In between competitions, we practiced and networked to continuously improve. I had an incredible team of peers who wanted to learn, do their best, and have fun.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the work that I did at the KIPP Foundation, integral to the growth of the KIPP Through College Initiative (KTC). When I joined in 2008, the KTC team was just starting with one person at the Foundation and about 15-20 advisors in the network, but there were already thousands of students. By the time I left in 2014, the KTC team had 10 brilliant minds at the Foundation, over 150 advisors in the network, and clear priorities. As we liked to say, “KTC was everyone’s business,” and I am proud that I played a role in making that happen.

Who is your favorite professor? Melissa Bradley – I took her Impact Investing and Peer to Peer Economies classes. In every class, there is a lively debate because Professor Bradley challenges her students to think about the repercussions of business decisions on society and social services. Achieving high financial return is great, but at what cost (not just the kind that shows up on financial statements).

Favorite MBA Courses?

  • Strategic Marketing Research
  • Peer to Peer Economies
  • Startup Factory

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Georgetown because of three things:

  1. Academic Rigor – I was excited about being back in the classroom and wanted professors who would challenge me.
  2. Growing entrepreneurship community within the school and in the surrounding community – I wanted to work with entrepreneurs and startups while in business school, but I didn’t have a track record. Georgetown and D.C. have very inclusive startup communities and great opportunities to get involved.
  3. Diversity in the classroom – I wanted to learn from my peers just as much as I would learn from professors. Nearly half of my classmates are international.

What did you enjoy most about business school? There is so much you can do! Whether it’s a case competition, starting a company, conducting research, traveling, consulting, the list goes on… there are opportunities to do all of it and access to resources to help you participate.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? Business school is just as much about personal reflection and development as it is about building hard skills. I am more confident, more self-aware, and a better communicator because of my experiences in business school.

What was the hardest part of business school? Learning how to say “no.” There are so many great opportunities and resources available to you as a student, and you feel like you should take advantage of all of them. However, there is not enough time. I had to become very diligent about prioritizing opportunities that would help me get closer to achieving my goals for business school.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Visit the campus and speak to as many students as you can to make sure the school you choose is the right one. You can get a great education at any school, but your experience is shaped by your peers and the culture. I spoke to about eight current students and attended Welcome Weekend before choosing Georgetown. 

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that in order for me to grow within my current job or switch careers, I needed to develop a new skill set.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…not sure… it’s hard to think about not going business school.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I have the spirit of an entrepreneur and the desire to do social good. In the long-term, I aspire to start, lead, or invest in companies that are making social-economic change in a sustainable way.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? First, my family and my boyfriend. They are my biggest fans and cheering squad. If I failed, they were proud of me for trying. If I succeeded, they were ready to celebrate with me. Having their support meant everything.

Second, I would thank the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Their program helped to propel me ahead in terms of career preparation and exploration. They have a valuable network of companies and alumni who are always willing to help the next class.

Fun fact about yourself: When I was a kid, if I wasn’t in school I was at the skating rink. I was a competitive artistic dance roller skater for 10 years, and qualified to compete at the junior world class level at the age of 13.

Favorite book: Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie

Favorite movie: Coming to America – best comedy of all time!

Favorite musical performer: Stevie Wonder – I saw him live last year at the Verizon Center!

Favorite television show: Scandal and Shark Tank

Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere in Hawaii.

Hobbies? Anything outdoors or active – running, hiking, cycling.

What made Coral such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Coral Taylor has distinguished herself in many ways while at Georgetown McDonough. She is a member of our inaugural class of Consortium for Graduate Study in Management students, an organization committed to increasing the number of minorities in business schools and corporate America. She served as the Consortium liaison for the past two years and has provided invaluable support to first-year students academically, through service opportunities, and by establishing networking/mentoring relationships.

Coral engaged in co-curricular activities and assumed leadership positions as well. She served as the VP of Career for the Graduate Marketing Association, and was a member of Georgetown Women in Business, Black MBA Association, Net Impact, and the Entrepreneurship Club.”

Coral also was instrumental in helping students and administration engage in the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion at a business school.  She was part of a working group that helped define the issues and suggest solutions. Her contributions were incredibly valuable.

Another area that Coral distinguished herself was in case competitions.  Her Venture Capital Investment Competition team was named Global Champions, and she finished 2nd in the Startup Pitch Competition.

Coral spent her 2015 summer interning at Starbucks and will begin her post-MBA career in its Seattle headquarters as part of the Category Brand Management Team.

All of her contributions and accomplishments point to her true commitment to making a positive social change in the world. She embodies the values of service and giving back, and is an inspiration to her classmates.” — Kerry Pace, Associate Dean for MBA Programs, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business


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