2016 MBAs To Watch: Brian Berkowitz, Emory (Goizueta)

Brian Berkowitz Emory

Brian Berkowitz

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Age: 28

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Undergraduate School and Degree: Princeton University – Operations Research and Financial Engineering (B.S.E)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Kaiser Permanente, Regional Strategy Group

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations (Atlanta, Georgia)

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations (Atlanta, Georgia)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School Dean’s List, Goizueta; Healthcare Association VP of External Affairs; Coordinator of Emory’s Annual Healthcare Forum and Case Competition; Emory Strategic Planning Committee Member; Youth Leadership Summit Volunteer; NYO Youth Baseball Head Coach; Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research Committee Member; and Founder of a nonprofit that provides school resource officers to protect students.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of winning Emory’s National Healthcare Case Competition. With my passion for healthcare, being able to come up with a healthcare exchange solution that was selected over numerous teams from multiple MBA programs was an extremely rewarding achievement.  

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While I was at Kaiser Permanente, I was responsible for designing and launching Kaiser Georgia’s first onsite employer clinic. This was a big accomplishment for me because onsite employer clinics are a new, innovative solution to help lower employee healthcare costs and reduce absenteeism.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Michael Sacks brought an amazing real-world perspective to his Leading Organizations and Strategy course. His teaching style uniquely provides a strong learning environment while still being fun and interactive. I was also able to work closely with Michael in his new role as vice provost of university strategies, on a team that was tasked with creating Emory’s next strategic plan.

Favorite MBA Courses? Goizueta Marketing Strategy Consultancy, Applied Entrepreneurship, and The Business of Healthcare

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Goizueta for two reasons: location and specialty. Having grown up in Atlanta, I knew the opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally, that a thriving southern city would offer. I also knew about Emory Healthcare’s strong reputation and the opportunities that studying nearby would offer my interest in healthcare.

What did you enjoy most about business school? My favorite part of business school was definitely the global exposure opportunities (I was never able to study abroad in college because I played varsity baseball). While in business school, I was able to spend a month in Australia and New Zealand with 30 amazing classmates. We not only got to see some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but we also learned about how businesses are run in that part of the world.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The biggest lesson I gained from business school was the power of making connections and the importance of networking. Be sincere and take a personal interest in everyone you meet. Everybody knows somebody.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? I didn’t choose Emory because of the small class size, but it turned out to be the most pleasant surprise of business school. Emory’s intimate environment gave me the opportunity to get to know every one of my classmates, who may have taught me as much as or more than what I learned in the classroom. Every person is unique and has a great story to share.

What was the hardest part of business school? It may sound a bit cliché, but honestly the hardest part about business school is finding the best way to manage your time when you have so many opportunities at your fingertips.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Visit, visit, visit! Before you even apply, take the time to visit our campus and experience the Emory environment. You can read as much as you want about different schools, but you can’t get the real feel without stepping on campus. This not only will help you decide whether Emory is the right place for you, but it will help set you apart on your application and during your interviews.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I evaluated the common theme between successful leaders who drive significant and impactful change, and that was an MBA.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… continuing my career in healthcare and keeping an eye out for entrepreneurial opportunities in this space.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? I most admire the co-founders of Oscar Health (Joshua Kushner, Kevin Nazemi, and Mario Schlosser) for their creation of an insurance company that employs technology, design, and data to humanize and improve healthcare. Oscar has already been named to CNBC’s Disruptor 50 Most Innovative Startups and MM&M Top 40 Healthcare Transformers.

What are your long-term professional goals? Regardless of my career path, I would like to improve the American healthcare system and make care more affordable by becoming an innovator in the healthcare space.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I can’t thank anyone more than my parents. They always stressed that I should have a passion for anything I do, and that “knowledge is the one thing that no one can ever take away from you.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have tried 80 of Creative Loafing’s 100 Dishes to Eat in Atlanta, and plan to finish off the list sometime this year.

Favorite book: Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof.

Favorite movie: Inception.

Favorite musical performer: Zac Brown Band.

Favorite television show: “Law and Order” (which is nice because it is always on!).

Favorite vacation spot: Nassau, Bahamas (or any beach).

Hobbies? I love playing golf, coaching baseball, watching college football, and trying new and different foods.

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

“Brian Berkowitz has made a tremendous impact on our community at Emory. Brian is truly gifted across several dimensions, both academically and interpersonally. For starters, Brian’s academic record is absolutely stellar, earning spots on our Dean’s List and several additional academic honors. On top of that, Brian is a quintessential team player, able to serve in very different team roles and work productively with anyone. Brian was a no-brainer when I was choosing a team of six from among the 200 in our full-time MBA community to work on Emory’s strategic planning process. He was our team utility player, shifting easily between various disparate tasks and sometimes with little advance notice. Throughout the process, his highly professional and inclusive demeanor helped keep us all moving forward. I would work with Brian again in a second, and wish I could have him on all my teams. He brings out the best in those around him and has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Michael Sacks
Vice Provost for University Strategies
Emory University

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