Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2018

Downtown Atlanta Skyline

Downtown Atlanta Skyline


What’s behind this growth? Emory’s reputation for helping grads land jobs is a place to start. This summer, for example, 100% of the 2017 Class again completed internships, a trend that stretches back six years. No doubt, Goizueta first years are capitalizing on their auditions, another reason why the school traditionally ranks among the top MBA programs for placement, producing an enviable 94.4% rate in 2015, higher than programs like Kellogg, Haas, Wharton, MIT, and Wharton. Goizueta grads also pulled down average starting salaries of $132,779, with employers including McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Google, BCG, and (of course) Coca-Cola. Such numbers caught the eye of students like Loong during the recruiting process. “The 100% internship placement rate in the program for several years speaks volumes about both the career preparation of the program and the recruiting opportunities available.”

Here’s another secret behind Emory’s success. Remember what people say about the early bird? Goizueta students start business school early…as in mid-July. Thanks to this head start, they have two months of classes under their belts before recruiters descend upon campus, giving them a comfort level few schools can match. First years also spend their spring semester on electives, along with an experiential learning project. As a result, they enter their internship equipped with both specialized knowledge and hands-on experience that employers are seeking.


Another draw, according to incoming MBA students, is Goizueta’s Atlanta locale. The ninth-largest metro in the U.S., Hotlanta has bubbled into a business hotbed. 16 Fortune 500 companies call Atlanta home, including Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Coca Cola, Sun Trust Banks and the United Parcel Service. In fact, three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies have a location in Atlanta. Inc. also reports that the Atlanta area includes 101 of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

Emory's Goizueta School of Business is ranked 20th among the best U.S. business schools by Poets&Quants.

Emory’s Goizueta School of Business

In other words, there are plenty of opportunities for partnerships, mentoring, and employment in the area (not to mention mixing and entertainment). “I was ready for a change after six years of living in New York,” Hoppenjans explains,but I still wanted to be in an exciting, global city with plenty of job opportunities. Atlanta fits the bill—and the warm weather certainly doesn’t hurt!” Even more, the school’s location enables students to reap the benefits of Atlanta without dealing with all of the distractions. “Goizueta is 20 minutes east of Downtown Atlanta,” says Rosario Babiskin, a Nestle strategic specialist who is re-locating from Washington, D.C. “It is far enough to allow me to focus on my MBA experience, but close enough to give me quick access to many of the world’s top companies.”

The program also operates three research centers covering disciplines that increasingly speak to Millennial MBAs: social enterprise, marketing analytics, and alternative investments. Such centers place students at the forefront of the best practices in the fields. As a financial analyst, Boudreaux experienced first-hand the increasing significance of data analytics. “Even in corporate finance,” she says, “the focus of my roles had moved beyond the accounting, forecasting, and investment planning and progressed into exploring how the company could use spend data to optimize investments and further enhance day-to-day business decisions.” As a result, she wanted to come to a program where she could go drill down way below the surface to understand analytics. “Emory’s Marketing Analytics Center provides a unique blend of academic and corporate resources to train students and professionals alike in leveraging data to drive more informed decisions and processes.”


Goizueta’s MBA program has graduated its share of CEOs, including United Way’s Brian Gallagher and Aflac’s Paul Amos II, along with recent heavyweights like former Burger King CEO John Chidsey and former NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer. It wouldn’t surprise anyone at Goizueta if someone from that ilk emerges from this class. Perhaps it will be Johnson, whose goal now is to create a social enterprise out of Goizueta’s servant leader model.

Dean Erika James

Dean Erika James

“My ultimate dream job is to found and lead community centers in underserved neighborhoods around the county that offer sports and academic enrichment to kids in that community,” she says. “I have always been passionate about both education and sports, and I know first-hand how many communities struggle with providing youth with some of these opportunities. My centers will use sports as a means to teach other life skills, including teamwork, respect, and effort.”

Another student to watch is Cynthia Tassopoulos, a Harvard grad, who is earning a master’s in public health at Emory along with hr MBA. She imagines someday working for The Gates Foundation. “Through the work of its Global Health Division, I see The Gates Foundation as an organization that aligns with my personal mission and creates the opportunities to make a positive and sustainable impact on women and children around the globe.”

In the meantime, the Class of 2018 will work to sustain an open and nurturing community that can withstand time and distance. When it comes to a legacy, Mike Galanis, a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, wants to be known as a guy who “gave more than I took.” Boudreaux is looking to bring out the best in her classmates, while Babiskin jokes that she’d like her classmates to remember that she cooked the best Mexican food.

In true Goizueta spirit, Clark hopes to be an example of leaders can be for his classmates. “I hope that they will remember the way that I carry myself through tough issues. There’s a false narrative in the world that portrays business leaders as callous self-interest machines, and I think we’ve all met a few people who inspire this myth. For my part, I hope my classmates regard me as someone who eschews this mindset and places his team above his own interests, especially when problems arise.”


To read profiles of incoming Goizueta students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.

Rosario Babiskin / Los Angeles, CA

Allyson Boudreaux / Lafayette, LA

Kingsley Chikata / Houston, TX

D. Wright Clarke / Pittsburgh, PA

Mike Galanis / Atlanta, GA

Robertson Greenbacker / South Boston, VA

Katie Hoppenjans  / Lewis Center, OH

Darias Damond Holloway / Fayetteville, NC

Ashley Johnson / Plainfield, NJ

Kevin Loong / Huntsville, AL

Alison Martinez / Miami Lakes, FL

Rene Meza / Houston, TX

Cynthia Tassopoulos / Dallas, TX

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