Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2018

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Allyson Boudreaux

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Challenge-seeker, community cultivator, semi-professional bridesmaid, off-tune karaoke singer.

Hometown: Lafayette, LA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I started running long distance when I moved to New York City and ran the 2014 NYC Marathon. Post marathon celebration included amazing, hard-earned doughnuts.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Florida, Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: American Express (New York, NY): Finance Manager, Senior Financial Analyst, Financial Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I spent a great deal of my senior undergraduate year expanding my professional network and periodically flying to New York City to build the business relationships that would lead to my first job offer in corporate finance with American Express.  Without substantial on-campus recruiting for such opportunities, I weathered the inevitable setbacks, frustrations and dead-ends by increasing the boldness and creativity of my strategies.  It worked. That first success, though small in retrospect, opened the door to many subsequent achievements and advancements in my career, including my promotion to manager and my recognition as a key member of the team that won the first-ever AmEx Finance Business Case Competition.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Beyond the typical GMAT or creating your story advice, I would advise future applicants to visit potential MBA programs and be thoughtful about their recommendation letters. The opportunity to speak in-person with program staff, students, and professors gave me a better understanding of how the particular program would help me to achieve my post-MBA goals. It also identified whether I would be a great fit for the program and what I could contribute to the community. Not only did these experiences produce a more genuine story in my essays and interviews, it also ensured that I made the best personal choice.

I was also advised early on to be thoughtful about my recommendation letters because many times, they are underutilized and a last thought in the application process. My chosen recommenders were individuals who had a close working relationship with me for an extended period of time. More importantly, they had already played an active role in my career. I took the time to discuss my reasoning and goals for returning to school and related it back to the projects and experiences that I had shared with them. When you have recommenders who witnessed and continually invested in your professional growth, it can be an extraordinarily powerful tool to demonstrate your story to the admissions committee.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The discussion around data analytics has risen in prominence within companies globally, agnostic to the industry or job function. Even in corporate finance, 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 the desire for data-based decisions grows along with its abundant availability, I realized that I needed to build a stronger foundation in data analytics, learning to ask the right questions and leverage data more effectively.

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. The exposure to the Marketing Analytics Center alongside the challenging yet overwhelmingly supportive community made Emory the ideal place for me to pursue my full-time MBA.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? In my current career stage, my dream job would utilize data to shape how consumers perceive and interact with the brand and its products. The relationship skills, tenacity, and analytical skills that I have built to this point would allow me to explore both the values and behaviors of consumers and to think creatively about how this knowledge can improve what the business offers for the long term.

My dream employer would be focused on consumers and employees alike and on empowering lives through its products and services and how it does business. The company would recognize the dedication and hard work of employees and, in return, support a balance of work and personal life. Additionally, with a personal goal of constant learning, I believe it is important for my dream employer to have a collaborative work environment that encourages original thought, continued growth, and calculated risk.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program?  I hope my peers see that I believed in and brought out the best in each of our classmates.

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