Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2019

Some of the MBA students in the Class of 2019 at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business

The numbers don’t lie. If you want to land a job – a good job – after graduation, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is the place to be.

Just ask the Class of 2017. By August, 94% of the class had already received job offers. However, the real story is median compensation. Here, Goizueta grads averaged $142,892 – over $1,000 better than Chicago Booth – and a $10,500 improvement from the previous class.

Translation: the Class of 2017 was drawing big paychecks across the board – not just the highest performers. Oh – and 100% of second years landed an internship this summer too – a streak that goes back seven years!


That’s a perfect situation for the Class of 2019 to enter. Think of them as confident leaders who are comfortable with who they are – yet always striving to raise their bar. Take Katie Sweeney for example. An Ohio native who worked for the Centers for Disease Control, she acts as a servant leader. Three years ago, she was deployed to Sierra Leone to combat the Ebola outbreak.

“I worked in a rural district in health promotion, or changing people’s behavior, to reduce the spread of the disease,” she explains. “I interviewed people in villages affected by the outbreak to understand their fears and beliefs and used the data to develop recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the response. It was a gut-wrenching and humbling experience.”

Students outside of Emory’s Goizueta School. Courtesy photo

You could call Ryanne Fenimore more of a transformational leader. At Cummins, she relied on persuasion and motivation to set a different tone and drive results. Notably, she built a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative into a truly galvanizing force.

“Over three years, I helped drive the creation of over 100 teams of employees who donated thousands of hours of volunteer time to benefit their communities,” she explains. “Not only was this an amazing growth experience for me as I learned to apply business skills to real life situations, but it also gave me personal satisfaction in knowing that the work I was doing was making a positive impact on the employees and the community.”


Indeed, leadership is the common thread that unites the 2019 Class. As a Commander in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dave Greenberg considers his biggest achievement as a leader to be bringing his entire company home safely from Afghanistan. Claire Pavlak’s leadership came behind the scenes as a consultant, when she authored a “seminal” research study for a client that is driving “meaningful change” across its team organization. Think of Austin Gray as an emerging leader, one who closely observed leaders at EY and applied their lessons to growing an inexperienced team when he took the helm on his first project. Then again, L. Renard Sumlar is your consummate strategic leader. He organized a team that handled the recruiting and training of welders at GE Healthcare – an initiative that quickly reduced onboarding costs and boosted manufacturing efficiency.

The incoming class brings an array of personalities to their brands of leadership. Sweeney is a “socially conscious bookworm with a travel bug.” Sakinah Watts is a lover of reading and podcasts, not to mention being a “food nerd” and “big sister extraordinaire.” And Greenberg is looking forward to transitioning from the Marine Corps to “mix(ing) it up in the corporate world.”

Jane Marrazzo, a proud Gamecock and PwC alum, has already enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame. She appeared on Family Feud in 2014. Then again, Fenimore is more infamous than famous: “There was a drink named after me on the menu of a local restaurant in my hometown.” Pavlak competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic swimming trials, while Watts has dangled twenty feet in the air as part of a Cirque du Soleil style aerial arts course she took. Too dangerous? Well, maybe Sweeney can hook you up.

Emory’s Goizueta Business School

“I once did a six-day silent meditation retreat in Bodh Gaya, India, where the Buddha was enlightened,” she shares.” It was an incredible experience, but I haven’t reached enlightenment yet.”

Alas, Arturo Gonzalez Jr. had better luck on his vacation than Sweeney. “A few months ago, my family and I spent a week in Hawaii,” he shares. “During a weekend excursion, I found myself on the set of Jumanji with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart.” If you’re thinking about booking a trip, ask Greenberg about what happens in Buñol, Spain. “I fought my way to the center of the world’s largest food fight, the Tomatina, which involves approximately 40,000 participants and 40,000 metric tons of tomatoes.”


It was an up-and-down year in terms of inputs for the Class of 2019. On one hand, the program saw applications tumble from 1,432 to 1,146 over the past year. At the same time, the class size slipped by nine members to 172. In the process, the school’s average GMAT slid down a point to 682 while its acceptance rate rose a point to 32.2%.

However, the incoming class also represented a major step forward on several fronts. For one, average GPAs rose a tenth to 3.4, besting small school gems like Vanderbilt and Rice in the process. The percentage of women also bounced back to 30%, with the underrepresented minority population climbing two points as well. While the percentage of international students dropped by five points, the class actually welcomed students from six more countries over the previous year.

Academically, the Class of 2019 resembles last year’s cohort is several facets. For one, business majors continue to hold sway at Goizueta, accounting or 38% of the class – a point higher than the 2018 Class. Engineering and computer sciences majors represented the second largest proportion of students at 22%, up three points. The big difference, however, involves the humanities and social sciences. The disciplines pulled off a near reversal, with humanities falling from 13% to 6%, with the social sciences making up the difference by rising from 10% to 18%.

The class also features a wide array of professional backgrounds in nearly equal proportions. First among near equals is consulting, which encompasses 16% of the class. Last year’s largest bloc, financial services, saw its share sink from 23% to 14%. Tech takes up 11% of the class, with government, manufacturing, and media each holding 10% — just a shade higher than consumer marketing (9%) and non-profits (8%).

Go to page 2 to see in-depth profiles of incoming Emory Goizueta MBA students.

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