Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2019

Emory Goizueta Business School Profile Image

Emory Goizueta Business School


The 2019 Class is entering a program in transition. Over the past year, the program has been busy unveiling a new set of strategic initiatives, says Brian Mitchell, associate dean of the full-time MBA program in a statement to Poets&Quants. These stem from intensive research and interviews with leaders and alumni to pinpoint what will drive business impact and professional success. As a result, the school has begun investing more heavily in programming and partnerships around areas like social enterprise, business analytics, healthcare, and experiential learning.

“We believe business schools and business should work hand-in-hand in not only securing a quality group of future leaders but also addressing some of the most pressing issues in society,” Mitchell notes. “This will impact our students in several ways, including providing more points of interaction with industry and an understanding of how business can impact the world.”

Such efforts also feed into the school’s celebration of its centennial in 2019, a historical landmark that will feature an array of events and new developments. “Students enrolling today and those in the Class of 2020 and 2021 can expect initiatives that further tie Goizueta Business School to the business community,” Mitchell adds. “Our dean, Erika James, has encouraged and empowered the entire school to seek meaningful, mutual-beneficial partnerships. In the Full-Time MBA program, that includes partnering with Delta Air Lines on various leadership experiences and programs. I envision many more of these type relationships in the future.


In business, there is a saying that “Whatever gets measured gets done.” At Goizueta, placement and pay are undoubtedly key metrics. That’s one reason why the school’s Career Management Center has emerged as one of its great strengths. Although the program boasts the smallest class size among the 20 highest-ranked American MBA programs, the center holds over 160 career events each year. Each student is also paired with a personal career coach, to help them quickly identify and act upon their passions and strengths. That doesn’t count mentoring programs that match students with like-minded alumni and second-years who can open doors and provide critical guidance.

Even the curriculum is geared to this next step. The core courses are front loaded in the first semester. This frees students to load up on electives before the all-important internship. At the same time, the school maintains a well-earned reputation for leadership development. It starts early with a required hands-on course, where first years reflect critically on their strengths and shortcomings. From there, Goizueta offers several defining experiences. One is the Leader’s Reaction Course at Fort Benning. Here, students gain self-awareness and problem-solving skills by teaming up to climb walls and navigate (fake) land mine fields. Another is the Advanced Leadership Academy, a week-long Caribbean sailing competition where student play different roles to hone their communication skills in adverse terrain.

Associate Dean Brian Mitchell

“One of the reasons I decided to return to school to get an MBA was to foster my leadership skills,” says Gonzalez. “I knew I would have an abundance of opportunities to do just that at Goizueta.”


In other words, Goizueta MBAs students enjoy the best of both worlds: an abundance of resources targeted to a small community where personalized attention is the cornerstone of the experience.  “The word that best summarizes my decision to join Goizueta is access,” explains Pavlak.“Emory offers a unique value proposition of being an intimate community in a major city, and this combination made me feel immediately at home while also providing a sense of limitless opportunity post-MBA. So far, Emory has lived up to this idea of access—I’ve had one-on-one conversations with deans, have met 90% of my classmates, and have connected with alumni who are more than willing to provide connections and assistance as I begin to think about career options—and I’m only one week in.”

Access may be one way to describe Emory. Intimate may be another. One of the program’s most striking features, say students, is the strong sense of community that surrounds it. That is rooted in the program’s small class structure, where a constant intersection enables students to quickly build a familiarity that often matures into deep friendships

“With fewer than 200 people in each class, Goizueta offers students the chance to truly get to know and form relationships with their entire class and the classes above and below them in a way that would be virtually impossible in many larger programs,” says Richard Murray who comes to Goizueta from Bain.


The class size also fosters greater connection to faculty and administration, Murray adds. The program boasts a 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio, one of the lowest in graduate business education. This has helped create a noticeable bond between student and faculty at the school. At Welcome Weekend, for example, Sweeney observed a “rapport” between them that she hadn’t witnessed anywhere else. It goes well beyond that, adds Murray. “The faculty here at Goizueta is world-class and is as deeply involved with the student community as many of the students themselves.”

It is also a community committed to reaching out far beyond the confines of Clifton Road,” adds Gonzalez. “Goizueta is heavily involved in the community and does a great job offering students leadership projects to work with local businesses. “Through Goizueta’s IMPACT, students have an opportunity to positively influence partner companies while gaining valuable leadership and practical experience.”

For students who crave a job after graduation, Atlanta is the perfect place to be. The metro area is home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Home Depot, SunTrust Bank, Delta Airlines and UPS. What’s more, three-quarters of the Fortune 1000 maintain an office in the metro area. The area is also home to the world’s busiest airport and nearly 14,000 tech firms. In fact, 70% of all American financial transactions are processed in Georgia, which has turned the Atlanta area into a major player FinTech and cybersecurity.

A view of downtown Atlanta from The Varsity, a landmark burger joint.

And that doesn’t even the area’s friendly weather and trademark southern charm!


For Sumlar, this location, coupled with the “fantastic” students and staff he has met, made Goizueta the right choice. “I chose Goizueta Business School because I wanted an experience at a top school located in a city that would expose me to multiple industries,” he says. “Atlanta has a strong presence in industries such as technology, telecommunications, transportation, food and beverage, logistics, and finance. Through Goizueta’s awesome alumni network, I can connect with people who work at top companies in these industries within a 30 minute drive from campus.”

Don’t assume student fortunes are tied to Atlanta, however. Traditionally, barely half of the graduating class stay in the south – and many work for firms outside of Atlanta’s orbit. “While I had many classmates intern in Atlanta with me this past summer, I also had classmates interning in Seattle, New York City, and India,” shares Adam Parker, a 2017 Goizueta grad and member of P&Q’s Best & Brightest MBAs. “Next year I’ll have classmates working in China, Miami, and Chicago. Goizueta truly has a global footprint.”

So what’s next for the Class of 2019? Murray, for one, is looking forward to building relationships – and supporting his classmates in their quests for internships. After her first year, Fenimore hopes to possess greater comfort with data. For Ryan Trepte, a native of nearby Roswell, success would involve a “strong sense of direction.”

At the same time, Greenberg is looking forward to “protecting the Goizueta brand” by crushing his internship. While networking and relationships are crucial Greenberg, he also wants to make sure he enjoys the process as he grows. This is what he hopes to say after the spring semester is completed:

“I took advantage of the opportunity to be a student again and became a more capable professional and all-around better person. Despite the hectic schedule and competing demands, I maintained balance in my personal and professional life. Most importantly, I never stopped having fun and was constantly learning.”

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


Student Hometown Alma Mater Employer
 Ryanne Fenimore  Brownsburg, IN  Boston College  Cummins
 Arturo Gonzalez Jr.  McDonough, Georgia  University of Georgia  Liberty Mutual Insurance
 Austin Gray  Alpharetta, GA  Alpharetta, GA  Ernst & Young
 Dave Greenberg  Horseheads, NY  U.S. Naval Academy  U.S. Marine Corps
 Max Hemm  Würzburg, Germany  University of St Andrews  Omya International AG
 Jane Marrazzo  Greenville, SC  University of South Carolina  Ernst & Young
 Richard Murray  Birmingham, AL  University of Virginia  Bain & Company
 Claire Pavlak  Rocky River, OH  Emory University  Prophet Brand Strategy
 L. Renard Sumlar  Jacksonville, FL  University of Florida  General Electric Healthcare
 Katie Sweeney  Cincinnati, OH  Ithaca College  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 Ryan Trepte  Roswell, GA  University of Georgia  Earth Fare
 Sakinah Watts  Atlanta, GA  Spelman College  General Mills

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