Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2019

Dave Greenberg

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Transitioning Marine Officer eager to learn my new profession and mix it up in the corporate world.

Hometown: Horseheads, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: Prior to my undergrad semester exchange at the Spanish Naval Academy, I traveled to Buñol, Spain and 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.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Naval Academy – International Relations

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: United States Marine Corps – Recruiting Operations Officer, Motor Transport Company Commander, Security Force Advisor, Logistics Officer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career milestone thus far was being hand-selected to command a 120 Marine Motor Transport Company in Okinawa, Japan after only 2 years in the Fleet Marine Force. However, on a personal level, I’m most grateful for the fact that our embedded police advisor team brought everyone back safely from a combat deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I once heard the adage “People like people like themselves.” There’s an obvious trap there: it’s extremely limiting. Still, my first step when evaluating MBA programs was to meet the current military veteran students. I wanted to get a feel for the tightness of their network, their thoughts on the program at large, and their experience with internship recruiting. Usually, this was accomplished by attending the veterans’ specific recruiting events. However, it was for important for me to remember that veterans only comprise a certain percentage of each class. In coming to business school, I was looking to immerse myself in a rich, diverse experience. At Goizueta, I was really impressed by the students I met, especially those with backgrounds and future career aspirations different from my own. That level of diversity is what I was looking for to broaden my horizons and prepare for my future.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? In the end, the decision was easy: the quality of the people and the community at Goizueta stood out compared to the other programs on my list.

Coming from the Marine Corps and its storied tradition of warfighting and leadership, I’ve seen the impact of culture in creating winning teams that generate camaraderie and bring out the best in their people. In applying to MBA programs, I wanted to find an institution that would be a cultural fit for me. However, with scarce time and resources during the admissions process, it can be difficult to pin down what exactly makes each program unique.

For Goizueta; the admissions team, faculty, and staff really set the tone for the program and hold themselves accountable to all the same values they seek to instill in MBA students. In addition, during a few class visits, it was easy to see the instructor’s professionalism and the energy they bring to teaching and 1:1 interaction with students. The accessibility of the professors to the students is unrivaled.

Most importantly, I was fortunate to be able to attend several admissions events throughout my decision process. The deciding factor in my decision to attend Goizueta was the relationships I’d built with my future classmates during these visits. They’re all extremely talented and bright, but also down to earth. I quickly realized that these are the people I wanted to learn from, grab a drink with and, later, be a part of my network.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Finishing up year one, I excelled in my internship, protecting the Goizueta brand. I put into action all the skills and knowledge I gained throughout the year, and identified additional areas of study to focus on during the second year. In addition, I gained the clarity to continue along the consulting track or specialize in a specific industry.

At school, I developed a strong professional network and a few lifelong friends among my classmates, the staff, faculty, and alumni. 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.

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