Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2019

Richard Murray

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  Always asking questions. Supporting others and striving for goals through hard work, positivity, and collaboration.

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to run and recently completed my first marathon. I’m hoping to do a second one later this year!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia, B.S. in Commerce

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Consultant at Bain & Company; Special Projects Consultant at Westside Atlanta Charter School

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The biggest (and proudest) accomplishments I’ve had in my career have been the opportunities I’ve had to work with two different educational organizations: KIPP New Orleans Schools, a network of charter schools in New Orleans, and Westside Atlanta Charter School (WACS), a K-8 charter school in metro Atlanta. As an Associate Consultant at Bain, I had the chance to work for four months with the KIPP New Orleans leadership team to help craft the long-term growth strategy for their network of schools, which serves over 4,000 kids each year. More recently, I spent a five-month externship working as a Special Projects Consultant at WACS, developing the school’s inaugural charter renewal report and working with the financial/operations team on strategic planning and budgeting.

Working to support such deserving groups of students, and working alongside the fantastic group of leaders and educators in both organizations, was incredibly rewarding. I’ve always been very passionate about education, and these opportunities gave me the chance to take the skills I’ve developed in my consulting experience, and apply them in an area I care deeply about. And most importantly, both projects ultimately achieved their goals – to help these amazing organizations continue to sustainably grow and thrive into the future.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? The best piece of application advice I received seemed simple at the time, but proved to be much trickier – and more valuable – than I anticipated: Build in ample time early in the process to reflect on the decision you’re making, your experiences, and the goals you’ve set for yourself as you form the “story” of your application. Crafting the core themes of your application story can often be the most difficult element of the process, but at the same time functions as somewhat of a bottleneck – you can’t cohesively outline essays, choose and advise your recommenders, or prepare for interviews until you’ve crisply articulated to yourself exactly what your story will be. Going through the thought exercises and self-reflection necessary to decide on your story is extremely helpful as both a life exercise and as a step in the application process, but it requires a significant commitment of time and effort – so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to do it right.

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? The biggest reason I was drawn to Goizueta was the sense of close community among the student body, professors, and administrators. 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.

The chance to build new relationships in a strong class community was one of the primary reasons I chose to apply to business school, and the closeness and depth of the Goizueta community was clearly evident as I went through the application and decision process. My confidence in the decision has only been reinforced as I’ve started up classes this fall. When you have the entire business school class on one, very active group text, it’s a great indicator of a tight-knit group (though it becomes pretty essential to keep your phone notifications on silent).

I was also drawn to the opportunity offered by a smaller class to more easily develop relationships with professors and program leaders. The faculty here at Goizueta is world-class and is as deeply involved with the student community as many of the students themselves. The chance to be a part of that and learn closely from such an accomplished group was difficult to pass up.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? After my first year at Goizueta, I hope to have accomplished the professional and personal goals I have set for myself. Professionally, I aim to spend my summer working with a non-profit or educational organization, exploring a new role and gaining a more robust understanding of how these types of organizations work. Personally, I hope to have forged strong relationships with my Goizueta classmates, and to have supported them in achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves, both in the classroom and for internships (particularly those interested in management consulting).

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