2018 Best MBAs: JP Ortiz, Emory University (Goizueta)

JP Ortiz

Emory University – Goizueta Business School

Entrepreneur-In-Training and liberal arts student of life.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Lubbock, TX

Fun fact about yourself: My grandparents successfully owned and operated the first Mexican restaurants in my hometown for 30 years. I love cooking for my wife and friends, and I am fortunate to have learned some of my grandparents’ recipes over the years that I make when we entertain guests. The enchiladas and guacamole are my favorites.   

Undergraduate School and Degree: Colgate University (Hamilton, NY), B.A. in Spanish and philosophy

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Associate Merchant at the Home Office of Abercrombie & Fitch

Assistant Dean of Admission and Coordinator of Diversity Recruitment, Colgate University

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

The Coca-Cola Company (Brand Marketing), Atlanta, GA

Where will you be working after graduation?          

Microsoft Corporation, Customer Success Manager (Sales)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Leadership Roles:

  • Emory Startup Launch Accelerator, Co-Founder
  • Goizueta Marketing Association, Co-President
  • Goizueta Latino Business Association, Vice-President
  • Goizueta Foundation, Graduate Student Advisor
  • Goizueta Business School, Admissions Ambassador
  • Colgate University, Mosaic Advisory Council
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), Ascend Coach


  • Tearte Family Foundation, The Consortium Fellow Global Study Grant Recipient
  • Delta Air Lines, International Mid-Semester Module (MSM) Competition Winner
  • National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Graduate Case Competition, Finalist

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m very proud of the work that I have been able to achieve with my classmates and fellow board members of the Goizueta Marketing Association (GMA). I’m fortunate to have a Co-President and close friend (Shout out to Amanda Piltzer ’18!), whose strengths complement mine and a team who has been able to execute several events successfully and enhance the club’s status at the business school. I believe that our collective efforts over the past year will leave the club in a better place than we found it, and that GMA is on track to deliver on its mission to place Goizueta MBAs in top marketing roles across the globe.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I told my friends and colleagues that I was going back to my alma mater, Colgate University, to work in the Office of Admission people had mixed responses. Some were very excited about my professional transition, and others were curious to understand why I would leave such a good job behind and take a big pay decrease moving to non-profit from the corporate world. The three years that I spent at Colgate working in admissions resulted in some of the proudest accomplishments that I have had. I worked very closely to the mission of increasing the university’s diversity enrollment profile, and every day I saw a direct and immediate impact of my work with prospective students. When students reach back out to you and share that your work has changed their lives – it’s an incredibly rewarding feeling personally and professionally.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? One of my favorite professors was Danielle (“D”) Miller, a Goizueta alumna with years of industry experience in management consulting and who served as the head instructor for our IMPACT Marketing Strategy course last spring. IMPACT is a unique elective to GBS where students work on real-world problems for corporate and non-profit clients here in Atlanta. D’s breadth of knowledge, data-driven insights, professionalism, and relentless work ethic were truly admirable and largely influenced how I think about structured problem-solving and client-facing work. I’m very grateful to her for taking the time in her career to give back to Emory and for sharing her experiences and winning strategies with me and my classmates.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Goizueta Business School (GBS) because from college I knew that one of the benefits of attending a university with small class sizes was the ability to develop close relationships with your classmates and professors, and I wanted this same experience in business school. To have this academic experience, coupled with living in a dynamic major metropolitan area and access to top companies and accomplished alumni, made my decision to choose GBS an easy one.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I’ll share a piece of advice that helped me recently in interviews when I felt like I was having some challenges communicating my experiences and background. “Personalize and show your impact.” It can be very challenging to organize your experiences and communicate them in a structured way (STAR story format, for example). If you take a step back and think about how you can personalize each response you give to a question either in an MBA program interview or in your interviews for summer internships, you will leave the interviewer with a much stronger impression of you and a sense that you are passionate and sincere as a candidate. Everyone I know at a top MBA program has the credentials and qualifications to be there, and for MBA Admission Offices and employers alike a big differentiator for candidates comes down to your ability to communicate clearly and effectively and allowing your personality to shine through.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The only myth I can think of about business school generally is more about the admission process. Sure, the numbers are important (GMAT, GPA), you and your peers will have them and need them to get in. However, the holistic application is equally important: essays, leadership involvement, volunteer work in your community. These elements help give perspective to who you are as a candidate and help you stand out among a competitive peer group.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My international classmates, hands down. I deeply admire their courage to come to the United States and engage in academics at the graduate level – often not in their native language. Their tireless work ethic in the classroom and pursuit and success in obtaining prestigious internships and jobs is incredibly admirable.

 Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I’m the first person in my family to pursue an MBA and my family and mentors have always been supportive of my goals, but I would say that the decision to come to business school was self-motivated. In my interactions with people I admired for their professional achievements – college alumni, panelists at conferences, keynote speakers, and leaders of companies – I noticed the trend that many of them had an MBA degree. I wanted to see myself in the same consideration set and knew that an MBA would be critical to developing the quantitative foundation and structured and strategic thinking needed to be successful in the business world.

 If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…I would be running a startup in the retail tech or education tech space.”

 What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Be engaged to help students from underrepresented communities succeed in college and work to close the gender and diversity gap in the tech industry.
  • Start my own company over the next decade, IPO.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Creatively driven and selfless.

What would your theme song be?  Seriously? I’m not good at these… “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias

Favorite vacation spot: Manuel Antonio (Quepos), Costa Rica

Hobbies? Running, mixing craft cocktails at home for friends, reading all the books I can get my hands on (I’m aiming for 30 this year), taming my two wild beagles: Raider and Hamilton, and spending time with my lovely wife and partner-in-crime, Emily Baselt.

What made JP such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“I had the pleasure of meeting JP in 2015, when he was first applying to Goizueta Business School. JP struck me immediately as a composed and talented professional. Since then, I’ve learned that JP is a dedicated and caring community member.

In addition to his outstanding work leading multicultural recruiting at his alma mater, Colgate University, JP participated in the competitive Management Leadership for Tomorrow program, which invites 240 high-achieving diverse MBA candidates to take part in an 18-month professional development experience. Since joining two-year MBA program, JP has contributed to diversity issues at Goizueta through his work as the Goizueta Foundation Grant Student Advisor, a role that has invited JP to work directly with Goizueta faculty, staff, and community leaders to steer a major grant intended to grow the school’s enrollment of Latino and Hispanic students across our five MBA programs. In addition, JP co-leads a team of six MBA candidates consulting with the school on this matter as part of our experiential learning program, IMPACT360.

In short, JP is a bright, motivated, and polished MBA candidate, whose presence and professionalism here at Goizueta have been to the benefit of all.”

Rebbecca KaplanAssociate Director of MBA Admissions


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