2018 MBAs To Watch: Mike Galanis, Emory University (Goizueta)

Mike Galanis          

Emory University – Goizueta Business School

“Grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Addicted to travel.”

Age: 27

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

Fun fact about yourself: I was born on the west coast and lived in Hawaii during my early childhood. I didn’t own a long pair of pants until late elementary school when I moved to Georgia. Not being able to see my knees when I put on jeans for the first time was a traumatic experience as a child and I’m still not a huge fan of long pants.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of North Georgia – BBA

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? US Army – Intelligence Officer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Bain & Company, Atlanta

Where will you be working after graduation? Bain & Company, Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Admissions Graduate Assistant

Consulting Association Case Coach

Goizueta Nonprofit Consultant

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My involvement with the Goizueta Nonprofit Club was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at Goizueta. I worked with a small group of classmates to help the owner of a nonprofit in Atlanta discover new growth opportunities and ways to better articulate and achieve his mission. Getting to work with such an important organization and witness its growth firsthand was extremely gratifying.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Deploying twice with some of the best soldiers in the Army. Their service and sacrifice was incredibly humbling and helped shape who I am today.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Kevin Coyne. He continually asked us to think outside the box, often times forcing us to think about problems from multiple perspectives to fully understand all the critical elements. I think I learned the most when there was no “right or wrong” answer, and Kevin Coyne spent most of his lectures debating topics where there weren’t clear-cut solutions.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Competitive Advantage (taught by Kevin Coyne) taught me that most complex problems have multiple solutions depending on perspectives and incentives.

Why did you choose this business school? Goizueta’s location in Atlanta was the reason I initially looked at the program. As I got to know the faculty and student body through the admissions process, I realized that not only was the school well-located geographically, but it also embodied many of the values that I was looking for in an MBA program. The camaraderie amongst the student body is surreal and was something I immediately noticed during my first visit.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? The reason I chose Goizueta was the culture and student body. Without visiting, I would have never experienced that first-hand and appreciated how important it would be in my decision-making process. If possible, I think all applicants should take the time to visit. Working with the admissions office this past year, I have helped coordinate and schedule class visits and have heard from numerous prospective students that visiting made a large difference for them as well.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth I hear from prospective students during their application to Goizueta is they think they will be limited to Atlanta or the Southeast after graduation. I have classmates going across the country and around the globe to a myriad of jobs and functions. It’s incredible how broad the opportunities are, and I think it is an important aspect to consider when applying.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Goizueta has multiple opportunities to travel internationally for learning opportunities, networking opportunities, and school credit. I was able to take advantage of some of these opportunities, but looking back, I regret not taking the opportunity to pursue more global experiences.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Rene Meza. Between being a classmate, a father, a student government leader, and a gym partner, Rene found a way to make juggling multiple responsibilities seem easy and never appeared to get overly stressed about anything. He made time to help everyone and never complained.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of my previous bosses in the Army left a few years before I did to get his MBA. Observing his experiences, seeing the opportunities he had, and watching the success many of his peers achieved, convinced me that I wanted to pursue an MBA.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in law school. I am very thankful I made the decision I did.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? During our second semester, students at Goizueta are given a unique opportunity to work with a real client in the Atlanta area to help solve a complex problem facing the business. The opportunity to apply what I was learning in an applicable and impactful way was one of the highlights of my MBA experience. I think programs like that should be expanded upon, to provide a balance of academic and real-world learning over the course of the program. I know the evolution of that program is a focus of Goizueta Business School’s leadership and I look forward to seeing its continued evolution going forward.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

Visit every country

Relearn how to sail

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would just like to be remembered as having helped when and where I could to the best of my abilities.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Big Short. I watched it before business school and admittedly understood very little. I watched it again recently and understood enough to laugh at the jokes.

What would your theme song be? “Vacation” – Thomas Rhett

Favorite vacation spot: Edinburgh

Hobbies? Reading, travel, and trying new things

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

“Mike Galanis is one of Goizueta Business School’s Woodruff Scholars, Emory University’s top scholar designation. Woodruff Scholars are expected to bring to Emory intellectual vigor, outstanding academic achievement, significant leadership and unselfish character. It was clear during our recruiting process that Mike exceeded these expectation and thus joins a rich community of scholars among all Emory schools. Mike came to Goizueta from the US Army, where he was an Intelligence Operations Officer. In addition to his leadership serving our country, he was also involved not only during his undergraduate studies, but also in the community. Mike has been a leader at Goizueta as well. He is an active member of our Veteran’s and Consulting Clubs as well as our Goizueta Ambassadors Program. Mike interned with Bain & Co this past summer and will be returning there full-time after his MBA. We are very proud of him!

I’ve gotten to know Mike more closely this year as he was hired as my Graduate Assistant in the Admissions Office in September. I sought someone who I knew would be reliable, quick witted and knew his fellow classmates well. He has not disappointed. Mike is highly disciplined, strategic and collaborative. He keeps a close eye on projects that need immediate attention, but has the vision to plan for what’s on the horizon. In addition, Mike is a joy to be around. I always appreciate when he pops in to give me updates, offer suggestions, or just say hi. He’s well-traveled and has a philanthropic heart. He recently volunteered in Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity. He said it was a transformative experience and plans to continue involvement with the organization. I have no hesitation recommending Mike for Poets & Quants Best and Brightest MBAs. He embodies the spirit of what every business school hopes their students will become.”

Heather Holland

Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions

Goizueta Business School – Emory University





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