2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Jay Mathes, Emory University (Goizueta)

Jay Mathes 

Goizueta Business School, Emory University

A fun-loving Notre Dame fanatic who finds strength in developing stronger communities.”

Hometown: Dunwoody, GA

Fun fact about yourself: While volunteering in Nicaragua, I climbed Cerro Negro – Central America’s youngest active volcano.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Notre Dame. BBA, Management Entrepreneurship

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Deloitte Consulting, Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Lori Systems. Nairobi, Kenya

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte Consulting, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: 

  • Vice President of Community Outreach, Graduate Business Association
  • Co-President, Goizueta Toastmasters
  • Co-President, Goizueta Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club
  • President, Goizueta Wine and Food Club
  • Co-Chair, Goizueta Core Values Council
  • Delta Airlines Leadership Coaching Fellow
  • 2017 Delta Airlines International MSM competition winner

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? 

On August 30, 2018, the GBS Class of 2019 and foreign exchange students came together for the Keystone Day of Service. Keystone is not only the kickoff for students’ final year at GBS, but also an opportunity to embrace Goizueta Business School’s core value of community. As VP of Community Outreach, I led this initiative, placing over 240 MBA candidates to serve 11 different communities throughout Atlanta. We packed over 1000 meals at Open Hands, developed a STEM curriculum for adult and student learners at the Kroc Center, saved 389 lives at MedShare, and – the closest to my heart – destroyed an incomputable amount Japanese Wisteria with Trees Atlanta. This was not only a great way to start off the school year but an excellent reminder that business leadership and servant leadership are not mutually exclusive.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I don’t think there is one milestone achievement in my career, but while at Deloitte, I received a voicemail from a client’s director of business operations thanking me for my hard work and commitment to their project. I had been off the project for a few months, so it was great to know that my impact was truly felt. When I’m having a bad day, I listen to this voicemail to remind myself that just because I cannot see immediate results does not mean that I am not doing impactful work.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Renee Dye is one of my favorite professors at Goizueta. Much like the class of 2019, she was new to campus in 2017, but wasted no time making an impact inside and outside of the classroom. She is unafraid to tell students when they are wrong, but instead uses the combined intellectual capital of the class to reach a correct solution. As the core strategy course professor, Professor Dye draws on her years of consulting experience to uniquely challenge each student and arm us with easily implementable strategies to make an impact in any business setting. As the Strategic Management IMPACT360 professor, she ensured that our team’s expectations exceeded the client’s expectations, resulting in high-quality work that had a tangible output. Outside of the classroom, Professor Dye has actively supported the Goizueta Women in Business Club and has invited her husband to speak on Equal Pay Day.

Why did you choose this business school?

I chose Goizueta for 4 reasons.

  1. Goizueta felt like home. I was not even considering GBS until I reconnected with an alum who convinced me to visit campus. While on campus, I was blown away by the collegiate culture and high quality of the MBA candidates. At GBS, the community has essentially become a larger extension of my own family.Due to the small class size, I get to know each classmate, learn from their breadth of experiences, and make lifelong friends along the way
  2. Global Experiences. Through both the plethora of study abroad options and the mid-semester module structure, students get the opportunity to travel and become better global citizens. Since moving back to Atlanta for business school, I have traveled to 16 countries on five continents.
  3. Atlanta. While still a bit undiscovered, Atlanta is a vibrant business community and a great place to employ the skills we learn in class. Add on top of that the luxuries of a major city and a top-tier airport, Atlanta has been a phenomenal place to spend two years.
  4. Core Values. During my MBA, a major goal of mine was to become a better leader and I saw the Goizueta core values as a way to challenge my leadership growth outside of the hard skills acquired in the classroom. While touring MBA programs, it was clear that each program had values they touted. Yet at most places, it seemed more like marketing material than an actual cornerstone of the education. At GBS the core values are truly the foundation on which the school is built.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be vulnerable. As a smaller MBA program, GBS has to carefully handcraft each class. By being honest, showing personality, and simply being yourself, the admissions team will learn so much more about you and how you can make Goizueta a stronger community than if you’re trying to fit a certain persona that you think admissions “wants to see.”

What is the biggest myth about your school? 

Myth: Goizueta doesn’t have high caliber students because it isn’t a top 10 school.

Reality: The fact that someone told me this prior to enrolling at GBS is laughable. Sure, Goizueta is a small school and isn’t in the top 10, but my peers have exceeded all my expectations and helped me become a better human. Not only do we have a diverse set of backgrounds and a wide array of interests, but we challenge each other daily and are not afraid to have difficult conversations. Moreover, we had resounding success in our job pursuits and as student leaders have made GBS a stronger community. I would argue that my ROI (“return on interaction”) with each classmate is greater than it would be elsewhere, as a small program structure allows for more constant and deeper interactions with each other.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? Business school has been the most transformational time in my personal life. Like all MBAs, I’ve acquired a select set of skills that will make me dangerous to any business scenario. However, the growth in business acumen is minimal in comparison to how I have grown as a human. I want to thank my classmates for challenging me daily. They have allowed me to fail, but are always there to pick me back up. It’s great to know that in business school I have not only gained skills to support my career but also had life-altering experiences and made lifelong friends along the way.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Eric and Heather Majeska. I am constantly in awe of how Eric and Heather manage their day to day life. As both full-time MBA candidates and parents of two children, they have more on their plate before 8 a.m. than I have in an entire day. Yet, they are constant members of the Dean’s List, always prepared for every class, and are some of the nicest and most supportive members of the GBS community. They do all this while actively engaging in the Goizueta community. It isn’t uncommon to see Mia and Brendan (their kids) running around and making friends at weekly KEGS (Keeping Everyone at Goizueta Social).

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father Joe Mathes, has had the greatest direct impact on my business career. He instilled a drive for intellectual curiosity in my brothers and I not only by helping us see the value of knowledge and education, but also by sharing learning lessons about the trials and tribulations of his own career. Regarding the specific MBA pathway, Erin Kruse, a Deloitte Consulting Senior Manager, was the most influential. Through working with her and hearing about her MBA journey, I could see the additional value it brought to her personal and professional life.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? If I never hear the word “synergy” used in a business scenario ever again, I will die a happy man.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working on an International project at Deloitte or in operations of a health-tech startup.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? In lieu of doing a NPV of my future earnings, I’ll go with the cost on Goizueta’s admission website of approximately $152,963 and say that it has been worth every penny. While I wish the cost of an MBA education was lower to be more obtainable for all, I cannot put a numeric value on knowledge, friends, and experiences that I obtained over the past two years. I have succeeded and failed, but regardless of individual outcomes, I am a better human because of my time at GBS.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? 

  1. Complete Ironman Lake Placid in under 12 hours
  2. Endow the renaming of Candler Park Golf Course to Goizueta Country Club (due to the exceptional student rates there that always allow for many GBS MBAs to play the course.)

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A passionate, dedicated friend who advanced the Goizueta community by never shying away from hard work, yet enabled everyone to have fun along the way.

Hobbies? Volunteering at various locations around Atlanta; golfing; The New York Times daily mini crossword; Wednesday trivia at The Local; cooking (read: eating).

What made Jay such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Jay has made an impact at Goizueta and around the world. At home, he has taken our community service to stratospheric levels. He leads community engagement efforts for his class and has set new benchmarks for how we engage the Atlanta community, nonprofits, and service organizations. He’s also lived our brand and core values as he’s traveled the world, particularly in Africa.”

Brian Mitchell 

Associate Dean of Full-Time MBA Program



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