PAY AND PLACEMENT UP
Looking at the 2021 Class Profile, the number that sticks out is 35% — the share of international students. In a recruiting season when international students shied away from American MBA programs, Goizueta’s percentage jumped by seven points over the previous year. Goizueta’s international representation – which includes students from 21 nations – is also higher than more ‘cosmopolitan’ settings like the Wharton School, Chicago Booth, NYU Stern, and Georgetown McDonough. By the same token, the percentage of women in the class inched up a point to 31%.
Academically, the incoming class averaged a 684 GMAT and 3.3 undergraduate GPA, equal to the previous year’s full-time MBA cohort. That said, Emory Goizueta – like its peer programs – suffered a downturn in applications during the 2018-2019 season. Overall, the school received 326 fewer applications, with its acceptance rate rising from 37% to 44%.
The numbers were more upbeat for Goizueta graduates, a traditional recruiter favorite. This year, 97% of full-time MBAs landed jobs within the first three months of graduation – ranking Goizueta among the very best for placement. Notably, the 2019 class notches highs for total compensation ($149,575), with a $7,500 rise in median sign-on bonus helping to drive this growth. Overall, the highest percentage of graduates entered Consulting (49%), followed by Marketing (22%), and Finance (16%). 50% of the class remained in the Southern region, with the Northeast (18%) and West Coast (12%) also attracting substantive shares of the class. Not surprisingly, McKinsey, Bain, and BCG hired several MBAs, with other big-name employers including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and UPS.
A Q&A WITH ASSOCIATE DEAN BRIAN MITCHELL
According to 2019 Forbes data, these graduates can expect their pay to rise by $60,100 within the next five years. That’s just one bit of good news in a busy year for the school. This summer, P&Q reached out to Brian Mitchell, associate dean of the full-time MBA program and head of Goizueta’s global strategy and initiatives. From new developments to culture, here are some thoughts from Mitchell, a 2000 Goizueta MBA alum.
P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments at your program, such as your 100th-anniversary celebration?
Mitchell: “One of the great advantages of our small class size is the ability to innovate in program delivery most every year. We are certainly excited about our 100th anniversary, which is being celebrated throughout the 2019 calendar year. Students will be greeted with lots of external branding and encouragement to “Go Beyond” the status quo in their work and what they can provide to the business world and their communities after graduation. As for specific programmatic initiatives, we have unveiled a new certificate program in leadership that can be obtained in conjunction with the MBA and expanded educational modules prior to international travel. These modules are in conjunction with other departments at the university to give students a more well-rounded understanding of the country and culture they will be visiting.”
P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish prospective students knew more about?
Mitchell: “I believe our program is sometimes discounted because of its size. But it’s the smaller, intimate learning environment that allows us to do so many things with networking. At Goizueta, you will know every one of your classmates. That translates into an incredibly valuable alumni experience that will serve you well for the rest of your life—professionally and personally.”
P&Q: Goizueta is best-known for a close-knit community? What do you do to foster this culture?
Mitchell: “I would first say students are very much in understanding and execution of the type of culture we want to have. We have KEGS (Keeping Goizueta Social) in the courtyard each Thursday but we also have programmatic initiatives like Keystone, where second-year students returning from internships meet their first-year counterparts for work in the community. I’d venture to say most every student is also involved in at least one club (likely in some sort of leadership). We foster this culture by providing ample opportunity for our students to interact and get to know each other outside of the classroom. Of course, this also helps in the quality of the work they do together. It’s really a self-fulfilling effort.”
P&Q: One of Goizueta’s calling cards is leadership training. What do you do that makes it a strength? How does it prepare students for their careers after business school?
Mitchell: “Our approach to leadership is very practical in the sense it allows students to develop the “soft skills” in so much demand in the business world. We look at it in three elements: academic, experiential and reflective. For instance, our Leadership Coaching Fellows program pairs second-year student mentors with first-year students. It’s often a hands-on learning opportunity for the student nearing graduation. We also find it helps build that network and deliver this aspect of leadership training in a unique and memorable way for first-year students. We also offer unique leadership training opportunities like the Leader Reaction Course at Ft. Benning and, for select students, the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy, or GALA—a unique team- and skill-building experience offered on sailboats in the Caribbean Sea each spring.”
MAKING AN ‘IMPACT’ IS CORE
Such leadership immersions are almost expected in a school named after Robert Goizueta. Coupled with intensive workshops and coaching, the Goizueta Leadership Development Program ranks among the best in its field – which caught the eye of Elizabeth Hitti.
“My coaching background made me realize how passionate I am about leading and developing people,” she explains. “To position myself best to have this same influence in a professional setting, a deliberate leadership program was key. To start, Goizueta puts classmates in “core teams” of 4 or 5 for the entire first semester while requiring a class on Coaching & Team Performance and assigning a second-year MBA student, a Leadership Coaching Fellow, to help manage team dynamics. In the subsequent semesters, Goizueta offers ample opportunities to hone leadership skills purposefully, from elective classes to coaching engagements to speakers. It is an instrumental part of their curriculum and sets the school apart in my decision-making process.”
Goizueta MBAs don’t just read about or reflect on leadership. They practice it throughout their two years at Emory. That’s particularly true with IMPACT 360, a mix of classroom fundamentals and real-world experience. In the fall IMPACT core course, first-years study the best practices in high-level business environments, with a focus on problem-solving, teamwork, and persuasive communications. In the spring semester, students delve into client and project management before partnering with a client on a team-based project. Working with their “leadership board,” which includes faculty, coaches, and 2nd-years, IMPACT teams take a deep dive into company operations and industry nuances. In the process, they learn how to ask the right questions, conduct research, step into different roles, and devise and execute strategy. The IMPACT course culminates with a “Showcase Day,” where student teams present their work to be judged and awarded.
AN OVERSEAS TRIP IN THE SPRING
Through IMPACT 360, MBAs basically complete a pre-internship. Not only do they make in-roads with companies like Coca-Cola, GE, and Georgia Pacific, but they also master skills critical to excelling in their internship. That experience can be hard to come by for MBAs, many of whom are looking to make a career switch.
Not surprisingly, nearly 100% of Emory first-years traditionally land an internship before summer starts. That mattered to Mustapha Sakr, a senior consultant at Ernst & Young. “During undergraduate, I was always at my best when working on projects that were reflective of the real business world and of actual problem simulations problems that require practical solutions and vivid action plans,” he admits. “Because IMPACT is a core requirement of the program, it is easy to feel how much the school is invested in making this experience as solid and remarkable for all students.”
The Class of 2021 won’t just be exploring companies and industries. Goizueta also hosts Mid-Semester Modules in the spring, where students overseas to better understand a region’s business practices, culture, and issues. A chance to bond as much as learn, Goizueta MBAs also spend time meeting with various industry and public leaders during their time away from Atlanta.
FORGET NEW YORK. THINK ATLANTA
“I am looking forward to our Mid-Semester Module in Russia,” writes Sam Lichtveld. “The itinerary includes guest speakers from Fortune 500 companies conducting business in Russia and company visits in Moscow and St. Petersburg.”
Still, you don’t need to travel much when you study in Atlanta. Everyone comes to you. “The Capital of the New South,” the metro is home to 27 Fortune 1000 companies, including Fortune 500 powerhouses like Delta Airlines, UPS, Home Depot, and (yes) Coca-Cola. Known for its booming economy and “Hotlanta” nightlife, Atlanta boasts mild winters and reasonable cost of living…which more than offset its ‘city that sprawls and traffic that crawls’ reputation.
This year, Business Facilities ranked Atlanta as the #1 city for economic growth. At the same time, the city finished 1st for Availability of Internships and 2nd for Professional Opportunities with Wallet Hub. On top of that, Georgia continues to rank as the best state for doing business with both Site Selection and Area Development. All-in-all, Atlanta is a city of transplants, with equal mix cosmopolitan sophistication and southern hospitality…with an ever-growing entertainment footprint to boot.
For Divya Doshi, the best part of Atlanta is its accessibility. “Not only is Emory located in the middle of one of the fastest-growing cities when it comes to the industry in which I am interested, but there are many other companies in other industries that are headquartered in Atlanta. Obviously, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, but when I thought about being an MBA student for two years, that factored in as well given the traveling that will come with networking, recruiting, study abroad, etc.”
“EVERYTHING I WAS LOOKING FOR”
Of course, Goizueta’s marquee attraction is the personal attention that MBAs receive. Each student, for example, is assigned a personal coach. Even more, the school features a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio, ensuring no student ever gets left behind. However, the “small school” label is a bit of a misnomer…in a good way. MBA students can choose from 20 concentrations and 90 electives – the result of Goizueta boasting both a top-flight online MBA program and one of the country’s top undergraduate business programs. In total, Goizueta counts 19,000 graduates among its alumni – with the Emory name further amplifying the prestige of its graduates.
In other words, Goizueta isn’t small…except where it needs to be. “I learn the best when the class size is small,” writes Naveen Srikakulam. “GBS had everything I was looking for in an MBA program, including some of the best professors in their field of study. After considering these aspects, I was confident that this is the right program where I can become the best version of myself.”
That best version, adds 2019 grad Jay Mathes, may be the biggest return from a Goizueta MBA. “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.”
What led these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What was the major event that defined them? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates.
DON’T MISS: MEET THE MBA CLASS OF 2021: THE GO-GETTERS
|MBA Student||Hometown||Alma Mater||Last Employer|
|Steven Couche||Sugar Land, TX||Clemson University||Robert W. Baird|
|Divya Doshi||Lexington, MS||Mississippi State University||Citigroup|
|Mariah Harris||Chicago, IL||Yale University||The Campaign Against Hunger|
|Elizabeth Hitti||Ashland, MA||University of Pennsylvania||Deloitte Consulting|
|Sam Lichtveld||Cumming, GA||Tulane University||Gainco|
|Erin N. Lightfoot||Augusta, GA||Georgia Tech||Amazon|
|John McCauley||Winston-Salem, NC||Appalachian State University||Outdoor Alliance|
|Alysha McElroy||Saratoga Springs, NY||Williams College||Goldman Sachs|
|Hui Pan||Shanghai, China||University of Nevada, Las Vegas||eventcore|
|Mustapha Sakr||Beirut, Lebanon||Lebanese American University||Ernst & Young|
|Anisha Shrestha||Nepal||Smith College||M&T Bank|
|Naveen Srikakulam||Hyderabad, India||NIT Trichy||American Express Banking Corporation|
|Anupama Tadanki||Irvine, CA||University of Southern California||The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation|