“I am the most laid-back serious person you will ever meet.”
Hometown: Lexington, MS
Fun Fact About Yourself: I tried out to be a walk-on for the basketball team when I was in undergrad. I thought that at the least my GPA would help the team’s APR. Spoiler alert: I didn’t make it.
Undergraduate School and Major: Mississippi State University; Finance and Economics
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Citigroup – Sales and Trading Analyst
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being at Citi was an amazing experience and one for which I will always be thankful. One of the parts of my job that I enjoyed the most was being able to build relationships with portfolio managers and research analysts at my buy-side counterparts. I was given responsibility early on for one of the biggest pension funds in the country and in a short period of time, I was able to make an impact on their investment process. Subsequently, they moved us up in ranking among their sell-side counterparties and I was recognized in their semi-annual broker vote.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Close-knit. I can see why Goizueta really places a lot of emphasis on its class size being what it is. I have only been here for three weeks, but I have already met everyone in my class. The MBA program office does a great job of building relationships among the students early so that once classes start everything is second-nature. You always feel comfortable, welcomed, and heard in all settings.
Aside from your classmates, 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? If I had to choose one reason for why I choose Emory, it would be 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.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am fortunate to have been selected as one of the SEIG Fellows from Goizueta. I would like to pursue a career in private investments (PE/VC), so being part of a group that challenges and prepares me for what my future career will be is something I am looking forward to over my next two years at Emory.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? In all honesty, the MBA admissions process was very straightforward. I think I understood the schools to which I applied really well and wasn’t surprised by any of the questions. If I had to give advice to anyone considering applying for admission into an MBA program, it would be to understand the why and why now for an MBA for yourself and why you are interested in the school to which you are applying.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I loved my job – unfortunately I was just born 15 years too late to have a long career in the role. I was able to see that there were serious headwinds that all banks would face when it comes to their sales and trading business and understood that an MBA would be the best way for me to pivot from my experience at Citi into an investments role.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Darden, UCLA, USC
How did you determine your fit at various schools? For me, it was all about understanding which schools were strong in my post-grad career with both placement and alumni. Then it was about understanding the classroom structure (case, lecture, etc). From there, it was about finding out how I would fit in among my classmates and whether I could see myself attending the school for two years. My research was fairly straightforward – I read online, talked to a couple of alumni, visited campus, and then interviewed. My final decision was between two schools, so I decided to attend the admitted students (“Welcome Weekend” at Goizueta) for both. As soon as my weekend at Goizueta was over, I knew it was the right place for me to pursue my MBA.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? It’s very difficult for me to pin down one exact defining moment as I have had so many which have led me on my path and made me who I am. For me, the most important was when I was a junior in high school. I was always very interested in markets and the global economy. However, my family has a strong background in medicine, so I always assumed that I would just go to med school and become a doctor. Then I cut my finger and fainted when I saw the blood. Then I fainted again when I saw the needle they would use to give me stitches. That was when I knew I couldn’t pursue medicine, so I started reading the Wall Street Journal every single day and from there I started my path into finance with the goal of being an investor.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? 10 years from now, I see myself at a VC fund investing in technology companies. I grew up in the Mississippi Delta where access to technology was very limited for some, so my goal is to be an investor in companies that are looking for ways to improve the technology and access to technology to those in impoverished areas.