Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class Of 2021

Sam Lichtveld

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

“Extroverted nerd with an unwavering optimistic outlook on life.”

Hometown: Cumming, GA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was a licensed bartender in New Orleans before I turned 21.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Tulane University – B.S., Management

University of Georgia – M.S., Animal and Dairy Sciences

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Gainco – Southeast Regional Sales Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: By establishing new relationships with leaders in the poultry industry, I was able to grow sales in the southeast region from $400,000 to $2,500,000 in one year. I differentiated myself from my competitors by earning my clients’ trust over time as opposed to using gimmicky sales tactics.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I would describe my MBA classmates as AUTHENTIC. Whether it is in class or working on team projects, everyone is comfortable being their authentic selves. Authenticity is at the heart of Goizueta’s culture.

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? Goizueta has a proven track record in placing students in top consulting firms. Considering that I am pivoting from the poultry industry to management consulting, it was important for me to attend a program that would prepare me for the next chapter in my career.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to our Mid-Semester Module in Russia. The itinerary includes guest speakers from Fortune 500 companies conducting business in Russia and company visits in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “What is one word that your friends would use to describe you?” I loved this question because it was unexpected and challenged me to think about the personality trait that I exemplify the most and how it can benefit the Goizueta class of 2021.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In my role as Regional Sales Manager, I sold processing equipment to solve complex problems in the poultry industry. Eventually, I became frustrated with the limitations of the solutions I offered. I could only deliver solutions to a limited set of problems within a single industry. A career in management consulting would give me the ability to offer a wide set of solutions within a variety of industries. To make the career switch to consulting, I needed a degree from a highly ranked MBA program.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to Ross, Stern, Fuqua, Kenan-Flagler, Owen, and Goizueta.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I determined fit by reviewing the employment report, touring the schools, and conversing with students in my network. Through the employment reports, I was able to see if the schools aligned with my career goals. Once I knew that the school could get me to the next level, I set up informational interviews with current students and graduates within my network. Because I had a relationship with them prior to my pursuit of an MBA, I knew that they would give me honest feedback on their experiences. With so many schools offering a pathway to a career in consulting, I prioritized school culture in my decision-making process. Ultimately, Goizueta best fit my needs from an MBA program and has exceeded all of my expectations in both recruiting and culture.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I had originally pursued a career in veterinary medicine and was waitlisted at two top programs. While waitlisted, I started a six-month-long leadership development program at Pilgrim’s. I saw the opportunity to make an impact on the operations of the business and ran with it. While in the poultry industry, I learned that I loved a fast-paced problem-solving environment.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?  In ten years, I plan on being a partner at a consulting firm.