Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Brandon Makinson, Emory University (Goizueta)

Brandon Makinson

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“Motivated, adventure seeker, social media hater, food lover, Canadian eh.”

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: Varsity springboard diver at Georgia Tech

Undergraduate School and Major: Georgia Institute of Technology – B.S. Aerospace Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Schlumberger – General Field Engineer

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? There are a few attractive features of Emory’s MBA program that solidified my interest in the program. First, there is the keen focus on leadership which I believe is valuable in any industry and any position. Second, the Emory MBA has a large consulting program and countless alumni work in the consulting firms around the country, continuously adding to Emory’s strong alumni network and connections. As I am looking to enter the consulting industry, this strong network will be invaluable. The biggest difference in Emory’s program compared to many other top MBA schools is the class size. I appreciate the small class size and believe it will enable each student to build more meaningful relationships with our peers and professors throughout our time at Emory.

What excites you most about getting your MBA at Goizueta? What makes you most nervous? The thing that excites me the most is simultaneously what makes me the most nervous. After being in the work force for seven years, going back to school is both exhilarating and daunting. Learning in a classroom setting, meeting new people with extensively different backgrounds and experiences, job interviews, social events ─ it will all require a change of perspective.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment thus far is being promoted to manager within Schlumberger after only three years. I worked diligently to get through their fixed step promotion process faster than scheduled and showed initiative and the ability to perform under pressure.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I am looking to pivot out of the oil and energy industry and want to pursue a career in consulting. Throughout my different roles and positions, I have always been drawn towards problem-solving and striving to constantly find better solutions. My goal-driven mindset and drive to solve problems has led me towards an interest in the consulting industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None, all my eggs were in one basket.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? All the questions during the process required significant self-reflection, which had a certain level of challenge to answer truthfully to myself. The interview and essay questions – and the admissions process as a whole – enabled me to focus on my skills and strengths as well as reflect on areas where I can continue to improve and build upon.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? After four years of long distance, I got an ultimatum from my girlfriend that if I did not get into a school in Atlanta we were done. I went to Georgia Tech undergrad so I did not want to be at the same school. Hence, I only applied to Emory. After talking with a few recent Emory MBA alumni, I quickly realized that many of the focuses, programs, and values of Goizueta directly aligned with my future goals and interests.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I think my defining moment (or pivotal moment) that pushed me toward getting my MBA was my role as a manager for Schlumberger. This changed my perspective on business operations and processes (particularly large businesses) and highlighted the many challenges businesses continue to face in the ever-evolving world. It was in this role that I appreciated the need for innovative solutions and realized how I could impact change as a consultant.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer – and why is that important? A key reason for my wanting to pursue a career in consulting is that I want to help companies move forward and conquer challenges. Along that same path, I would expect my employer to do the same, with a willingness to adapt and change and continue to move forward. Being ahead of the times and innovate as the world changes and appreciating the value of creative solutions and growth.


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