2021 MBAs To Watch: Kristen Little, Emory University (Goizueta)

Kristen Little

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“Intensely passionate, constantly evolving, community-oriented.”

Hometown: Gurnee, IL

Fun fact about yourself: I was featured in a national ad campaign and my face was on city buses, but I did not know until friends and family started to send me pictures

Undergraduate School and Degree:  

University of Illinois at Chicago, BA, Anthropology & International Studies

DePaul University, MS, International Public Service – Global Policy Analysis

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?  Corporate Citizenship Associate, KPMG

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020?  Summer Consultant – Corporate & Growth Strategy, EY-Parthenon (Chicago, IL)

Where will you be working after graduation?  Senior Consultant – Corporate & Growth Strategy, EY-Parthenon (New York, NY)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President, Goizueta Black MBA Association
  • Social Enterprise Fellow, Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute
  • Partner, Goizueta Impact Investors
  • Team Captain, MBA Impact Investing Network & Training Competition
  • Associate Managing Director, John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition
  • First-Year Representative, Goizueta Healthcare Association
  • Forté Foundation Fellow
  • Robert Toigo Foundation (Toigo) Fellow & School Captain

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? This is hard to choose, but I am most proud of my efforts around diversity. This includes serving as Associate Managing Director and Host of the inaugural John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition, serving as a consultant to Emory so that the university can better engage Atlanta’s thriving Black entrepreneurship ecosystem, creating a mentorship program between Emory and Morehouse/Spelman, and developing a new student-run venture fund for Goizueta targeting underrepresented minority founders — the Goizueta Minority Venture Fund

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While at Rabin Martin, I advised a large pharmaceutical company on its market access, public engagement, and social impact strategies so that it could better respond to the ongoing HIV epidemic in the United States. Although I was junior to others on the team, I was selected to lead the project’s research work stream and created the solutions and programming that were successfully implemented by our client. This was one of my favorite client projects as I was able to advise a global corporation on how it should address health disparities, increase access to high-quality HIV care, and help to lessen the social and environmental factors that influence healthcare for those living with HIV in the U.S.

Why did you choose this business school? In addition to the career opportunities, school culture, Consortium group, and location, I chose Goizueta because I knew it was an environment in which I could thrive. One of my goals was to become a better leader, and Goizueta provided me with the opportunities to do that and much more. If you have a desire to build something here, the school will do everything it can to support you and your vision.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Lynne Segall definitely stands out for me. She is behind IMPACT360 an experiential course here in which MBA students work on semester-long consulting projects with real businesses, which was a highlight of my first year. She also has a passion for helping her students and was very instrumental in helping us create the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA event was the Global Experiential Module. My group went to several cities in Brazil and did a mix of company visits and cultural/tourist activities. It was great to see how business is done in South America and get to know more of my classmates outside of school.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I can confidently say I wouldn’t do anything differently. I was very diligent in making sure I got everything I wanted out of my MBA experience.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think the biggest myth about Goizueta is that it’s a regional school. Many of my classmates do remain in Atlanta post-MBA, but that is because it’s a great place to live and people choose to stay, not because we have to due to job availability!

What surprised you the most about business school? As a liberal arts major, I was surprised by the level of difficulty in some of my quant courses, but I’m so glad I took them.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I did extensive research on Goizueta and was able to speak to how I would leverage its resources for my career and how I would contribute to the community. I also spoke with many people at the school — students, admissions, and The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire many of my classmates, but Willie Sullivan comes to mind because of the impact he has had not only at Goizueta but on the business world at large through the John R. Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition. I worked alongside Willie on the creation of the competition, and it was amazing to see him take his idea and turn it into a nationwide event. In a few months, we were able to get support from six Fortune 500s (HP, Johnson & Johnson, Salesforce, Southern Company, Truist, and Walmart) and inspire more than 500 students from 52 universities to apply to compete.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? The shift to online was hard because it happened in the middle of the Spring 2020 semester. The biggest adjustment was not seeing my classmates and missing out on in-person events, which is what really made the business school experience fun. However, I think Goizueta did a good job in the transition and I feel like I still got a lot of my experience academically.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mother – who is a scientist and has never worked in the private sector – had always encouraged me to get an MBA. Once I decided to take her advice she was my strongest advocate. I would not be here without her support!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Pivot into corporate venture capital at a large tech or healthcare company, or lead a social impact venture fund
  2. Work abroad for a short period, preferably in West Africa

What made Kristen such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021

“Each year, some students go above and beyond their call of duty, which results in amelioration for the community. In a most trying year for many around the globe, I found that a person’s zeal can benefit the masses and our close-knit Goizueta community has benefitted from the work of Kristen Little.

Kristen’s business acumen and problem-solving ability are truly inspirational. Last summer, Kristen proposed an initiative and worked with the Dean’s office as an advisor to challenge the business school to better support black entrepreneurs, both on campus and in the greater Atlanta community. Kristen continues to lead the project, which resulted in thirteen actionable recommendations. Kristen’s focus is to build strategies that create access to capital through an alumnus-supported investment fund for black-led ventures.

In addition to a rigorous MBA course load, Kristen concurrently serves as President of the Goizueta Black MBA Association and a co-founder of a nation-wide collective of Black MBA associations, connecting business schools across the country. Kristen also plays a role as the co-captain for the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training (MIINT) national competition. Her Goizueta Team is competing for a $50K investment in the venture of their choice, based in the southeastern US. They say that pressure bursts pipes but also makes diamonds – and Kristen Little shines bright at Goizueta.”

Irving Williams III
Associate Director of Student Life and Engagement



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