Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Stephon Harris, Emory University (Goizueta)

Stephon Harris

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“Steve Urkel/Stefan Urquelle + Dahlia Lama + Symone + Brooks & Dunn + Ralph Ellison + Fred Hammond = Me.”

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I despise coffee and chocolate.

Undergraduate School and Major: Texas Tech University – BBA Management Information Systems

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Enterprise Knowledge – Senior Software Engineer

What makes Atlanta such a great place to earn an MBA? Atlanta is a great place to earn an MBA because of its access to vibrant organizations, culture, and community. You have access to Fortune 500 organizations, top tier consulting firms, a growing tech community, and a vibrant finance industry right in your backyard. There’s always something to do with a plethora of bars, concerts, and outdoor activities. Sure, some other cities have these same perks, but the cost of living isn’t as affordable and the winters aren’t as mild. The aspect I am most excited about during my MBA is investing in the growing Black tech community here in Atlanta.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Emory Goizueta’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I was sold on Goizueta when I learned of the Impact 360 program. Impact 360 marries in-classroom knowledge with real-world experience. I really wanted to make sure my MBA experience was integrated and tangible and Impact 360 provides that experience through working on real-world problems for real clients.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Emory Goizueta? I’m excited be a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) Fellow this year. In 2016 I co-founded Black Code Collective, an organization for Black software developers. Creating, strategizing, and growing this organization has sparked a passion to be a community builder and entrepreneur. As a CEI Fellow, I will get to tap into the wealth of Atlanta’s entrepreneurship network while also connecting my fellow Goizueta classmates.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my previous role I did consulting work for an organization that sends rovers to Mars. I spent three years architecting and implementing an insight and discovery platform for them. It was amazing having such an impact on an organization that has an incredible impact on society.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? I worked from home full-time two years before the pandemic began. I didn’t realize how much I valued interacting with others before the pandemic because I was always taking road trips, and doing CrossFit classes to feed my social energy. I realized from the pandemic how much I value finding time to connect with people physically just as much as I do having my alone time.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I had been in consulting for my whole career, serving in both project management and software engineering roles. I want to enhance my experience with knowledge in strategic decision making and organizational development. After pursuing my MBA, I would like to work in product management in the consumer tech space.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UVA, Cornell, UCLA, UT, UW.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Emory Goizueta’s MBA program? I would give this advice to any program an applicant is interested in. Figure out what impact you want to make in the world. Once you do that, you can assess how the business schools you are interested in applying to can offer support to you. That helped me change my perspective from anxiously wanting schools to think I was a good enough candidate, to being confident in asking how each school would enhance my career. It also makes it much easier to write application essays when you can envision how a school can support your trajectory.


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