Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Timothy Lam, Emory (Goizueta)

Timothy Lam

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

“Third culture kid curious about using technology to make the world more efficient.”

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Fun Fact About Yourself: Once traveled almost 5,000 miles over four flights to Kiev, Ukraine to watch a football (soccer) match. We lost.

Undergraduate School and Major: Emory University, Major in Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Principal at Promontory Financial Group, an IBM Company

What makes Atlanta such a great place to earn an MBA? Since I last graduated from Emory, every time I came back to visit Atlanta, I noticed the city kept on growing. Personally, the cultural diversity and laid-back feel matched my personality. Professionally, Atlanta is developing its reputation as an East Coast tech hub, with Google recently confirming office expansions, Microsoft moving into a new office space, and Airbnb making Atlanta its regional office. I cannot imagine another city providing better opportunities in the technology space.

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? Goizueta’s relationships with the Atlanta startup and technology community really appealed to me. It is well known that Atlanta houses many Fortune 500 companies, but the entrepreneurship and technology scene has gone from strength to strength. In the first half of 2021, Georgia companies have raised almost $2 billion of venture capital, which is more than the total amount raised in 2020.  I am excited to get involved with Atlanta’s entrepreneurship ecosystem collaborators and partners, and love that Goizueta will provide me those opportunities.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Emory Goizueta? I am excited to launch a FinTech and Blockchain Club at Goizueta to take advantage of Atlanta’s burgeoning FinTech industry, with companies such as Kabbage, Greenlight, and BitPay. There is a tremendous opportunity for the Goizueta FinTech and Blockchain Club to serve as the platform for all Goizueta students interested in FinTech and Blockchain through providing education, connecting leading FinTech organizations with students, and focusing on the latest research and industry trends.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I spearheaded project management for the firm’s largest engagement, a year-long effort to transform compliance culture at a U.S. megabank with approximately $2 trillion in assets. I was managing six workstreams and an international team of 30 consultants, which resulted in the improvement of the bank’s compliance operations and the client’s public image. This was my first time overseeing such a large and highly visible project. It was an incredibly rewarding time.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID allowed me to examine what kind of company I want to work for post-MBA and beyond. During such an exhausting time professionally, when the lines between work and life were blurred, I found the importance of finding joy and truly believing in a company’s mission. I asked myself, ‘Is the company tackling problems that help move society forward?’ The pandemic helped me affirm that FinTech is truly the industry I want to make an impact in. During the pandemic, FinTech has helped consumers and small businesses through various means such as direct cash payments to consumers, loan assistance for small businesses, and quicker launches of new product features.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After consulting numerous clients across the financial services ranging from US megabanks to venture-backed digital assets firms, I realized my interests lie squarely within FinTech. I learned a lot on the job, but want to diversify my skill set and business acumen to amplify my impact in FinTech. Post-MBA, I hope to take all my consulting experience along with an MBA to help promote financial inclusion at a FinTech or supporting FinTechs through venture capital.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Fuqua, Darden, McCombs

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Emory Goizueta’s MBA program? The application process can be an incredibly stressful time, but take the opportunity to learn more about yourself, your intrinsic motivations, and craft your story. Applicants may come from similar backgrounds on paper such as consulting, but everyone has a unique story and a diverse perspective. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and you will end, like myself, at the school best for you.


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