Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Brianna Thornton, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Brianna Thornton

Georgia Institute of Technology – Scheller College of Business / School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

“A southern girl at heart and an engineer in mind.”

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a huge fan of horror movies, so Halloween is “the most wonderful time of the year” for me.

Undergraduate School and Major: Tuskegee University, Chemical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, Project Manager

When you think of Georgia Tech, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Scheller MBA and the larger university thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? When I think of Georgia Tech, I think of brilliant minds and innovation, specifically in the STEM world, and my experience so far has proven that. What I didn’t expect was brilliance beyond just STEM. During my time at Georgia Tech, I’ve met so many bright, creative people from so many different fields, especially within Scheller. It just has a way of attracting the best of the best.

What has been your favorite part of Atlanta so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? There’s so much diversity in Atlanta. From its population to the food, to just the cityscape itself; it’s incredible to be in a place where anyone can find pretty much anything they’re looking for. There’s a vibrant city life and there’s so many green outdoor spaces either within the city or in surrounding areas.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the Scheller MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? As I was already attending Georgia Tech for a master’s in Chemical Engineering, the dual degree program was the perfect opportunity to aid in pivoting my career from academia to project management. Scheller offers a great array of concentrations, including Strategic Sustainability, which would allow me to utilize my past technical experience in the energy field and my passion for creating solutions to climate change within the world of business.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Georgia Tech Scheller? I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Women in Business Club. The community of women within Scheller is so supportive and uplifting. Whether it is career development, help with coursework, or just self-improvement, I can always count on the ladies of Scheller to lend a helping hand and words of wisdom.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment so far would be the past three years spent as the Project Manager of the Georgia Tech EcoCAR team. EcoCAR is a four-year long project to convert a conventional Chevy Blazer into a hybrid and semi-autonomous vehicle. It’s been amazing watching undergrad and graduate students work and grow their skills over the years. This role allowed me to see their progress throughout the years, as well as the progress of the car itself. I initially wanted to pursue a career in academia, but this role has been the highlight of my career so far and is what motivated me to pivot career paths and pursue an MBA.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: It may seem small, but I’m truly proud of myself for just taking the leap in applying and being accepted into the program. I was extremely nervous, as I’ve had no experience in the corporate world, and felt as though there was no way I could be a viable candidate. But I’m here, and yes there are days where I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and I second guess myself. However, more often than not, there are days where I feel I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Scheller MBA program? Reach out to current students or alumni to hear their experiences during the admission process. Everyone within Scheller is always willing to help and lend advice to those that ask. Also, don’t second guess yourself. Don’t feel as if you don’t have the “right” experience. Scheller is a great place for anyone to learn and grow within their careers.



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