Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class Of 2024

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School


For Baird, many of these opportunities involved the caliber of people who engaged with MBA students. “I got involved with plenty of local organizations which I will stay involved with such as Step Ahead Scholars and 21st Century Leaders and even got to meet legends like Ambassador Andrew Young. I had opportunities to learn from a myriad of talented, enthusiastic, and driven leaders from a variety of industries and professions. In just one course during my final semester, I was introduced to Frank Blake (Chairman, Delta Airlines and Former CEO, Home Depot), Dr. Helene Gayle (President and CEO, The Chicago Community Trust), Rick Rieder (CIO, BlackRock), Major General Perry Smith (US Army), PJ Bain (CEO of PrimeRevenue), and many others. Moreover, I had opportunities to take some incredible trips as part of or adjacent to school. In addition to skiing in Breckenridge for fun and sailing in the British Virgin Islands for a leadership course, there were also plenty of weddings, golf tournaments, football games, and long weekends to deepen new or existing relationships.”

That’s a great foundation to keep building upon. That’s exactly what Gareth James intends to do. After a stint as the interim dean of USC’s Marshall School, James took the reins as Goizueta’s dean last July. In a 2022 interview with P&Q, James listed some of Goizueta’s advantages, including the deep resources that come with being part of a “top-tier research university.” He also lauded the school’s specialized master’s programs and newly-opened Finance Lab. Such developments make James bullish on the school’s future – one reason he moved across the country to join Goizueta after spending a quarter century in California.

“I really feel like the university and the school itself in the next five to 10 years are going to go from really strong institutions to really premier places,” James told P&Q. “Honestly, when I look at Goizueta, it feels to me like they have an incredible asset base in terms of the quality of all of the faculty, staff, students, and the university itself. And maybe that hasn’t been fully operationalized. I think there’s the potential there to take the school even further than it has been.”

DEI is one area where Goizueta is investing heavy resources. Last January, it launched a DEI concentration. That comes on the heels of Goizueta becoming the home of the John Lewis Racial Justice Case Competition, which draws 70 teams from 40 schools annually. In addition, James cites Goizueta’s social enterprise and ESG programming as growing strengths.

“There’s some wonderful work that the school’s doing in that area. Those are topics that resonate really well with students these days, but in particular with female students. So that’s an area where I think that there’s an opportunity to encourage more students to Goizueta based on the expertise that they have in that particular topic. The school also recently got a $5 million Brown Family Scholarship, which is targeted to increase women specifically in the full-time MBA program. And the school also launched a women’s leadership program recently.”

Team Knot Reely Shore after winning the Emory Flag (1st place prize for a competition) at GALA


So far, James has continued driving the school’s momentum. In August, Goizueta announced it had attracted over $40 million dollars for student scholarships. Four months later, it unveiled a part-time MBA program that’s completely online. However, one area that’s remained unchanged is Goizueta’s commitment to experiential learning. The school is best known for its Leaders Reaction Course at Fort Benning. Here, students complete problem-solving exercises, such as building bridges, to enhance their ability to communicate and work in teams. The same challenge-driven setup is true of GALA (Guizeta Advanced Leaders Academy). This staple culminates with a week-long sailing adventure in the Virgin Islands, where boat teams work together in revolving roles to best their classmates in various competitions. For Kegan Baird, accepting feedback was one of the key takeaways from GALA.

“Personally, my feedback focused on the areas of self-confidence, emotional intelligence, and dealing with ambiguity. These themes have been part of my daily life and other leadership experiences, so I was not too surprised. However, the way in which they appeared on the seas slightly varied from “typical life”. For example, I consider myself to be a caring person, but there were times on the boat where I didn’t even realize other team members were struggling or uncomfortable, so I did not think to check on them. You can make a stronger, more collaborative environment by recognizing that everyone processes things differently and making an effort to better understand teammates and putting yourself in their shoes.”

For the Class of 2022, However, IMPACT 360 is the experiential program that the Class of 2024 covets.  Held during the first-year and covering the first two semester, IMPACT enables students to sharpen their communication and analytical skills before moving into a team-based client project that prepares them for their all-important summer internships.

“[It] provides students with an opportunity to further develop their business fundamentals and problem-solving skills, while also incorporating experiential learning opportunities domestically with its IMPACT 360 projects and internationally with its Global experiential module opportunities,” writes Alex Gonzalez. “The IMPACT 360 project interests me because it allows me the opportunity to apply the knowledge I’ve gained throughout my career and at Goizueta to contribute meaningful solutions that can be implemented by world-class organizations like the American Cancer Society or the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.”

Brian Mitchell, Associate Dean of Full-Time MBA Programs


IMPACT is just one of Goizueta’s differentiators? What are some others? Last fall, P&Q reached out to Brian Mitchell, the school’s Associate Dean of Full-Time MBA Programs. From new campus developments to favorite student hang-outs, here’s what to know about what’s happening at Goizueta – and what you can expect in the future.

P&Q: What are the two most exciting developments at your program in the past year and how will they enrich the MBA experience for current and future MBAs?

Mitchell: “On July 1st our new Dean, Gareth James, began his tenure at Goizueta.  We are genuinely excited about Gareth’s arrival as the right leader at the right time for Goizueta.  His excitement for the future of Goizueta is palpable to everyone he encounters. Gareth is analytical, tech-focused, and globally-minded.  All of these traits have the potential to enrich and transform our student experience. Students can expect to see more institutional partnerships and opportunities with tech companies that are driving innovation worldwide. Those opportunities will be abundant in our classrooms, throughout our city and region, and more than ever around the world.

Just prior to Gareth’s arrival, we went live with our three Global Classrooms. With these next-generation global classrooms, hologram technology, and augmented and virtual reality projects being developed, Goizueta is poised to take digital learning to the next level by providing business professionals with a truly immersive, dynamic experience from anywhere in the world.  A short while ago, this seemed like a futuristic stretch goal. Now it is a reality at Goizueta and we are very excited about how our students will benefit.”

P&Q: If you were giving a campus tour, what is the first place you’d take an MBA applicant? Why is that so important to the MBA experience?

Mitchell: “The first stop on my Goizueta tour would be our brand new Finance Lab that we launched in conjunction with our Master of Analytical Finance program. This is truly an awesome feature of Goizueta, and it signals the future of business, finance and learning in many ways. The Finance Lab is the central hub for immersive, action-based learning, enabling students to experience the pace of global markets and trading products in real time in a professional trading floor setting. We have state-of-the-art tools, real-time market data, and trading platforms to model, trade, and collaborate on real-world consultancy projects with industry clients. And the space absolutely has the wow-factor worthy of being the first stop on a tour!”

Emory Goizueta Exterior View

P&Q: What is the most innovative thing you have introduced into the MBA program in recent years? How has it been a game changer for your program?

Mitchell: “Two years ago, a group of founding students brought the idea of forming the Peachtree Minority Venture Fund to a few of our faculty leaders. Since then, it has already become a success story for the ages! The Peachtree Minority Venture Fund is a student-run venture capital fund housed in The Roberto C. Goizueta Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. PMVF is the only student-run venture capital fund that focuses exclusively on making equity investments into underrepresented minority entrepreneurs (Black, LatinX, Native American). Students source companies, conduct due diligence, and make investment recommendations to the Peachtree Investment Committee, which is made up of Goizueta faculty, staff, and alumni. The fund is run as a course for students through the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. It is a game-changer because students who work on the fund receive both technical venture capital investing training, as well as a curriculum focused on underrepresented minority entrepreneurship and bias.

P&Q: What have MBAs told you is the most memorable, signature experience they’ve had in your program? Why did it resonate so much with them?

Mitchell: “Goizueta offers so many transformative experiences! One that stands out as consistently ‘life-changig’ for our students is the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy, affectionately known as GALA.  GALA is a semester-long course taught by our leadership faculty and experienced executive coaches. It is a deep-dive into something that every MBA student seeks to explore, regardless of their previous experience or future plans – their personal leadership journey. The classroom experience is incredible, but GALA is best known for its capstone experience which is a weeklong sailing competition in the British Virgin Islands. Teams of students learn to sail and compete in leadership challenges that pressure-test what they have learned in an experiential learning context like no other. Whenever I reconnect with Goizueta alumni who participated in GALA their first question is always, “Can I do it again as an alum?”

P&Q: Where are some of your students’ favorite hang-outs? What do they do and why do they gravitate there?

Mitchell: “Atlanta is an amazing city for MBA students because there is so much to do!  It surprises some of our students who have never been here that Atlanta is such a dynamic city with great food, music, and entertainment scenes.  Since our campus is in the city, our students are easy to find on the Atlanta Beltline, at the food halls of Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, and at the endless music and neighborhood festivals that take place year-round. Breweries are very popular here and our students have been known to explore them together.  It is fair to say that they gravitate generally to the intown neighborhoods of Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park and Virginia Highlands most because of their close proximity to Goizueta, and the endless options for unwinding after a long day.”

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