Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Satchel Ziffer, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Satchel Ziffer

Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business

“Resilient, adaptable, self-aware, ambitious, supportive, imaginative, introverted-extrovert, and strategic.”

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve become an advocate for finding solutions to food insecurity in our world. I truly believe that the technological advancement in vertical farming and sustainable energy sources will eradicate the issue in our lifetime. In my free time, I consult with start-ups in the AgTech space as to how they can bring their concept/product to market in hopes of one day having sustainable food sources worldwide.

Undergraduate School and Major:

  • Old Dominion University, B.S. Communications
  • University of Colorado, M.S. Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Urban-Gro, Inc., Senior Corporate Development Analyst

What has been your favorite part of Atlanta so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Living in midtown, my favorite part of Atlanta is the fact that I don’t have to drive for any of my essentials. Within a mile radius is Scheller, Piedmont Park, all three major grocery chains, and about 300 different great restaurants and bars to choose from.

Aside from academics, Scheller students are given access to a network with professionals in a plethora of industries within blocks of the school. Between Tech Square, which hosts Fortune 100 companies, six different venture capital funds, and an incubator, and the midtown area, which has all the major consulting firms, I’ve seen my schedule fill up by the constant events and coffee chats. I cannot express how thankful I am to have such a strong community of Scheller and Georgia Tech alumni willing to give me time any day of the week!

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? I have aspirations of one day being in venture capital and, specifically, helping build communities up through internal growth. Scheller and Georgia Tech as a whole are located at the intersection of business and technology, focusing on outside programs that can build budding entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The program that made me choose Scheller was the Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) program, which will allow for me to work with the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) to learn the in’s and out’s of taking an idea and monetizing it through practical business approaches. Utilizing my business education and having practical courses with real life outcomes is fascinating to me and a prospect I couldn’t pass up.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Georgia Tech? I was honored by receiving one of the dozens of fantastic fellowships that Scheller offers its students. Through the fellowship, I source, review, vet, and manage a portfolio of Southeastern-based, growth-stage technology companies as they prepare to pitch to the consortium to raise funding rounds.

This is an extremely valuable experience as I get to see from a VC’s perspective how a company should be positioned and what is most important to stem future growth. It leads back to the practical use cases for academic learnings – instilling what I’ve learned in the classroom by putting it use.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At Urban-Gro, I helped lead the vertical acquisition of a firm that grew the company’s revenues by almost 90% and has proven out to have significant waterfall revenue. When working at a smaller firm, you become a jack-of-all-trades – having the opportunity to strategize with the c-suite on the inorganic growth strategy, source the company, do significant due diligence, help structure the deal, and see it finally come to fruition was an amazing learning experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Coming from Colorado to the southeast and having never lived here, my network was minimal, if existent at all. I am extremely proud of the network in and outside of the program that I’ve been able to cultivate. It’s a lot of work and extremely time-consuming, but worth every second because of the people I’ve met. From venture capitalists and consulting partners to executives at Fortune 50 companies, I’ve had the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations that not only taught me a ton, but has created relationships that will help me, my classmates, and future Scheller MBAs for years to come.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? As cliché as it sounds, it’s really all the small things that have just added up. Seeing classmates and having thoughtful conversations in grad commons, Thursday socials, Saturday tailgates before football games, intramural sports, and club events are all things outside of the classroom and job search that have evolved a group that was strangers a few months ago into lifelong friends!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgia Tech Scheller’s MBA program? Be your true and authentic self. Our admissions team is world -class because they get the best students for Scheller’s community – which is a VERY STRONG community. When you have a class and culture that is strong, you get strong results.


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