Meet The MBA Class of 2025: Annette Knell, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business

Annette Knell

Kind, passionate, and empathic leader, with a habit of challenging the status quo”

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Fun Fact About Yourself: My hobby is trying new things. From trying different sports, foods, and music, to traveling to new countries. This has led me to have a wide array of amazing experiences and to meet wonderful diverse people!  

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad de Lima, Law

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Miranda & Amado Abogados, Litigation Lawyer

What has been your favorite part of Atlanta so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA?

I have been in Atlanta for four years and I absolutely love the city. I moved here from Peru, and at first, I missed the ocean, but I replaced surfing in the Pacific Ocean with paddleboarding on the Chattahoochee River! What makes it a great place to earn an MBA is that Atlanta has all the best things to offer – beautiful trails in the woods, music and cultural festivals, restaurants with cuisines from all over the world, great weather, and – the best part – kind people.

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 decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to pivot in my career from being a litigation lawyer to working in strategy and innovation. When researching programs that focused on innovation, Scheller was one of the best, with three concentrations in innovation: Product and Service Innovation, Strategy and Innovation, and TI:GER. However, what really sets Scheller apart for me is the excellent job the Jones MBA Career Center does. I knew pivoting from a different path was not going to be easy, but having a dedicated career coach who is always available and willing to help me was key for me to succeed in this transition. The Jones MBA Career Center has been even more helpful than I imagined in preparing me to succeed in my job search, providing not only career coaching but also advice and guidance.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Georgia Tech?

My favorite activity this semester was the ropes course challenge as a part of our CHARGE Leadership Program. It is a leadership development activity on Georgia Tech’s campus. The challenge is to go through a high obstacle course as a team with other MBA students. While the activity itself was very challenging because I am afraid of heights, it helped me realize and value some soft skills and strengths that I’ve honed from my years as a litigation lawyer. I can make decisions under pressure, remain calm in adversity, and bring calm to others. Even when I was the most scared during the course, I was able to pause, look around, and enjoy the wonderful Atlanta skyline view from the course.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:

I, a litigation lawyer, created a platform to capture data from legal proceedings and perform data analytics on litigation data. I had the idea in 2020 but I didn’t have the technical knowledge so I self-taught myself how to create a database and how to use Power BI to analyze the data. Then I led a team to build it. Once implemented, the tool allowed lawyers to input the data from their cases to then perform analytics to predict case duration and outcome, allowed partners to make data-driven decisions such as resource allocation and time utilization per case, and provided our clients with interactive dashboard reports instead of the traditional written ones. The biggest accomplishment, however, was convincing the partners of the firm that this idea was worth pursuing, and then convincing all the lawyers on the team to change the way they had been tracking their cases, given the benefits that data-driven decision-making could provide them. The platform forever changed the way litigation lawyers worked at the firm and reduced mechanical tasks performed by lawyers by 90%.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:

My biggest accomplishment as an MBA student has been being able to successfully balance social life, recruiting, and class work. I earned recognition as the “Social Butterfly” of the program. I am very happy about the meaningful connections I’ve made, and I have learned a lot in my core classes.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far?

Honestly, the MBA has been a collection of highlights so far. But the common thread is the amazing people I have met here at Scheller, that make simple things like just hanging out in Grad Commons (our MBA-only space) the best part of the day. Some other highlights include going to Six-flags together, having a karaoke night, Schellerween (our Scheller Halloween party), learning a Bollywood dance, performing with students from different parts of the world for Diwali, and the traditional Georgia Tech tailgates and football games. Go Jackets!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Georgia Tech Scheller’s MBA program?

Our admissions team does a great job of crafting the cohort so that every person who comes to Scheller belongs at Scheller. My advice would is to be yourself and try to figure out if Scheller is the right place for you. When I was thinking about coming to Scheller, I met several current students and admissions team members that made me feel at home, and that’s why I joined Scheller.


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