Meet Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class Of 2025

Versatile and diverse. Experienced and accomplished. 125 high potentials and go-getters seeking growth and community.

That’s a big picture of the MBA Class of 2025 at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. A program long known for experiential learning and high placement, the school has emerged as a leader in analytics, social impact, and DEI in recent years. More than that, the Goizueta brand has become synonymous with southern hospitality and personalized support – not to mention the creative and socially conscious spirit of its students.

“These students are also bringing a wealth of lived experiences,” writes Melissa Rapp, associate dean of graduate admissions in describing the 2025 class. “There are Varsity Football players from Harvard and Princeton, an All-Conference Rugby player, captains of swim teams and tennis teams, hikers, poker players, a J24 racer, triathletes, marathoners, bodybuilders, and golfers. More than a few dog lovers, wine and whiskey enthusiasts, podcasters, readers, published authors, and one self-described avid lawncare enthusiast also are joining Goizueta. Collectively, they speak more than two dozen languages and have received too many academic, philanthropic, and leadership awards to mention individually.”

Goizueta Business School

A WIDE SET OF EXPERIENCES

Indeed, you’ll find first years who last worked for companies as different as Tiffany & Company and the Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund, along with top firms like Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, and Bank of America. At the same time, they’re experienced in areas as divergent as investor, analyst, recruiter, and submarine officer.

Julia Pitino studied Neuroscience and Biology as an undergrad. Starting out as a veterinary technician, she moved on to become a Harvard research assistant and scientist in a healthcare analytics firm. Her big achievement, she says, involve overcoming her doubts to step into a leadership on a high-stakes project.

“[I led] an 8-person team to complete a COVID-19 booster vaccine study with over 40,000 data points in 3 months. I was honored but terrified by the level the trust that the directors had placed in me and was fighting severe imposter syndrome. But during our first few meetings, I could tell the team genuinely trusted me to lead them. This is what finally got me “out of my head” so to speak. From there, I executed my plan and delegated with confidence. The biggest takeaway was that your attitude towards a leader can affect their confidence in themselves, not just vice versa.”

Goizueta MBA Students

STARTING A LUCRATIVE PRACTICE AT A TOP CONSULTING FIRM

Growing up, Sasha McNair performed as a ballerina in historic venues like the White House, the Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery of Art. After a stint in the USDA, she became a senior consultant at Deloitte. Here, she was tapped for a key role in the wake of the 2020 riots – one that hatched a lucrative business unit.

“In 2020, the world went through a social justice reawakening and a lot of corporations were grappling with how to best show up for their Black employees. Due to my work in DEI for the federal practice at Deloitte, my team was asked to work with the office of the CEO to create an anti-racism strategy for the US firm. This strategy became the foundation for the Black Action Council under the CEO, whose mission is to create a sustainable culture of anti-racism and support Black professionals both inside and outside of the firm’s walls. This internal initiative helped me grow our external DEI consulting services for our federal clients. When Biden was elected and created equity mandates for all federal agencies, I led the development of an official DEI practice which grew from five employees to 100+ in under 6 months. The federal practice is now the leading generator of revenue for DEI services at the firm.”

Betzaira Herrera boasts one of the most impressive resumes of any first-year MBA. As a high school senior, she interned at PepsiCo in talent acquisition. During college, she landed recruiting internships at Chick-fil-A and West Monroe Partners and a law enforcement internship at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. From there, she spent the next seven years in talent acquisition and engagement roles at PepsiCo and Allstate.

“To summarize, by my current age of 30, I’ve managed to work at five different industries, two Fortune 100 companies, and at the third largest restaurant chain brand in the country,” Herrera tells P&Q. “My exposure to different industries and companies helped me discover my interest in people, policy and processes within large organizations!”

MBA Students

MILITARY SUCCESS

The Class of 2025 also features a surplus of military veterans. Collin M. Murphy served in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. His classmate, Samuel Haber, earned the Submarine Warfare Qualification in the U.S. Navy. Basically, this designation means he could “navigate and control” his ship – which ran 560 feet and 18,750 tons – and operate its nuclear capabilities. By the same token, Grace Miller completed the U.S. Navy’s Officer of the Deck (OOD) qualification. This earned her the Surface Warfare pin, which she likens to a Naval pilot’s “Wings”.

“Much like a father handing over the car keys to their sixteen-year-old, the OOD qualification means the Captain of the ship deems the officer trustworthy and knowledgeable enough to have the “keys” to the warship,” she writes. “In practice, that means when out at sea, the Captain cannot be navigating the ship 24/7 and so he or she must entrust the safety of the ship to the OODs. Those officers bear the weight of responsibility in the Captain’s absence to keep the crew of 300 people alive and to keep the ship on mission. In my experience, the privilege of earning such trust was superseded only by the honor of being one of the most trusted OODs onboard both of my ships. As such, I had the opportunity as OOD to lead my ships through dangerous waterways, like the Strait of Malacca and Strait of Hormuz, and during numerous special evolutions, like Sea and Anchor details and Underway Replenishments.”

Miller also describes herself as a “National Park geek”, having visited 21 American parks. One of her favorites is Yellowstone, where she learned that the sea can sometimes be safer than land.

“[I] got held hostage by a badger! The short version of the story is that while hiking, I crossed over a rushing river using a bridge, but when I returned to get back to my car a scared badger had taken up residence at the foot of the bridge. After nearly an hour, other hikers and myself managed to get back across!”

Team meeting

A CLASS PROFILE

The class also features Sam Batiste, a Harvard grad and account executive who is a guitarist and songwriter in his spare time. Shanika Paul, an investment analyst, developed a class, Investing with Shanika, to make financial fundamentals more accessible to laypeople. Prashant Patro, a physics major in college, moved to investment banking and gained experience in cross-border IPOs. Working in advanced analytics for Coca-Cola, Tyki Wada created a store optimization planning tool. When it comes to impact, it would be hard to top Hashem Amer, a Fulbright Scholar who most recently worked in private equity.

“My biggest achievement has been my role in the creation of a USD $400 million hospital and medical university in my country. The hospital will be the first of its kind in Jordan to focus on research and development, as well as to operate medical centers of excellence in five different specialties. The facility will be also affiliated with UCLA Health and UCL, two world-class institutions.”

As a whole, the Class of 2025 hails from 17 countries, with 49% of the class made up of international students. Women and underrepresented minorities account for 34% and 25% of the class respectively. Another 9% identifies as LGBTQ+. In terms of admissions, the class boasts a 709 average GMAT and 3.47 average undergraduate GPA.

Academically, 34% of the class majored in a business-related field as undergraduates. Humanities majors account for a 14% share of the class, as do Engineering and Social Science majors. The rest of the class include students with degrees in Economics (12%), Humanities (6%), Computer Science (3%), Law (2%), and Public Health (1%). In terms of professional experience, 19% of the class last worked in Financial Service. Government (11%), Consumer Products (10%), Consulting Services (10%), Manufacturing (10%), and Technology (8%) also represent sizable shares of the class.

Goizueta Exterior

A LEADERSHIP LAB

One area where the Goizueta School differentiates itself is placement. Last year, 96% of the graduating class had landed jobs within three months of earning their degrees. In addition, starting base pay grew to $165,000 for last year’s class. While Goizueta is considered a “small” school with 125 students in the first-year class, alumni contend size has little impact when it comes to opportunities at the school.

“Class size is the magic to Goizueta,” explains Madeline Davis, a 2023 alum. “I’ve found that the number of people in my class is both large enough to feel my own perspective broadening but small enough that I have personal relationships with almost everyone. I can’t imagine going to a school where I wouldn’t know the person sitting next to me in class. The relationships I’ve made at Emory will last far beyond business school. Goizueta’s size not only fosters a close-knit class, but it also allows for deeper student-faculty relationships. Being on a first name basis with our dean or chatting with a professor after class makes it feels like Emory cares as much about me as I do it.”

Leadership training is another plus with the Goizueta Business School. That starts with a required, two-semester IMPACT course. Here, students take a deep dive into critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork before completing a consulting project – all with the support of on-going coaching. MBAs can also take advantage of the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy (GALA), a week-long sailing adventure in the Virgin Islands. During GALA, student embrace different roles aboard their vessels and practice devising and executing strategies to outperform other student teams. Perhaps the most popular Goizueta learning exercise is the Leadership Reaction Course. Held at Fort Moore and overseen by U.S. Army officer candidates, MBA students work in teams to solve issues, such as crossing moats and climbing walls. The course exposes students to the difficulties in planning and executing as a plan. At its core, the course prepares students to quickly adapt to failure and take feedback. Even more, the activities show students how they react under pressure, so they can reflect on how to make better leadership choices.

Sai Konkala, a ’24 grad, found the Leadership Reaction Course particularly valuable in spurring his growth as a leader. “It was here that I first bonded with my core team over wild obstacle courses. Our team was gutsy, diving into challenges and embracing fresh ideas fearlessly. Whether we were climbing a ladder held by the team or crossing over water with only 4x4s, the team threw their hearts into it and overcame our fears. We switched leaders for each obstacle, mixing things up and listening to everyone’s input. With guidance from coaches, we tackled team-based scenarios also faced by U.S. Army officer candidates. After each challenge, we’d chat about what went right, what went wrong, and how we could improve. The experience not only strengthened our team spirit but also taught us vital lessons in leadership and teamwork that I carry with me to this day.”

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