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What to look for in an MBA curriculum [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: What to look for in an MBA curriculum
There are certain courses and concepts every MBA student should master: time value of money, regression analysis, business strategy, and market segmentation to name a few. Faculty members generally agree on some common elements of required MBA “core” curricula. That list has grown over the years as important topics such as ethics and leadership are now required in many MBA programs. 

The Business Roundtable’s acknowledgment that corporations are powerful social actors will have many implications on how business schools prepare leaders today and into the future, just as Milton Friedman’s prioritization of shareholder value has for the past 50 years. Should top MBA programs offer courses exploring the challenges and opportunities corporations confront in interactions with society? Student demographics and enrollment data suggest doing so has been a wise decision for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Many of today’s MBA students care deeply about global issues such as climate, clean water, gender equity, and more. At the same time, the global financial crisis and climate change have formed lasting impressions on their awareness and consideration of how business practices can have far-reaching effects. These factors contribute to strong demand for MBA courses and experiences that position students to work on some of the most interesting and challenging issues of our time. 

Business and Society, taught by sociologist Wes Longhofer, is consistently among the most popular offerings at Goizueta. Each semester an increasing number of MBA students are attracted to the opportunity to examine how corporations, non-profits, governments, and the public can work together on global issues at meaningful scale. 

To be clear, courses such as Business and Society are not designed to vilify the corporation. To provide important context, Professor Longhofer begins with the history of the entity as a social, political, and legal actor. A few additional topics include the environment, human rights, fair trade and fair labor, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

As popular as these concepts are with many MBA students, the idea of including Business and Society and other related courses is not without controversy. Aside from the inevitable philosophical debate, the time constraints of an already packed MBA curriculum are significant. Traditional MBA courses are indeed fundamental to learning responsible management and leadership, but the extent of that responsibility is not limited to the viability or prosperity of the corporation. It extends to the corporation’s role in a world of increasing interdependence and transparency. 

Recent news from Amazon, Inc. could serve as a real-time case study across several academic disciplines, including Goizueta’s Business and Society course. Its co-founding of “The Climate Pledge” has committed the company to net zero carbon by 2040 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, among other major operational changes. On the surface, these changes may seem unrelated to the competitiveness of its core business. However, in today’s business and global environment, Amazon was notably behind its competitors in making such a move—and their employees demanded this action.

Deciding which business school to attend can be a difficult task. Many top MBA programs offer superb training in the functional disciplines of finance, marketing, strategy, etc. As prospective students research MBA programs, a smart approach may be to take a close look at course offerings and consider schools that go beyond the traditional functional disciplines. Consider schools that feature strong courses and faculty focused on not only better business but business to better society. This distinction should no longer be peripheral in business education. The challenges we all share are certainly not. 

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International Travel and GEMS [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: International Travel and GEMS

As any other millennial, I love to travel and traveling was a huge aspect of the MBA experience I was looking forward to. While researching the MBA experience before applying, if you told me all MBA students do is travel I would have believed you. But, when Core started I was knee-deep in work and any traveling opportunities seemed like a thought of the past.

During one of our Corner Stone meetings I was reminded that we had the chance to travel to either South Korea, Russia, or Brazil as part of Global Experiential Modules (GEMS). I hadn’t been to any of the three countries and would have loved to go to any of the options, but I closed my eyes and decided to go to Brazil; that weather in February seemed like a no-brainer.

Brazil was such a beautiful experience. We got to go to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and a few cities in-between. There were so many breath-taking moments during the trip. I learned so much about the people and their way of life, got to visit large companies such as Cummins and P&G, and I even got a chance to go to the Favelas.


All that was nice, but if I am being honest the best part of the trip was traveling with my fellow classmates. We grew so much closer over the trip. We got to take our mind off classwork and just enjoy and embrace ourselves in new opportunities. One day we randomly decided to go to the last day of Carnival. If you have been to Carnival in any country you can imagine how that experience was in Brazil. It even rained while we were at Carnival, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell with how lively we and the Brazilian people were.

Our time in Brazil lasted about two weeks. Afterwards was spring break and we had a trip to Peru planned where we visited Lima and Cusco. Machu Picchu was amazing. It took us a while to travel and get up there through the trains and busses, but it was definitely worth it.

Traveling and GEMS are a big part of the MBA and Goizueta Business School experience. GEMS usually takes place after winter break and they provide a great opportunity to explore the world and learn about other cultures. GEMS is led by a professor and leading up to the trip there are sessions you partake in so you travel to the country with some common knowledge about the country and people. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend that you engage in the GEMS experience!

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Talk to alumni before selecting an MBA program [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Talk to alumni before selecting an MBA program
One of the most common responses a prospective student gives for why they want to pursue an MBA degree: “I want to expand my network.”

As an MBA student, your classmates, professors, recruiters, and the “alumni network” will fit into this category. However, an alumni network is much more complex than a listing of the top earners or C-Suite executives who have graduated from the program in the last 30 years. Alumni are often the biggest advocates for their alma maters and its current students. As such, they should be top of mind for prospective students even before they apply to MBA programs. They should also be considered when looking for summer internships.

At most top MBA programs you have multiple opportunities during the research and application process to engage with alumni, including meeting them during campus visits, events, and admissions interviews. Alumni also are often willing to speak to prospective MBA students who have contacted them through an extended personal network or via a LinkedIn introduction. In these interactions, your goal should be to ask questions and determine whether a specific school is the right cultural and academic fit for you.

At Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, we have small-by-design MBA programs, averaging less than 180 full-time, two-year MBA students per incoming class. Given our size, our active alumni network is a key strength. Many Goizueta MBA alumni return to campus to engage with and interview prospective students or to mentor and hire current students.

Each interaction carries significant weight.

Here are three pieces of advice we give to all students when interacting with alumni.

  • Start with the most recent alumni first. While senior executives have much more influence over the business as a whole, they are often further removed from their MBA experiences. Students may be surprised to learn how little they interact with MBA hiring in comparison to more recent alumni. Often, hiring managers and recruiting teams—especially in investment banking and consulting—are composed of alumni who graduated within the last five to seven years. These alumni remember their MBA experiences as well as the recruiting process in more detail. They can be quite knowledgeable, but also harder to impress. Whether you are researching MBA programs or looking for a summer internship, make sure you are well-prepared to ask smart, insightful questions.
  • Always be polite, punctual, and humble. MBA alumni are extremely busy people regardless of their level at a company. When engaging with them, be flexible in finding a time to schedule a coffee chat or phone call. Always be on time (ideally 15 minutes early when meeting in person), and never forget to send a thank you email within one business day of your meeting or call. This allows you to show gratitude, continue the discussion, and possibly be introduced to other alumni at their firm. Keep in mind many MBA programs leverage alumni insights when evaluating candidates and alumni also have influence over the MBA hiring process. Creating a good first impression when researching MBA programs can lead to an internship or job offer in the future.
  • Focus on building real, value-adding professional relationships with alumni instead of merely making transactional requests. Many MBA prospects and students dread networking; they feel like they are asking a lot from alumni, while having very little to give in return. While this may be true at the outset of a new professional relationship, you still provide immense value to alumni. One thing you bring immediately is a fresh perspective. Alumni also recognize bringing in a pipeline of strong talent from their alma mater helps build and strengthen their own reputation at a firm. So, while the alumni-student relationship may seem very one-sided at the outset, over time, there will be numerous opportunities for you to pay it back to alumni with whom you have built a genuine relationship. After all, alumni always need people they can rely on, and recent MBA graduates are often the most eager employees.
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How to learn virtually during a pandemic [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: How to learn virtually during a pandemic
In the accelerated One-Year MBA program at Goizueta Business School, the most intensive portion of the curriculum is held over the summer. COVID-19 changed many plans, including education. I wanted to write to share my thoughts on what worked well when learning at home throughout the summer before Emory University implemented their hybrid class system.


  • Reflect on your expectations
    : Working virtually requires intentional outreach that is different from stopping a professor before or after class. Taking time to reflect before each class to think about what you want to get out of it will help you make sure your metrics are met. It’s also critical to reflect on your expectations about what your program should include. Are you invested in learning the material only, being the top of the class, or expanding your professional network? What other priorities and expectations do you have for your program and yourself this year? How do you want to grow? Taking time to reflect before you start, and frequently throughout your program, will enable you to stay on your pre-determined track and meet your expectations.

  • Invest in tools you need to succeed
    : There are a couple of tools everyone needs to optimally learn at home. Everyone needs a second monitor if they are doing anything that requires excel or working on data while taking virtual class (this means every class in an MBA program). Additionally, everyone needs a stable internet connection that can handle more traffic. If you have a roommate doing virtual classes too, your connection speeds need to be even faster to accommodate. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to connect, having choppy video, or not being able to engage in class because of internet issues. Lastly, everyone needs to equip themselves with the tools they use to learn in class. For me, that means a printer for readings, notebooks to take notes by hand, and a desk dedicated to work. This is different for everyone, but the tools to learn are very similar to in class tools.

  • Develop a routine
    : This applies to in-person and virtual classes pre-pandemic; however, I feel it’s important to note now. Having a rhythm to the day and maximizing the times you learn best relieves frustration and perpetual work. It’s healthy to have time for work, exercise, and relaxation. Finding an intentional routine that works best for you can help you find satisfaction in your work and time at school. Life is too short to be miserable! Make time for things you love and for learning.
  • Become intentional about maintaining friendships: This one is the toughest. During the pandemic, staying at home meant always saying no to going out with others. For many of us, physical distancing has led to feeling more socially distant too. It’s important to maintain social connections for your mental health and general wellbeing. Having a strong network of friends gives you allies through classes, people to share your experiences with, and a network beyond your program. Sometimes it is hard to reach out, but finding a great group of friends brings immense satisfaction.

  • Find an outlet
    : Being home most days can make the days bleed one into the next. It’s easy to lose track of time and wonder where the season went. As for me, I rescued a dog, increased my cooking at home, and became more invested in getting physically stronger. Creative outlets like writing, painting, pottery, and drawing pay dividends in bringing satisfaction and giving you creative space. For others, physical outlets like training for a race, gardening, walking, biking, and spending time outside are where it’s at. If you haven’t found something you love, give yourself permission and time to explore! You can connect with your community and learn a new skill. 
These top five suggestions are steps that enabled me to focus on classes, enjoy reviewing information, and creatively collaborate on teams. Graduate school is about flexing your academic muscles, but also being acutely aware of what skills you need for your future career. Your experience should be tailored to help you gain those skills and connect you to new opportunities. Virtual learning is different and at times uncomfortable, but unique challenges often help us learn more about ourselves. As for me, I can’t wait to see what the next couple of months have in store.

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A guide to Goizueta’s MBA application [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: A guide to Goizueta’s MBA application
The MBA application process at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School shares elements with many other schools in that it is your opportunity to share your unique story with the admissions committee. Every aspect of the application is reviewed annually and has been crafted to help us assess the specific skills or characteristics we are looking for to craft a well-rounded, competitive, and supportive MBA class. Each of these skills or characteristics maps to one of the core values of Goizueta — courage, integrity, accountability, rigor, diversity, team, and community.

Components of the application

  • Demographic information: To applicants, this seems to be standard information but, to us, it is the building blocks for a diverse class. Your hometown, current location, age, gender, ethnicity, and professional experience (industry and function) all play a part in crafting a diverse class. (Goizueta Core Value: Diversity)
  • Academic information including transcripts and test scores: One of our most important core values is that of rigor. Demonstrated success in undergraduate classes and on standardized tests shows if you will be able to meet the demands of our rigorous academic experience. (Goizueta Core Value: Rigor)
  • Extra-curricular activities: These “extra” activities are a key to telling the story of how you have demonstrated teamwork and leadership skills. What activities you are passionate about, your level of involvement in those activities, and if you held leadership roles all help the admissions committee to understand who you are outside of your professional space and how you will contribute to our community. (Goizueta Core Values: Team, Community)
  • Essays: Goizueta asks you to write two essays. The first focuses on your goals following your MBA studies. The answer to this question helps us understand your motivations and if you are a good fit for the Goizueta full-time MBA program (one-year or two-year) you have chosen. The second essay is about leadership and allows you to showcase how you have been a leader and how that experience can be added to with a Goizueta MBA. Both essays require self-reflection and some discipline to stay within the word count. (Goizueta Core Values: Rigor, Courage, Accountability) 
  • Video essay: Goizueta provides different platforms for candidates to tell their stories and the video essay is your opportunity to tell us more about yourself in a relaxed, real-time way. The questions are randomized so each candidate provides a unique insight. (Goizueta Core Value: Courage) 
  • Resume: Goizueta prefers a one-page resume that captures your professional experience and highlights times you have added value to your organization. Your resume is the place to craft the story of you as a professional. (Goizueta Core Values: Courage, Accountability, Team)
  • Recommendations: Hearing about you from someone else’s perspective is an important part of our evaluation of your fit within our community. It provides a balance to your own self-promotion and can provide insights into how you have demonstrated our values. (Goizueta Core Values: Team, Integrity)
  • Interview: With Goizueta’s commitment to be a small-by-design MBA program, every member of the community plays an important role in setting and maintaining culture. To that end, the interview allows us to get to know you on a more personal level. The questions asked during the interview will focus on your career goals and leadership. It is the perfect time to share a great story you couldn’t fit into your essays. (Goizueta Core Values: Courage, Integrity, Accountability, Rigor, Diversity, Team, Community)
Completing the application for any top MBA program requires a commitment of time and energy. Completing an application also requires a strategy. Understand that submitting a strong, competitive application won’t happen overnight or even over a weekend.

Tackling the GMAT or GRE first is a good place to start. You should plan to prepare for the test with either self-directed study or via a test-prep course. While you prepare or when you have a score that reflects your capabilities, begin to work on an outline or a list of examples you can use to answer the essay questions. 

Once you begin the MBA application, schedule some time with potential recommenders to talk about your plans and ask if they are willing to write a recommendation for you. Be thoughtful about who you ask and provide them with an updated resume and the timeline for completing the recommendation. If the application deadline is approaching and they haven’t submitted, send a friendly reminder and thank them when it is complete with coffee or a thoughtful note. 

Once you have a draft of your essay responses, seek out a few opinions and proofreaders to review them. Often you will have spent so much time with the essays you may not notice simple mistakes. Before submitting, be sure to triple check you have the correct school name in your essays. One tactic I recommend is to have someone read your essay without telling them what the question was and ask them to tell you what they think the question was based on your answer. This is a great way to know if you are answering the question asked.

If you are invited to interview at Goizueta, prepare the same way you would for a job interview. Practice questions you expect to be asked and prepare some questions to help you understand the program better.

The application is your first exercise as an MBA student. Take your time and prepare the best application you can, even if that means delaying your submission by a round.

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5 Surprising ways the pandemic made my core semester better [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: 5 Surprising ways the pandemic made my core semester better
Like you, my expectations for 2020 were upended in March. I was set to start at Goizueta Business School just two months later. I worried about how the educational and social experience, specifically during core semester (which spans summer for us One-Year students), would change. While I do mourn parts of the in-person experience I originally imagined, the pandemic also made core better in a few surprising ways!

Speed-Reading Practice

Before coming to Goizueta, I worked as a consultant. The pandemic’s economic impact put about half of my company’s projects on pause – including mine. I took advantage of the time unassigned to a project (“on the bench” in consulting-speak) to practice speed-reading. That training prepared me to efficiently work through the high volume of cases, articles, and other texts in core. 

Puppy Cam

Core Finance Professor J.B. Kurish sometimes signed into Zoom from two devices – one to teach class and the other to give us a view of his puppy. It was a great stress relief! 

Zoom Theatre


My core team, “The Fake Meghans,” as the “Fab 5” from Netflix’s Queer Eye. Pictured from left to right: Kait Capone (as “Bobby”), Andrew Nickerson (as “Karamo”), AJ Hobbs (as “Antoni”), Meghan Renfrow (as “Jonathan”), and Addison Winkler (as “Tan”).

My wonderful core team (named “The Fake Meghans”) enjoyed making our presentations entertaining – especially for Accounting with Associate Professor in the Practice of Accounting Usha Rackliffe. For our final presentation in her class, “The Fake Meghans” analyzed the financial statements of Netflix. Our slides and outfits were themed around popular Netflix content, and Zoom enhanced the dramatic effect. With our cameras off, we could simultaneously listen to class and do costume changes. Then, all at once, we would turn our cameras on like the curtains opening on a show. (Shoutout to my teammate Meghan Renfrow for memorizing all her content so she could present blindfolded a la Sandra Bullock in Bird Box.) To this day, the only core team picture is our heads edited onto the “Fab 5” from Netflix’s Queer Eye. 

Class from the Blue Ridge Mountains

In July, I spent a week at a cabin in North Carolina. Since the pandemic requires a school-from-anywhere model, I got to attend class while looking out over the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Hype Team Group Chat

“The Fake Meghans” had an active group chat that really came alive during presentations. We became a real-time hype team for one another. Hollering “AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING” and “woot woot” and “yee yeeeeeeee” (actual chats from our presentations in Accounting and in IMPACT with Senior Lecturer in Organization & Management and Associate Dean, Goizueta IMPACT, Lynne Segall and Adjunct Lecturer and Executive Coach Donna Peters) at your teammates during an in-person presentation would be inappropriate, but in the virtual environment, my phone lighting up from the group chat was just the encouragement I needed.

This year is full of changes, and I wish I’d had an in-person core. I am grateful Emory University has worked diligently to provide safe hybrid learning options this fall. Still, the pandemic brought some unique good experiences to core. The Goizueta community found surprising ways to learn, enjoy, and laugh along the way!

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Building a business analytics toolkit [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Building a business analytics toolkit
As MSBA students and business data scientists, we are expected to be well-rounded individuals who can both develop data science models and communicate insights to stakeholders. While the MSBA 2021 cohort consists of some of the best and brightest analytics talent, we come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds and each have our own strengths and areas for improvement. Coming from an engineering background, I wanted to learn not only the technical data science skills but also the business savvy to be able to make an immediate impact as a data scientist after graduation. One of the tools the MSBA program uses to get everyone up to speed is the boot camps. After completing three weeks of rigorous boot camp courses, I feel well prepared to tackle the coming semester’s analytics challenges from all angles.


An interactive business bootcamp session with Professor John Kim.

We kicked off the boot camps by studying the mathematical foundations that set us up for success in the remaining bootcamps and laid the groundwork for our fall courses. Professor Miller reviewed matrix operations and calculus, which are fundamental concepts in many machine learning techniques. We also discussed random variables, sampling, and distributions, which we were able to utilize soon after in Professor Stuk’s business statistics course. I really appreciated that Professor Miller spoke with each of our MSBA professors about which concepts were fundamental in their disciplines and designed the bootcamp around their feedback. Professor Miller will be teaching Decision Analytics in the spring semester, so we will get to learn more from him soon.

Next, we covered the basics of computing fundamentals, Linux, shell scripting, SQL, Python, and R in the technology bootcamp with Ettienne Montagner. I particularly enjoyed the computing fundamentals overview because having a thorough understanding of computer architecture and the mechanics of memory storage will give me significant advantages when developing data science models and debugging. Additionally, Lin Zhang walked us through a series of labs to help us develop hands-on experience with AWS, which is a highly demanded skill in the analytics job market. We were able to put together all our new technical knowledge in a final project in which we ran four Python and R scripts for data cleaning and exploration using a shell script on an AWS EC2 instance.

While taking the boot camps, we also took a full course on business statistics with Professor Stuk. In this class, we were able to immediately utilize the R skills that we developed the week prior in the tech bootcamp. We also quickly built on the knowledge from Professor Miller’s class pertaining to distributions and probability. The majority of the course was spent learning the ins and outs of regression analysis, and by the end of the course, each team built a comprehensive multiple regression model based on a nonprofit canvass and used it to predict revenue potential in new areas.

Throughout the three weeks of the bootcamp, we took crash courses in business principles that would be key to our applications of data science techniques. Dr. Chellappa, the MSBA dean, referred to the business boot camp as “an MBA in a week.” We started off learning economics and finance with Professor Smith, who left a lasting impact on me with his advice to spend time every day studying the market. In marketing class with Professor Hamilton, we discussed segmentation, which is a major application area of analytics. Professor Kim, a former consultant, taught us about not only the fundamentals of strategy and competitive advantage, but also how to be successful in the workforce. Finally, Dr. Chellappa demonstrated the concepts of operations by digging into a case study, which allowed us to get hands-on experience.

Although my background is in engineering, being part of the Goizueta Business School means that I am expected to not only have strong technical skills but also a solid business acumen. Thankfully, the MSBA boot camps expanded my business skills and solidified my technical skills. Looking forward, I feel equipped with the tools and mindset to become an effective business data scientist.

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GEM Experience in Brazil [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: GEM Experience in Brazil

Front row (left to right): Kristen Little ’21, Mikayah Merrell ’21; Back row (left to right): Gustavo (our guide), Racquel Waite ’21, Uri Tammuz ’21, Lyndsey Fridie ’21 and Chis Anen ’21 at a Carnival party in Sao Paulo

As the day for MSMs approached, tensions grew high. “Would we still be able to go to South Korea or would the trip be canceled?” I wondered. The coronavirus was already spreading at an alarming rate through Asia and threatened our prospect of exploring business and culture in an Asian country. Given that I spent a semester in China while in college, I was really looking forward to immersing myself in another Asian country’s culture and business practices. It soon became clear that it would be too dangerous to travel to South Korea, and the trip was unfortunately canceled. Determined to have the “business school travel” experience, I worked with the full-time program office to get transferred to the Brazil trip, and thankfully, I succeeded!

Our first stop in Brazil was Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is very populous and busy, and is the financial center of Brazil. While there, we visited a number of companies including Cummins, P&G Brazil, and the U.S. Embassy. All the company visits were exciting and meaningful learning experiences. At P&G, we met an executive who spoke to us about how difficult it can be managing multiple brands across different geographies. It was insightful to hear about how the company’s many locations and products informed its overall business strategy. At Cummins, I saw how important it is for company culture/values to align with overall business strategy, especially at a manufacturing firm where safety should be of the utmost importance. Those visits really illuminated the business cases that I had read during my Core semester in marketing and in leading organizations and strategy classes.


A Carnival costume produced by the students of the samba school

Aside from the company visits, I spent my days roaming the streets near the InterContinental on Paulista Avenue, shopping, and eating any Brazilian treat I could find. My favorite was the brigadeiro. I worked in NYC before business school, and one of my colleagues was Brazilian. She introduced me to that heavenly, moist, chocolatey treat for the first time in 2016, and my life hasn’t been the same since! I think I had a brigadeiro every day. They even have brigadeiro popsicles, and those are to die for!

Brigadeiros aside, I think the highlight for all of us in Sao Paulo was immersing ourselves in Brazil’s rich, vibrant culture via a Carnival party that we attended. It was a spirited event, with people adorned in colorful costumes, glitter, and confetti. Amid the music, alcohol, and gyrating, there was a sense of freedom, love, and acceptance.  


Full-time ’20 and ’21, and one-year ’21 students with Professor Jan Barton (right corner) after touring a samba school in Rio de Janeiro

After about a week in Sao Paulo, we traveled to Rio, where I found out that Carnival is much more than a mere celebration to many Brazilians. Carnival is recognized in Jamaica as well, but Carnival is celebrated in a more profound and intricate way in Brazil. Brazilian Carnival is a melting pot of European (Portuguese) influences and African music, dance, and beats. The Portuguese colonizers brought the festival to the country in the 1600s and celebrated privately and lavishly in their own homes. But over time, the Afro-Brazilians started their own festivals with African-inspired dances, music, and costumes that mocked the colonizers. In essence, it was a segregated event.

But then in the 20th century, the people took the celebration out onto the streets and it became more inclusive, fusing aspects of both cultures.

The Afro-Brazilians introduced samba and soon after, the first samba schools were created in Rio de Janeiro. There are a number of samba schools today, and they all create extravagant floats and dance routines to compete in the annual Carnival competition. We got the opportunity to visit one of Rio’s most popular samba schools, and even learned a few dance moves.


View from a building in Vidigal

Another highlight of our Rio trip was visiting Vidigal, a poor Brazilian community. Though living with meager resources, the people there were welcoming and obviously had a rich, supportive culture. The whole trip underscored the creativity and resilience of Brazilians, and the importance of cohesion in our communities.

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Balancing Core and parenting [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Balancing Core and parenting
The summer Core is an intense 12 weeks with seemingly every waking minute occupied for all 84 days. Before MBA I worked nearly 10 years in the offshore oil and gas industry and rarely worked more than a 40-hour week when I was not offshore. I had plenty of time with my wife and three kids (ages 3, 5, and 5). Truthfully, I worked 60–80 hours for each of those 12 weeks of summer Core. If you are considering the one-year program or any MBA program while trying to raise some decent kids this probably sounds like quite a challenge. Let me share some perspective about why having kids can be advantageous: they teach you superior time management skills, and they motivate you to be a good role model.

Dr. Ed Young of Second Baptist Church in Houston says, “Kids spell love as T-I-M-E.” So, what do you do when you don’t have a lot of time during summer Core? You learn to manage your time even better, and you make every minute count. If you do it well, you can create those extra minutes in your schedule, and you will be fully present and engaged when you are with your family. Honestly, it was really hard for me to turn off “work mode.” But when I was able to disconnect from school and focus on the kids, it was a meaningful break for my mind, far better than any Netflix session.


Andrew Nickerson with wife and three children

My daughter had two birthday parties over the summer when she turned 5. At both parties, she blew out her candles and told everyone that she wished daddy didn’t have to work so much. A little heartbreaking. But also made me realize that she was watching and recognized how hard I was working. What a great opportunity to teach my kids that hard work is rewarding and something we don’t avoid! Being a role model for my kids encouraged me to maintain a good attitude towards the challenge of summer Core. It kept my head in the right place when I might have otherwise felt overwhelmed.

I would be lying if I told you it was easy with kids. Sometimes they brought much needed laughter and sometimes they had tantrums. But ultimately, they are a powerful source of inspiration that motivated me to improve my time management skills and maintain a winning attitude as a role model for them. Most importantly, if you do the one-year program, the 12-week summer goes by fast so everyone will survive. Final thought, just make sure you prepare your spouse since they have to do the grind work for the family while you get to focus on self-improvement and networking (which sometimes “requires” a cocktail or two)!

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Find Your Fit [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Find Your Fit
The first semester of the MSBA program is all about developing our data science skills while networking and exploring career paths.  We are constantly learning about how we can apply our data science skills in different industries and what it would look like to work as a data scientist, data analyst, business intelligence analyst, or machine learning engineer. To help us in this process, the MBA Career Management Center curated a special event for MSBA students called “Find Your Fit.” In this event, we had the opportunity to hear from panelists working in the consumer, consulting, and tech industries to hear how their companies leverage data science and the roles that MSBA students may be interested in at their companies.


In the first panel, we heard from data science practitioners and hiring managers from The Home Depot, Truist, GE Power, Target, and Pilot Travel Centers. When asked what data science means at their companies, each panelist emphasized that data science is critical to their success.  Iris from Home Depot went so far as to say data science is their “superpower.” They discussed the use of data science in forecasting, generating insights, and overall helping business partners make data-driven decisions. They also discussed the main tools used at each of their companies, and some of the common tools mentioned were Python, R, SQL, Tableau, and AWS, each of which are utilized in MSBA coursework. Anqi from Truist stressed that being skilled in the process of data science is more valuable than knowing any one language or tool, which aligns with the MSBA program’s goal of creating tool-agnostic data scientists. We also discussed differences between data scientist and data analyst roles at each company, and there was an overall theme that data scientists are more focused on building machine learning models and solving problems from a new perspective, while analysts are more focused on descriptive analytics, building dashboards, and sharing insights. We closed the panel with some final advice from the panelists, and Chingwei from GE Power stressed the importance of being a data scientist rather than a data technician by being naturally curious and solving problems that add business value.

Our next panel included MSBA graduates now working as consultants for Accenture, EY, Deloitte and Slalom Consulting. Our panelists’ current roles widely varied in terms of technical vs. business focus.  Charlotte from Deloitte advised us to explore where we fit on the technical spectrum to narrow down what type of roles would be a good fit for each of us. The panelists also discussed the importance of networking, not only now as we prepare for our job search but also long after we leave the MSBA program.

Last but not least, we learned from a group of panelists from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. As someone who aspires to work as a data scientist for a tech company, I was thrilled to learn more about how these companies leverage data science and what they look for in their data science talent. Each of these companies use data science in many different business functions, and the panelists expressed that data science could mean anything from machine learning, data storytelling, product management, research, or product innovation. Although our panelists all come from highly data-driven companies with extensive data infrastructure, Ankit from Microsoft shared his view that we are still just scratching the surface of what we can do with data science. In terms of job titles, the panelists shared that data scientists tend to model and make predictions, while business analysts generally use SQL and data visualization to make sense of the data as it currently exists.  Finally, our panelists discussed company culture. Meagan, a recruiter from Facebook, shared that because Facebook is a very flat company, new employees can make an impact right away. Kristen from Google discussed the concept of “Googley-ness,” which summarizes Google’s open, collaborative, and team-driven culture.

Data science is an exciting, fast-growing field with job opportunities in essentially every industry. However, for someone trying to break into the field, the options are so expansive that it can be difficult to narrow down the role and company that would be the best fit. Thankfully, the Find Your Fit event gave me insights into the day in the life as a data scientist in a variety of industries, and I feel more confident positioning myself in my job search.

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Goizueta MSBA experience: What would you do differently? [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Goizueta MSBA experience: What would you do differently?
In this video, I interview fellow classmates about what they could have done differently if they were to start the MSBA program all over again. As you can see, the importance of taking care of oneself during the rigors of this program shouldn’t be overlooked. No matter how busy they are from a pile of homework and projects, it is extremely important to maintain mental sanity and physical fitness that will build sufficient stamina, helping you to get through these tough, intense times. Interview credit goes to (in chronological order): Nicole Santolalla, Ben Tenzer, David Li, Ryan Chen, Baran Kavusturucu, Sami Feller, and Pelumi Ayaji.



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Three lessons I have learned from fall semester of the MSBA program [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Three lessons I have learned from fall semester of the MSBA program


In this video, Sean Jung, MSBA2021, shares three key lessons he learned from the fall semester of the MSBA program. Aside from actual data science skills he learned, these lessons have helped him go through the rigorous fall semester with a sense of maturity and self-realization.

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Career development is team coached at Goizueta Business School [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Career development is team coached at Goizueta Business School
The recruiting journey for the One-Year program at Goizueta Business School can be a bit, well, fast and furious. We start the program in May, complete the core semester from May to August, and begin official on-campus recruiting as early as September! I came in ready to jump in and apply myself to career preparation, and I knew Goizueta provided additional support along the way. Still, I was pleasantly surprised at how willing members of the Goizueta Business School community were to assist me in my recruiting journey.

The preparation began in the Spring, before I even attended orientation. I started “coffee chats,” typically a 30-minute meeting that is part get-to-know-you and part informational interview, with current Goizueta students. They were so open and helpful, sharing their experiences with recruiting and often connecting me to other Goizueta students who might also be helpful as I tried to figure out whether to pursue an internal strategy role or a strategy consulting role.

During the core summer, the Career Management Center (CMC) provided weekly sessions for the entire One-Year class. I was also connected with my CMC coach, Naya-Joi Martin 14MBA, who spent two hours helping me shine up my resume to highlight the impact I made in my past roles. When navigating whether to stay in consulting or move to industry, my peer career coach Ramya Ramaraju 20MBA shared with me a curated list of potential target companies that fit my skills and interests.

As I continued to decide between consulting and industry, many alumni were incredibly helpful. While there are too many to name to fit the word limit of a “blog post,” these women were especially willing to share with me about their impressive careers: Marisa Preston 02MBA, Dedra Casey 14MBA, Shobhika Somani 12MBA, and Creedence Rossi 19MBA. Additionally, the content and connections accessible through the Goizueta Consulting Association (GCA) and Goizueta Healthcare Association (GHA) provided valuable resources to assist in determining which route to choose.

As I narrowed in on consulting, the GCA resources helped me prepare. The student leaders shared their perspectives throughout the summer so One-Year students could be prepared for interviews in the fall. About 20 of my peers administered practice interviews with me – some several times. Sam Lichtveld, Jordyn Hodge, Tom Egge, and Willie Sullivan (all second-year/21MBA) were extra gracious with their advice. Two of my One-Year core teammates, also interested in consulting careers, Andrew Nickerson and Addison Winkler (both One-Year/21MBA), and I held a weekly “accountability check-in” to discuss our progress on recruiting preparation and encourage one another.

I am grateful to say that all of this led to a full-time offer I was thrilled to accept! Next fall, I will join the Atlanta office of Bain & Company as a Consultant. While I was ultimately the only one who could perform in my interview, I know the Goizueta community had prepared me to be the best candidate I could be. The Career Management Center, Goizueta clubs, my fellow students, and alumni of all years were, and continue to be, incredible coaches in my career development!

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Five Career Options for MSBA Students [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Five Career Options for MSBA Students
Before even beginning courses in the MSBA program, I started exploring what types of job opportunities would be available to me after graduating from the program. I came to Emory with the intention of making a career switch and wanted to set myself up for a career that I could enjoy for the long haul. I know that most students come in with the same mindset. As an ambassador for the MSBA program, often the first question that prospective students ask me is related to the career options that the program would create for them. The MSBA program prepares us to translate data into insights and speak the languages of business, data, and technology to hit the ground running in a variety of jobs and industries.  Through the preferences of my cohort graduating in May 2021 and the employment outcomes of the previous three cohorts, I have gathered five of the popular jobs for MSBA grads.

  • Data Scientist: The role of a data scientist tends to involve using historical data to predict future outcomes. Data scientists often use machine learning techniques and are very hands-on with statistical programming. Students who are more drawn to the technical side of analytics tend to be more attracted to data scientist roles.
  • Data Analyst: Data analysts are storytellers. Data analysts typically manipulate and analyze data to identify trends, format the information effectively, and deliver the information to business leaders for better informed decision making. Analysts often use data visualization tools such as Tableau to create dashboards that deliver insights.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: While there is quite a bit of overlap between these different job titles, business intelligence analysts tend to do more analysis of past trends rather than making predictions about the future. Business intelligence usually leans heavily on the use of descriptive analytics.
  • Consultant: Students who are drawn to work variety and travel tend to be interested in consulting careers. There are opportunities to work as a consultant for analytics-specific consulting companies or as a data science consultant within the big consulting firms. While the type of data science work varies depending on the exact consulting role, the analytics skillset is valuable in a consulting career because it can apply to a variety of problem-solving situations and industries.
  • Decision Scientist: Decision scientists typically rely the most heavily on mathematics and statistics out of the five roles listed. As the name suggests, decision scientists use company data to help nontechnical stakeholders make decisions under uncertainty. Decision scientists look for insights in the data as they relate to the decision at hand.
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MS in Business Analytics: Five Careers in Data Analytics [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: MS in Business Analytics: Five Careers in Data Analytics
Before even beginning courses in the MS in Business Analytics degree, I started exploring what types of job opportunities would be available to me after graduating from the program. I came to Emory with the intention of making a career switch and wanted to set myself up for a career that I could enjoy for the long haul. I know that most students come in with the same mindset.

As an ambassador for the MSBA program, often the first question that prospective students ask me is related to the career options that the program would create for them. The MS in Business Analytics prepares us to translate data into insights and speak the languages of business, data, and technology to hit the ground running in a variety of jobs and industries. Through the preferences of my cohort graduating in May 2021 and the employment outcomes of the previous three cohorts, I have gathered five of the popular MSBA jobs for business analytics degree grads.

Careers in data analytics:

  • Data Scientist: The role of a data scientist tends to involve using historical data to predict future outcomes. Data scientists often use machine learning techniques and are very hands-on with statistical programming. MS in Business Analytics degree students who are more drawn to the technical side of analytics tend to be more attracted to data scientist roles.
  • Data Analyst: Data analysts are storytellers. Data analysts typically manipulate and analyze data to identify trends, format the information effectively, and deliver the information to business leaders for better informed decision making. Analysts often use data visualization tools such as Tableau to create dashboards that deliver insights.
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: While there is quite a bit of overlap between these different job titles, business intelligence analysts tend to do more analysis of past trends rather than making predictions about the future. Business intelligence usually leans heavily on the use of descriptive analytics.
  • Consultant: MSBA students who are drawn to work variety and travel tend to be interested in consulting careers. There are opportunities to work as a consultant for analytics-specific consulting companies or as a data science consultant within the big consulting firms. While the type of data science work varies depending on the exact consulting role, the analytics skillset is valuable in a consulting career because it can apply to a variety of problem-solving situations and industries.
  • Decision Scientist: Decision scientists typically rely the most heavily on mathematics and statistics out of the five roles listed. As the name suggests, decision scientists use company data to help nontechnical stakeholders make decisions under uncertainty. Decision scientists look for insights in the data as they relate to the decision at hand.
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Goizueta Gives’ Partnership with 21st Century Leaders Continues Despit [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Goizueta Gives’ Partnership with 21st Century Leaders Continues Despite Ongoing Pandemic
In 2018 when I happened to visit Goizueta during the school’s annual Inside Goizueta Diversity Conference , I met Karina de Sousa, a Social Enterprise at Goizueta (SE@G) fellow. She spoke very highly of the organization. Since then, I knew that if accepted to Goizueta, I wanted to get involved in one or more of the clubs that sat under SEG.

Fast forward to my Core semester in the fall of 2019, I met Sam Oldroyd, the then-vice president of Goizueta Gives, a community service–oriented club whose mission is to have a positive impact on the greater Georgia community by connecting students to Georgia nonprofits and leveraging the strengths and resources of the Goizueta community to the advancement of these nonprofit partners. He excitedly told me about the club and their plans for the year. Being that I have a passion for serving and held leadership roles in the community service group at my last employer, I was immediately captivated. I joined the club and when Sanjana Chhantyal, the then-president, announced that applications were open for two first-year representatives, I applied. Anisha Shrestha and I were elected first-year representatives.

One of our first responsibilities was to find volunteers for Goizueta Gives’ annual case competition with 21st Century Leaders (21CL), a nonprofit focused on “providing young leaders with the training, guidance, and encouragement necessary to enter college and the workforce.” We connected with a few of our classmates who agreed to relinquish six hours of their time on a Saturday to act as coaches and judges for over 50 Georgia high school students.

[img]https://www.voiceofgoizueta.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/fireside-chat-arjun.jpg[/img]
Fireside chat with Arjun Chowdri, chief innovation officer of PGA of America, and moderator Erin Lightfoot, secretary of 21CL Junior Board of Directors.

To kick off the annual Goizueta Youth Leadership SummitErin Lightfoot, a junior board member of 21CL, moderated a fireside chat with Arjun Chowdri, chief innovation officer of PGA of America, as high school students and Goizueta student-judges while coaches looked on. It was a rewarding event, and the feedback Goizueta Gives received was overwhelmingly positive. The students said that they felt supported by their coaches and judges and were able to refine their critical-thinking skills. On the administrative side, 21CL thought the event was well-organized and the internal communication was excellent. I found the planning of and my participation in the summit quite fulfilling.

So, when my tenure as president began last fall and the opportunity to work with 21CL presented itself, I was enthusiastic despite the challenges of the pandemic. The program managers at 21CL were also excited about continuing with our years-long partnership and thus, the planning process for the 2021 Youth Leaders (Virtual) Summit began. Last spring, the industry of focus was the sports and recreation industry, and the Atlanta Braves sponsored the event for 21CL.

This year, the industry of focus is the supply chain industry, and the event will feature a speaker from HD Supply. The event will be held February 27 this year, and though it will be virtual, I am excited and confident that the first-year Goizueta coach and judge volunteers will exhibit our core values of rigor, accountability, diversity, and teamwork to ensure an invaluable experience for the 21CL high school students.

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Give Yourself Grace: My 5 Tips for Surviving Virtual Classes [#permalink]
FROM Goizueta Emory Admissions Blog: Give Yourself Grace: My 5 Tips for Surviving Virtual Classes
I think we can all agree that this is not how we planned or thought our business school journey would go. Many of us came to school to expand our network, and though we may have accomplished that, it is unfortunate that we weren’t able to do it in the same way that previous classes have. Even though this situation has been incredibly hard, here are a few things I’ve done to keep my head above water and to have some semblance of a “normal” business school experience:

  • Remind myself that I’m paying for this experience. As business school students perhaps nothing motivates us more than saving a dollar, winning some cash, or achieving an amazing ROI. The fact is, that besides some grants and scholarships, I am paying for this degree. If you got a full scholarship or are related to Jeff Bezos, then this point probably does not apply to you. When all is said and done, I do not want to reflect on this experience and have any regrets. I do not want to think that I could have done more. I do not want to waste my tuition dollars. I came to Goizueta to learn and to bolster my business acumen. As such, it is imperative that I pay attention and participate in my classes, as difficult as that may be virtually.
  • Connect with my peers virtually. As much as I abhor virtual events, they have become a necessary evil in this day and age. I’ve found myself participating more and more in virtual social events despite my very strong desire to see my classmates in person more often.
  • Volunteer for more extra-curricular activities. By keeping myself busy, I do not have much time to think about the “good ole days” or to make predictions about when this will all end. When the pandemic first started, I was one of those people who said, “Oh, this will be over by summer.” When that didn’t happen, I began saying, “Oh, the vaccine will be out by Fall, then all will be well.” And here we are almost a year later. My blind optimism failed me, but I could not allow it to keep me down. During the Winter break, I told myself that I was going to relax this semester and enjoy my time before re-entering the workforce, but I somehow found myself saying, “Yes!” to almost every request. To name a few, I signed up to do a directed study for the National Black MBA Association (more on that experience to come in a later blog) and to be a member of the Goizueta Graduation Committee.

  • Surf ‘n Turf, seasoned with traditional Jamaican flavors such as jerk and sorrel sauce

    Stay active. When I went back home to Jamaica for the Winter break, I did not work out, not even once. I just ate and ate all my favorite Jamaican dishes (don’t judge me). Now that I am back in school, I find that exercising really helps to take my mind off my circumstances, even if just for a little while. Two added bonuses are that it releases endorphins and it is very easy to get a virtual workout going. (Shameless plug: Goizueta Women in Business [GWIB] is planning a “Chloe Ting 2-week Workout Challenge” in March!)
  • Give myself (and my professors) some grace. This pandemic has been difficult for all of us, some more than others, and I never want to lose sight of that. I want to remember that we are all going through it, albeit in different ways. If virtual school has been so daunting for me and my peers, I cannot imagine what it must be like for the professors. That is partially why I try to remain engaged in class. It is so awkward when professors ask a question, and no one replies. It is hard to plan a virtual class that is as riveting as an in-person one, but they try anyway. For that reason, I want to try as well. At the same time, I have to acknowledge the pain the pandemic has brought upon me and be patient with myself as I navigate these challenging times.
I want to end with a disclaimer. These are just a few of the changes I have made that seem to be working well for me. I know these “tips” won’t work as well or at all for some people, but if there is anything I want readers to take away from this, it’s to give yourself some grace. These are tough times and you’re only human. You’ve been doing great. And there is absolutely no shame in seeking professional help if you need it.

Please visit Emory University’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website to learn more about free, confidential services for students including initial assessments, crisis intervention, community referrals, online workshops, as well as limited individual, couples, and group counseling. CAPS is currently offering telehealth services via phone and HIPAA-compliant Zoom to enrolled Emory students.

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Give Yourself Grace: My 5 Tips for Surviving Virtual Classes [#permalink]
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