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Real Humans of Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2020

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Oscar Mendez, Jr., Goizueta MBA Class of 2020

Oscar Mendez, Jr., Goizueta MBA Class of 2020

Age: 30
Hometown: Mandeville, LA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Tulane University, Legal Studies in Business
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 7 years of pre-MBA work experience. Most recently, I worked as an Associate Analyst at Ariel Investments.

Why business school? Why now?
Since I had spent the last 7 years within the mutual fund industry (operations and equity research teams), I wanted to enhance my business acumen and develop new business skills.

Why Goizueta? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
When I was researching different MBA programs, I focused on three factors. First, I wanted to be in a global and vibrant city, and Atlanta checks that box. Another important factor was community.

While visiting on a couple of occasions, I was impressed by the close-knit community. The small class size helps with getting to know each of your classmates, and you can create a strong relationship with your professors. Lastly, Goizueta has a strong finance program and has a high conversion rate for placing students interested in investment banking.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
I want my class to know that I am someone that they can reach out to. Over the last 3 years, I have been very involved with two Chicago programs focusing on mentoring kids in Chicago’s South Side. I believe that it is very important to give back to your community. For as much as I was able to help my mentees, I also learned a lot from them.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I used to compete in Taekwondo, and I have two gold medals from the AAU Jr. Olympics.

Post-MBA career interests?
After graduation, I hope to be working in investment banking.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would encourage business school applicants to visit the different programs, which helps with assessing the culture and community of the school. You also get the opportunity to schedule a class visit, which helps you determine if that program is the right place for you.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have taken time off before business school started. This would have given me the time to reflect and re-energize.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
After discussing with a couple of mentors, I knew that business school was necessary in order to become a well-rounded business professional. By pursuing my MBA, I would be able to develop new skills in an academic environment that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do so.

What is your initial impression of Goizueta’s students/culture/community?

During Welcome Weekend, I was able to interact with many students. As mentioned before, I was impressed with how close the community is. They were available to answer all of my questions.

One thing you have learned about Goizueta that has surprised you?
I knew that Goizueta had a strong network of alumni and current students. As I was preparing for summer investment banking events, I was amazed how much support I got from alumni and students prior to taking my first class. Several members of the Goizueta network prepared me for interviews, which ultimately helped me secure an internship.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Since I have been out of the academic environment for 7 years, I am anxious about getting back into academic life.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am very excited about testing my limits and getting out of my comfort zone. I am particularly looking forward to taking two classes, Leading Organization and Strategy and Goizueta IMPACT.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.