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Real Humans of Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2022

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Breanna Spurley, Goizueta MBA Class of 2022

Age: 27
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga
Undergraduate Institution and Major: The University of Georgia| Accounting and International Business
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Financial Services: 2 years| Nonprofit: 2 years

Why business school? Why now?
I’ve always valued education and constantly pushing myself to learn and grow. I knew that I wanted to move into a more strategy-focused role and had been eyeing consulting for a while. I felt that I’d gained relevant skills in both financial services and nonprofit spaces but wanted to push myself to develop softer skills beyond financial analysis in new industries.

Why Emory? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I’d moved from Georgia to New York two weeks after graduating from UGA and I knew that I wanted to be closer to my family during my MBA journey. I was really drawn to Emory’s small class size and its extensive presence throughout many industries in the Atlanta area. I was also excited to join Emory’s commitment to Atlanta through its various social enterprise initiatives.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
My ability to remain calm, positive, and meeting people where they are have really helped me navigate challenging situations. I like to think of myself as a swam – calm on the surface, but legs are going wild like a duck beneath the water. Being frantic only causes more chaos.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
My first flight was a solo flight to Barranquilla, Colombia when I was 19 years old. I didn’t know anyone there and I was deathly afraid of flying, but I wanted to participate in a three-month English teaching program so badly that I pushed past that fear. It didn’t help that there was a lot of turbulence and the 70-year-old woman next to me was clenching a rosary with one hand and my knee with the other. I love flying now. I get the best sleep on planes!

Post-MBA career interests?

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

Although the admissions events are different this year, I would still go to as many as you can. I found value in putting as much (or slightly more) effort in creating relationships with current students than the admissions team. You want to know the student experience! The students helped me to understand the small nuances of the Goizueta community. Ask questions you want to know the answers to.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Don’t stress about the GMAT or GRE. Put your best foot forward, but remember that you’re more than a standardized test score, so make sure to take care of yourself during the admissions/application process!

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would have skipped the essays if I could have. I feel that I’m much more expressive in person and the word limits made me really think about how I wanted to present myself to people I’d never met before. I pushed through not only because I had to, but the essays pushed me to reflect on my personal and career goals more than I had done in the past.

What is your initial impression of Emory Goizueta’s students/culture/community?
Emory personalized my admissions process and created a welcoming space before I was admitted. From attending events and admissions staff remembering my name to current students reaching out to me before I’d submitted my application, I felt as if Emory was really pushing me to be my best and I knew I wanted to be a part of such a close-knit, committed community.

One thing you have learned about Emory Goizueta that has surprised you?
We’re almost done with our first semester and I’ve realized how much staff, students, and alumni rally around each other. There’s absolutely no competitive angst amongst the students and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of classmates and alumni who have selflessly volunteered their time to help with tutoring, adjusting to virtual classes, interview prep, or just to check-in.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I’m most anxious about being a student again and being able to juggle classes, recruiting, and family/social life.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m still very excited (more than 3 months in) about continuing to get to know and learning from my classmates while pushing myself beyond my comfort zone. Emory has really great, high achieving students, but they’re also really great people outside of the classroom.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.