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Real Humans of Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2022

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Frank Thomas, Goizueta MBA Class of 2022

Age: 31
Hometown: Charleston, WV
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Ohio University, Journalism
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 8, Finance

Why business school? Why now?
I loved my last job and company, but it was simply time for the next adventure. I wanted to explore beyond finance. Though my journalism degree hadn’t kept me from advancing within my last firm, it had been a barrier to finding other opportunities. I knew that an MBA would help me clear that hurdle.

Why Emory? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I was drawn to the smaller class sizes and the flexibility of the curriculum. I was also hoping to settle in Atlanta, as my parents have semi-retired to Charleston, SC.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I have a weirdly eclectic background. I studied journalism but worked as an equity research analyst and then a quantitative analyst. Hopefully, that experience is valuable, but if not, it’s at least given me a wide variety of funny stories.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I’m a passionate gear head, and I used to be a licensed amateur racecar driver.

Post-MBA career interests?
I’m recruiting for consulting, because I figure that will help me learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. At some point, I hope to start a business – ideally related to my passion for personal finance – but I don’t think I’ll be ready for that immediately after graduation.

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

Talk to students and recent alums about your target school. Focus on the school’s culture and whether you’d actually be happy spending two years of your life there.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Everyone says this, but it’s true: ignore the national rankings and focus on your specific interests and needs. School brand and network definitely matters, but a school’s reputation in your target industry and region matters more.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Waiting for a phone call on decision day. I was able to lean on some epically supportive friends and family to handle the nerves.

What is your initial impression of Emory Goizueta’s students/culture/community?
There’s real intimacy and friendliness to Emory that I didn’t get at many other schools. There’s no arrogance or pretension about it either. I’ve just felt totally welcome since my first contact with the admissions office.

One thing you have learned about Emory Goizueta that has surprised you?
I’ve been totally astounded by how well Emory has handled the pandemic. I’ve been able to attend classes in person most days of the week, which I know is more than many business schools this year. That’s a real testament to how well GSB, and Emory as a whole, has managed the situation.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Aside from the ongoing pandemic, recruiting. Networking and interviewing don’t come naturally to me, so that’s been stressful.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m stoked for the experiential learning opportunity in the spring semester, Impact 360. Last year, several teams worked with Porsche, which would be a dream come true for me.

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.