Betzaira Herrera, Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2025
Undergraduate Institution and Major: DePaul University, Business Administration
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): Prior to business school, I spent 7 years in Talent Acquisition. I started my post-undergrad career at PepsiCo, where I spent 5.5 years working in campus recruiting, supporting undergrad and MBA recruiting as a diversity conference lead. I then joined Allstate Insurance Company as a senior consultant supporting diversity recruiting and engagement for the experience-level hiring teams.
Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
As a first-generation Latina navigating corporate America, I joined Employee Resource Groups to find diverse leaders across the organization to whom I could relate and seek mentorship. I’ve come to appreciate having representation across all levels and departments of an organization. Seeing the lack of female and women of color leaders, I thought instead of complaining about it, how can I equip myself with a higher education that would give me the tools and experiences needed to start creating my own roadmap to the c-suite. I’m passionate about the intersection of people, processes, and policies in business. I am interested in leading change in corporate America to create a more equitable workforce. As I thought of my own leadership journey, I knew that in order for me to better serve my business partners as an HR leader, it would be beneficial for me to go back to school for my MBA. I’d like to equip myself with the business acumen and perspective to one day be a Chief HR Officer.
Why did you choose Emory Goizueta Business School? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
One of the key factors that led me to choose Emory was Goizueta’s intimate learning environment created by the small community of full-time two-year MBA students. I was looking for a place where I could bring my whole self to campus every day. A place where my voice would be heard, and I would feel valued. I was also highly interested in being a Social Enterprise Fellow at Goizueta’s Business & Society Institute. I have a deep interest in learning about the role that social impact plays within corporate America and being accepted as a Social Enterprise Fellow allows me to be part of meaningful change.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Emory Goizueta Business School Class of 2025?
Before working full time at PepsiCo and Allstate, my exposure to corporate started pretty early in my academic life. As a high school senior, I participated in a work-study program that gave me the opportunity to intern at PepsiCo as a Talent Acquisition high school student. This opened a world of opportunities while in college. I moved to Atlanta for a summer to work at Chick-fil-A Corporate as a Campus Recruiting intern. I then worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago as an operation intern in the Law Enforcement Unit. I ended my college career with a 6-month internship as a campus recruiting coordinator at a management consulting firm called West Monroe Partners. I came to business school with an appreciation of the role human resources places in organizations. I look at the world from a people-first perspective. My HR background, combined with my personal values, allows me to bring a human-centric approach and I believe that’s the most valuable contribution I bring to the Class of 2025.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I thought it was a good idea to plan a wedding in the middle of my MBA application process. I was living in Dallas, Texas at the time and was planning a wedding in my hometown of Chicago. Two cultures, two very different families, two bridal showers, a bachelorette trip in Mexico all while studying for the GMAT, switching to the GRE, drafting my essays and working my full-time job!
Post-MBA career interests:
I’m between human capital consulting or HR rotational leadership programs.
Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would prioritize attending diversity weekends and joining any virtual admissions-related events provided by the schools on your list. As someone passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion I wanted to make sure that the DEI information provided on schools’ websites matched the interactions of students and staff throughout the admission events. The more I attended events and engaged in conversations with different people, the more I could that the school was genuine about their DEI efforts.
–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would not let imposter syndrome get in the way of my admissions journey. There were so many moments when I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be accepted into programs. I would read blogs and start comparing myself to other student profiles. I would stop the self-doubt earlier in the process and spend more time building my confidence instead of questioning it.
–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I would’ve committed to one entrance exam so much sooner in the process. I spent too much money enrolling myself in GMAT and GRE prep courses and study material along with the actual cost of taking the official exams. I would’ve spent more time earlier in the process learning about the exams and taking a diagnostic test to understand which one worked for my testing style.
What is your initial impression of the Emory Goizueta students/culture/community?
I love how supportive the Goizueta community has been since we started the program back in July! I was recently elected as class rep for our MBA cohort, and I’ve been super impressed with how genuine students are in wanting to build a strong community and providing feedback along the way that’s helping us shape the program for the better. I’ve been impressed with the commitment of our classmates to show up ready to lead, learn, and leverage each other’s strengths to create an enriching environment.
What is one thing you have learned about Emory Goizueta that has surprised you?
I’ve been surprised at just how approachable the faculty and staff truly are throughout our academic experience. Everyone in the MBA program, admissions office, and faculty make it a point to hear from us MBA students and provide safe spaces where we can ask questions, provide suggestions or simply learn about initiatives happening across the business school.
What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I came into business school knowing I wanted to do things completely different than what I did in undergrad. That means I have a long list of clubs I want to get involved with that will help me not only grow as a student leader on campus but also find ways to give back to the program, current classmates, and prospective students. I’m anxious about finding time for all that I want to do. I’m learning a lot about time management and the act of balancing academic work and extracurricular activities!
What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I’m excited about having the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to maximize this experience while building meaningful relationships with my classmates, faculty, and staff.