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Real Humans of Emory Goizueta’s Business School MBA Class of 2025

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Sam Haber, Emory Goizueta’s MBA Class of 2025

Age: 27
Hometown: Point Pleasant, NJ
Undergraduate Institution and Major: United States Naval Academy, B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): U.S. Navy, Submarine Officer (USS OHIO, Gold Crew), 3 years

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
While I appreciate my experiences onboard the USS Ohio and the honor of serving our country, I realized that I did not want to make a career out of my naval service. Instead, I wanted to explore the world outside of the military and find a place where I could be in a better a position to create long-lasting change.

Why did you choose Emory Goizueta Business School? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Family was a huge factor in my decision-making process for business school, so I prioritized my search in the southeastern United States. Out of the four T-25 MBA programs I was accepted to, Goizueta had, by far, the most welcoming and collaborative culture. My interactions with current students made it clear to me that this was a place that valued strong relationships and teamwork.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Emory Goizueta Business School Class of 2025?
Two aspects of my previous job that I think translate well into an MBA program are leadership and problem-solving. Unlike most college graduates entering their first job, I was fortunate to have been placed into leadership positions almost immediately after my time at the Naval Academy. Being in those positions taught me many important lessons that I am looking forward to sharing with my class. Furthermore, as an officer on a submarine, I was exposed to and learned how to handle ambiguous, multi-faceted problems; I am now seeing those problem-solving skills translate well into the business world.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I dressed up as Elton John and played Rocket Man on the piano during a 5th-grade talent show.

Post-MBA career interests:
Management and Strategy Consulting

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
Spend the extra time to get to know your values, your story, and what you want to get out of life. Ask yourself—do the values and specialties of my target school match up with who I am? Being in tune with yourself will allow you to be authentic and block out the noise of what everyone else is doing. 

What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Network with current students. Do not be afraid of “being a burden” on current students or alumni. Most people are willing to help you figure out your path in life; remember, the people you are asking for advice were once in your shoes and had to do the same thing.

What is one thing you would change or do differently?
If I had the chance to, I would have taken a break between work and starting my MBA or have considered a summer pre-MBA internship. Recruiting for investment banking and consulting starts quickly after the beginning of MBA programs, and if you determine that your path lies in one of these functions later, you could be left out of some amazing internship opportunities. If it fits your current situation, leaving your job early and giving yourself time to determine which path is the right one or gaining early exposure to a new industry will set you up well to start your MBA journey.

What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GMAT is something that, unless you are naturally gifted in verbal and quantitative skills, you will have to study for. I think it is difficult in part because a lot of us have been away from standardized tests and academia after working for several years and because the adaptive format is different than what many people are used to.

What is your initial impression of the Emory Goizueta students/culture/community?
Outside of the welcoming and collaborative nature of Goizueta previously discussed, another phrase that is often said around here is “be intentional.” The MBA program here, as it relates to how students interact with each other, professors, and alumni, is well-thought-out and is “intentional” to set you up to be successful.

What is one thing you have learned about Emory Goizueta that has surprised you?
While I knew that I was walking into a small class size, seeing the entire class fit into one large lecture hall was quite impressive. I felt honored to be part of such a highly selective group. I also enjoy being able to know all my classmates on a personal level.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Recruiting! It starts quickly and you must be ready to show the best sides of yourself to potential future employers.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Also recruiting! After being in the Navy, I feel like the world is full of unexplored opportunities that I did not previously have exposure to.

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.