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Real Humans of Microsoft: Orry Young, Emory Goizueta MBA ’22, Industry Marketing Manager

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In this installment of Real Humans: Alumni, we have Orry Young, a veteran whose MBA experience helped him in the transition from the military to the tech industry at Microsoft. Emory Goizueta‘s small class size and instructor-to-student ratio were the driving force behind his choice of school, and the professors and leadership program underscored his success. Keep reading to learn how the program helped him hone his military skills for the business world.

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Orry Young, Emory Goizueta MBA ’22, Industry Marketing Manager at Microsoft

Age: 32
Hometown: Cartersville, GA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Georgia, Athens, class of 2013 Major: BA (History)
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration: Goizueta Business School, Emory University, 2-Year Full-time MBA Program, Class of 2022, Concentration: Marketing & Strategy
Pre-MBA Work Experience: United States Army, Intelligence Officer, 7 years
Post-MBA Work Experience: Microsoft, Industry Marketing Manager, ~2 years

Why did you choose to attend business school?
Due to my military and educational background, I felt that a full-time MBA program would afford me the opportunity to gain some business acumen and help with my career transition from the military.

Why Emory Goizueta? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
There were tons of reasons, but the primary differentiators between Goizueta and other programs was the small class size and instructor-to-student ratio, the location (originally from Georgia and Atlanta has a robust and diverse business community), and the hands-on experiential learning programs like Goizueta “IMPACT” that allow students to work on real-world business problems with companies.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
Aside from the excellent quality of professors, the leadership program led by LTG(R) Keen helped hone many of my experiences from the military and apply them in a peer-leadership format. The military is a very hierarchical organization, whereas corporations tend to be highly matrixed. To get anything done in a corporate setting, you must adopt “peer leadership” – working with diverse and complex teams spread across organizational boundaries. I believe the programs at Goizueta help students acquire those skills.

What was your internship during business school? How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
I interned at my current company, Microsoft. I had such a fantastic experience during the internship I decided to return full-time.

Why did you choose your Microsoft after your MBA? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
No matter what you do, you must be passionate about it. I believe in Microsoft’s core values and mission statement, “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Although I don’t come from a technology background, I’m excited about how technology can impact the lives of people. Microsoft has global scale, and develops products and solutions to help others. I didn’t know it then, but that statement is more true now than ever with the launch of new artificial intelligence (AI) offerings across our technology stack.

Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
Get to know your classmates! Everyone who attends business school has a unique background and experience in various industries. It’s a great way not only to meet new friends, but learn more about potential industries and functions you may be interested in.

–One thing you would change or do differently as part of the job search?
Try to network as much as possible. I attended my MBA program during COVID and much of the natural networking that occurs during the school year was hampered by COVID restrictions. If there’s an opportunity to attend a school event, corporate presentation, or coffee chat, don’t pass it up!

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
I was very surprised at how open my current company is to interviewing candidates from various backgrounds, especially outside technology. Just because you don’t have experience in a particular industry doesn’t disqualify you. You can do any job as long as you can connect your prior experience to relevant business outcomes.

–What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
You’re going to have ups and downs during the job hunt. Just remember to be proud of what you’ve accomplished thus far, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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.