2017 Best & Brightest: Kyle Nelson, Emory University (Goizueta)

Kyle Nelson

Goizueta Business School, Emory University

“There are few men of color who wear Birkenstocks. I am one of them.”

Fun fact about yourself: After inheriting my grandfather’s tractor, I proceeded to crash it my first time driving it

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi

High School: Alabama School of Mathematics and Science Mobile, AL

Major: Business and Philosophy

Favorite Business Courses: Legal Environment of Business, Social Enterprise in Nicaragua, Entrepreneurship, Business and Society

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Current: Goizueta BBA Council – President, Interfraternity Council – Tri-Council Chair, Emory University – Class Day Chair

Previous: Student Government Association – University-wide Representative, College Council – Sophomore Representative, Goizueta Finance Group – Director of Community Involvement, Alpha Tau Omega – Judicial Board Chair, Office of Student Leadership – Orientation Leader

Awards and Honors: Barclays Inspiring Excellence Scholar, 100 Senior Honorary

Where have you interned during your college career?

Barclays, New York City – Investment Banking Summer Analysts 2016

Cornerstone Continuity Partners – Private Equity Analyst 2015

American Fueling Systems – Summer Associate 2014

Describe your dream Job: My ideal job would be working in a role that allows me to drive and create social impact. I hope to one day lead a team that innovates a new business model that solves a social issue while sustaining itself through monetary profit. Being able to wear shorts and t-shirts to work would also be nice.

Who is your favorite professor? The teacher that I’ve enjoyed the most is Professor Burdette who teaches Legal Environment of Business here at Goizueta. She is one of the most brilliant professors I have had and is truly eccentric in the most entertaining and wonderful ways. I have had many phenomenal professors throughout my time in college, but her ability to captivate and engage a classroom is unparalleled.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? During my internship at Barclays I was given the opportunity to listen in on a conference call with Debra Cafaro, the CEO of Ventas, and my team. Everyone was amazed by the brilliance she exuded throughout the call. Naturally, I did some Googling and quickly found out that she has won numerous awards for her leadership throughout her career. She’s been a trailblazer in the Healthcare REIT space and her company is consistently a top performer.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? The aspect I enjoyed the most about majoring in a business-related field was being able to foster deep connections between my peers and the faculty. I have never been around a more talented group of students, nor can I imagine any school having a team of faculty that cares more about their students than here at Goizueta.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The most important lessons I have learned through my time at Goizueta are the necessity of collaboration, the value of knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and the importance of hard work.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I am incredibly excited to be going back to Barclays to continue my work as an analyst within their investment banking division.

What are your long-term professional goals? My long-term professional goal is to either find or create a venture that allows me to work in a role that seeks to create both social impact and economic prosperity. From poverty, to the education system, to recidivism, to homelessness, there are so many social issues that I believe can be solved by business that reimagine value to include things outside of monetary profit.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? I’d tell them to realize how broad business is and to explore the possibilities. Take risks and try to find your niche.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I realized that I was far too squeamish to be a doctor.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a philosophy major probably on my way to law school.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…that people are not over exaggerating when they tell you the importance of networking.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? I feel like giving this title to any one moment would be a disservice to the various wonderful things that I have been able to experience throughout my life.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the incredible relationships that I’ve been able to form throughout my time here at Emory.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? I’d choose a wolf. They are a symbol of loyalty and the collective mattering more than the individual.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents. They have given me everything that I ever wanted and needed. I couldn’t ask for a better role model than my dad, and my mother has showered me with more love and support than I probably deserve.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I miss Kyle.

Favorite book: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite musical performer: Childish Gambino

Favorite vacation spot: Any place with a beach

What are your hobbies? My puppy, sports and outdoors, traveling, spending time with friends

What made Kyle such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Kyle is the glue that holds our Goizueta BBA community together. The seriousness with which he shoulders his responsibility as President of the BBA Council is balanced by an infectious enthusiasm that instantly endears him to all with whom he comes into contact. He is quick to provide empowerment and encouragement to others, but just as quick in his willingness to volunteer to help, whether he is developing an innovative student program or running his 7th consecutive community-building workshop at BBA Orientation. He serves as an ambassador as an Emory Orientation leader, and as a bridge-builder at the university level in student government  Although his primary focus is finance, Kyle will finish a second major in philosophy and has consequently studied the theoretical complexities of many of society’s most pressing problems, while simultaneously preparing himself to address them by taking every social enterprise course offered at Goizueta; This is one of the many ways he has augmented his abilities as a fully-engaged leader capable of translating his passions into actions that create positive impact.”

Andrea S. Hershatter
Sr. Associate Dean 
Goizueta Business School, Emory University

DON’T MISS: THE FULL HONOR ROLL: THE BEST & BRIGHTEST UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS MAJORS OF 2017