2020 Best & Brightest: Emma Purcell, University of Miami (Herbert)

Emma Purcell

University of Miami, Herbert Business School

“Curious and always wanting to learn more. You can find me salsa dancing!”

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve competed in 3 triathlons

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

High School: North Central High School

Major: Global Business Studies & Finance

Minor: Accounting

Favorite Business Course: Business Valuation

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Hyperion Council (pro-bono consulting for businesses in the Miami community and Latin America) – Engagement Leader, Co-Chair of Onboarding; Zeta Tau Alpha; President’s Scholarship; Dean’s List; Provost’s Honor Roll; Foote Fellow

Where have you interned during your college career? BlackRock in NYC as Global Provider Strategy Intern; Berkowitz Pollack Brant in Miami, FL as Rotational Intern; TF Publishing in Indianapolis, IN as Content Creator Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? BlackRock in NYC, Analyst, Global Provider Strategy

What company do you admire the most? Inter-American Development Bank: It provides the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean

Who is your favorite professor? Vanessa Guzzi: I look up to Professor Guzzi for her professionalism along with her ability to maintain a fun personality. In the past, I have thought that the business world has no place for fun and personality, but professor Guzzi proved me wrong. Guzzi keeps her students engaged and will grill anyone who is not attentive. She supports her students on a personal level and transforms difficult material into comprehensive lessons.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Personal relationships and support from teachers outside of the classroom. All of my professors have been supportive of my engagements outside of the classroom.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Stay curious. Curiosity will bring you new ideas, perspectives, and open you to such a large network of people.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? A major is only a title. Your success is determined by the effort that you put forth in the classroom every day and by the people you meet (and stay in contact with).

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Everyone in the business world is very connected. You never know the impact that your professors or peers will have on the development of your career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Leading an engagement of 15 students to mentor entrepreneurs in Miami. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how privileged we are as students. Hyperion Council gives me the opportunity to utilize what I have learned in the classroom and translate that knowledge into real solutions for individuals and businesses in the community. This year, I have been fortunate to lead the Overtown engagement and see individuals create businesses for the first time in their lives. I feel fulfilled being able to motivate and provide solutions in how to work through some of the most difficult parts of creating a business.

Which classmate do you most admire? Luke Didriksen. Luke is everyone’s friend. He is able to connect with students and teachers with his vibrant energy and genuine interest in getting to know others. While I admire Luke’s ability to connect with others, I also admire his hunger to learn more and constantly improve himself. Enrolled in the accelerated Business Analytics program, Luke is taking graduate classes while finishing his undergraduate degree. I am excited to see what endeavors he will take on after graduation.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank Assistant Dean McPhillip for recognizing my potential even before I was able to see it myself. Thank you for always guiding me in the right direction, professionally, and inspiring me to grow as an individual.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Be on Forbes 30 under 30 and be the best at whatever I am doing in the moment.

What are your hobbies? Golf, salsa dancing, cooking, going to the gym

What made Emma such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Emma has exhibited a special capacity to combine her intellectual ability with a unique confidence and empathy to problem-solve the real-world challenges experienced by lower-income families in Latin America.

Whether she was gathering data and assessing policies in Argentina as part of her honors thesis work product or acting as a small business consultant to help micro-entrepreneurs in Costa Rica improve their business practices, Emma has used her education to catalyze action. Her leadership has helped micro-entrepreneurs in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Miami and Latin America change behaviors and open opportunities not just for themselves but for their families and communities too.”

Ellenmarie McPhillip
Assistant Dean
Undergraduate Business Education 

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