Emory University, Goizueta Business School
“Lover of art, loather of early morning meetings.”
Fun fact about yourself: I am a second-degree black belt in taekwondo. I started taking classes with my brother to learn self-defense and ended up loving it!
Hometown: Knoxville, TN
High School: Farragut High School
Favorite Business Course: Entrepreneurial Private Equity
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:
- Goizueta BBA Council, President
- Emory Entrepreneurship & Venture Management, Co-President
- Goizueta Venture Capital, Co-Founder
- Goizueta Finance Academy, Co-Director
- Emory Residence Life, Resident Advisor
- Career Management Center, Co-Lead Coach
- Teaching Assistant (Data & Decision Analytics, Mergers & Acquisitions, Venture Capital & Private Equity)
- HackATL, Senior Co-Director
- Undergraduate Student Leadership Council, BBA Representative
- Emory Business Ethics, President
- Consult Your Community, Engagement Manager
- Business Communications, Coach
- Student Government Association, BBA Legislator
- Girls Who Invest, Summer Intensive Scholar & Campus Ambassador
Awards & Honors:
- Dean’s List
- Emory University 100 Senior Honorary
- Norman C. Miller Scholarship
Where have you interned during your college career?
Centerview Partners (New York, NY), Investment Banking Summer Analyst
GTCR (Chicago, IL), Private Equity Summer Analyst
Techstars (Atlanta, GA), Venture Research Associate
Resurgens Tech Partners (Atlanta, GA), Private Equity Intern
Emrgy (Atlanta, GA), Venture Capital Fundraising Intern
SkyNano Technologies (Knoxville, TN), Business Development Intern
Where will you be working after graduation? Upon graduating, I am excited to return to Centerview Partners (New York, NY) as an Investment Banking analyst.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? In business, there is sometimes the misconception that there is a correct path you must take in order to achieve success. This mentality was one that I internalized as a new BBA, and it resulted in my desire to conform to those around me. However, a conversation with my mentor in the Goizueta Program Office made me realize that exceptionality and success should not come at the cost of your originality – in fact, authenticity is something to be celebrated. In a world where outside voices are loud, I have learned to take pride in my individuality.
What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? When I first joined Goizueta, I often questioned my decision to study business. Coming from a small town in Tennessee, I found this new world to be foreign and intimidating. While all my friends had their futures in sight, I was just beginning to get acclimated to the business school. With the help of incredible mentors and friends, I spent the majority of my first semester exploring and reflecting.
In retrospect, my first semester at Goizueta was undoubtedly my most transformative. While it was unsettling to chart a new path, I learned the beauty of dwelling in uncertainty. Now, as I speak with younger students facing a similar experience, I encourage them to embrace the unknown and take the time for careful introspection – without doing so, it is far too easy to simply follow the crowd.
What has surprised you most about majoring in business? From the outside looking in, the business world appears to be unimaginably large. However, I have been very surprised by how small and accessible it is in reality. Every classmate and professor I have met at Goizueta has been selflessly kind. No matter the circumstance, they are willing to lend a helping hand – or introduce me to someone who is better suited to do so. This close-knit environment has allowed me to humanize the business world; in doing so, I have made unexpected connections with people from vastly different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives than mine. The relationships I have developed are ones that I will cherish long after graduation, and I cannot wait to see how small the business world is beyond Goizueta.
Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could turn back time, I would have liked to get more involved in the broader Atlanta community. Unfortunately, there were limited opportunities to facilitate such connections due to the pandemic. However, I would have loved to immerse myself in Atlanta’s richly diverse community by volunteering for a local non-profit or getting involved with a grassroots political campaign.
Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Serving the Emory community as a Resident Advisor has been one of my most rewarding experiences in college. In this role, I have had the opportunity to cross paths with many students I would not have otherwise met. It has been the utmost privilege to hear my residents’ stories as they enter college and play a part in cultivating a welcoming environment. There is no prouder feeling than being able to witness my residents’ growth throughout their four years at Emory. In witnessing their self-discovery, they have been a source of my inspiration.
Which classmate do you most admire? For as long as I have been at Emory, Katalia Alexander has been both an inspiration and dear friend of mine. Since meeting her on the first day of orientation, I have been amazed by her unwavering selflessness and passion for causes she cares about. No matter the situation, Katalia is always a catalyst for good, speaking up for voices that may not be heard nor represented. However, what is especially extraordinary about Katalia is that she never expects nor asks for praise in return. Katalia’s impact on Goizueta is everlasting, and our school is certainly a better place because of her.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? While there are countless mentors and friends that have shaped my life, I am especially grateful for my younger brother Eric. He is a constant source of wisdom and light in my life, and I am lucky to have his listening ear. Our late-night calls (and reality checks!) have truly made all the difference.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
- Serve on the board of my favorite museum – the MoMA
- Gain a new cultural perspective by working abroad
What are your hobbies?I enjoy exploring national parks, wandering through art galleries, and admiring beautiful Atlanta sunsets with my friends and family.
What made Michelle such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?
“For many students, the pandemic created a more insular, less interactive collegiate experience. At Goizueta, we have been incredibly fortunate to have Michelle’s expansive and optimistic vision guiding us during this time. Whether she is creating enticing get-togethers in the dorms, an ambitious inter-collegiate hackathon, or a meaningful business school celebration, she does so with an entrepreneurial mindset and infectious positive energy. She fearlessly embraces ambiguity as a source of opportunity and she combines her natural creativity with a propensity for collaboration. As a result, her initiatives are bold and dramatic, yet respect the culture and traditions of the organizations she serves. Among her many accomplishments, the one initiated under her Council leadership that I believe will have the most lasting impact is the revision of club membership policies to allow open access for all BBA students. Michelle fully and authentically embraced our core values of community and diversity and, with characteristic sensitivity and diplomacy, guided us to a position of significantly greater inclusivity that will have a positive impact on the Goizueta Business School far into our future.”
Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education
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