Michigan-native LaDawna Barnes 22EMBA sought an Executive MBA program from a top-tier school, rich in diversity that would not only prepare her academically but also provide a level of rigor she needed to compete in the job market. After sitting in on a negotiations class and being assigned a student ambassador, she knew Emory was where she belonged. “The professor had a way of connecting with the students that kept them engaged and excited about the content matter,” she said. “My ambassador was extremely helpful as were the other students in the class. Emory felt like home.”

When she came to Emory, she was convinced she wanted to focus on one area of study. However, with the help of the Graduate Career Management Center, her eyes were opened to new possibilities that were a good fit for her education and experience.

Additionally, she participated in Emory’s mentorship program where she was matched with a mentor who helped expand her network and refine her professional goals. She also attended a series of fireside chats with various civic and professional leaders. “Hearing advice and stories from executives and being able to connect directly with these individuals has proven to be invaluable to my career progression,” she said.

What has surprised her the most throughout the Executive MBA program, however, is the realization of how much professors “authentically care.”

“Faculty are concerned about your academic success as well as your professional growth,” she said. “Professors will make themselves available around your schedule to ensure that you succeed. I have also had many professors make themselves and their networks available to me outside of Emory, and it has truly helped with my professional journey.”

During her time at Goizueta, LaDawna has experienced how her EMBA degree can lift her as she climbs and she hopes to provide the same opportunity to others.

“I have always believed in the power of networking and the power of mentorship,” she said. “It is my hope that I can provide the same level of support and direction to the next generation of MBA students as has been provided to me during my time at Goizueta.”