Yonina Gray
Evening MBA, 2019

Yonina Gray

Director of External Relations, Reinvestment Fund


Right before she enrolled in Goizueta’s Evening MBA program, Yonina landed her self-described “dream job” at a community development financial institution, or CDFI.

Yonina, who holds a master’s degree in urban planning, originally planned to enroll in a full-time MBA program before getting the job. “Just having come from Chicago and not being very familiar with the MBA space in the Southeast, I relied heavily on reputation and rankings to make the decision,” she says. “With the Evening program ranking being so high, I decided to go with Emory.”

Not long into the program, she found her decision paying off. Goizueta’s IMPACT consulting course provided a helpful framework that she immediately used in her workplace. “It has a great set of tools that help get a number of people who perhaps have not worked together get on the same page in a pretty quick and objective way,” she explains. And after her Financial Markets course, “I found myself feeling more comfortable around topics that I thought were not even approachable before,” she adds.

She credits Goizueta faculty, who are able to help students not just understand topics but become fluent in those areas they once considered overwhelming or “just foreign,” she says.

Her job doing “mission-driven finance” for the benefit of low-income communities was exactly the reason Yonina pursued a degree in urban planning, but her time at Goizueta has added a layer of expertise. “The MBA courses taught me to really set my sights higher in terms of ways I can impact those communities with my new financial acumen,” she says.

Pursing an MBA has already reaped a number of gains for Yonina. Just weeks after earning her MBA, Yonina was promoted to a national position at Reinvestment Fund.

“My association with the Goizueta name has definitely been a contributing factor in unsolicited job prospects. I've also gained a new level of analytical thinking that helps me communicate concepts more effectively to my colleagues and partners. It’s a lot of work but well worth it,” she says. “And I’m glad I chose the program that I did.”