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What Is the Value of an MBA? Alumni Discuss the Power of Being Part of The Consortium’s Network

To help guide and inspire prospective students, The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management held a Lunch-and-Learn alumni panel on May 16 on the topic of “The Value of an MBA.”

Led by The Consortium’s Director of Recruiting Bianca Keys, the panel featured alumni Malcom Davis (Yale School of Management, class of 2023), Myles Henry (Emory University Goizueta Business School, class of 2023) and Joel Anifowose (Emory Goizueta, class of 2024). During the one-hour webinar, hosted on Zoom, they shared insight into their MBA experience — as well as advice — and discussed the unique advantages of being part of such a large, supportive community of diverse and equally driven individuals.

Discovering the Path for You

Like many who pursue an MBA, each alumni had different reasons for pursuing their degree. From a desire to pivot into real estate to an interest in building digital marketing skills, they each shared their own motivations and aspirations, and discussed how the flexibility offered by an MBA helped open doors for them.

“In my program, we were offered a variety of classes. You were exposed to [areas] and nontraditional spaces that you may not have known about or even considered before,” Anifowose said. “Prior to starting business school, you think that most people fall into the main paths, like consulting or investing, but there’s always a few who feel they don’t fit into those categories. Having this exposure provides you an alternative.”

Just navigating the multitude of MBA programs, however, can be daunting. To make the process easier and to get the most out of the MBA experience, Consortium alumni recommend that students engage in self-reflection. Taking the time to think about what you really want out of a program will help you determine what schools may or may not be a good fit.

“There are a lot of great programs, but the one that’s the best for you is going to be the one where you are the best fit,” Davis said. “Having that specificity will help you determine what is the right school for you because, ideally, you want to feel at home wherever you go.”

Achieving Success Through Community

Beyond cultural and academic fit, alumni shared how being involved in a vast, diverse network like The Consortium has played a powerful role in both their personal and professional lives — then and now — helping expand their community and perspectives. Henry, Davis and Anifowose have each seen and felt the benefits of The Consortium’s mission to enhance diversity in business education and leadership.

Henry was drawn to The Consortium because of his mother’s experience as a Black woman climbing the corporate ladder, knowing the importance community played on her journey. In joining The Consortium, he hoped to find a similar network of individuals from underrepresented groups who would encourage and support each other on their paths to success. Having only graduated last year, Henry’s own community, which he largely built through The Consortium, has already helped him land internships and full-time opportunities.

“The Consortium was a sounding board for me,” he said. “There were plenty of folks I could reach out to and say, ‘This is what I’m thinking — what are your thoughts?’ It made it so much easier to get things done, but it also helped me build my personal brand and made it so I’m always [seeking] success. It’s definitely been pivotal to my career.”

For Anifowose, the community he found in The Consortium showed him that success was achievable regardless of your background, demographics or goals. Meeting a fellow Black alumni who applied his MBA in the real estate industry — which aligned with Anifowose’s own goals — showed him that he, too, could follow a similar path. Beyond that, he found that not only did The Consortium provide a foundation of support throughout his MBA experience, but also a lifelong community.

“The Consortium created a cohort of students while I was at Emory — one that was almost like a family,” Anifowose said. “Throughout your journey, you know that you are going to have support that will continue for the rest of your career.”

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