MBA to Watch 2022: Allegra Porter, Emory University (Goizueta)

“Puzzle solver. Avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. Canine agility trainer. Theater/Improv player. francophile. »

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Fun fact about yourself: I train Finn, my 5-year-old border collie, in canine agility classes. We hope to compete one day!

Undergraduate school and degree:

Wellesley College

BA; Double Major, Psychology and French

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? The Spine and Rehabilitation Physicians, Atlanta GA

Where did you do your internship during the summer of 2021? Optum Leadership Program Launch, Eden Prairie MN

Where will you work after you graduate? Optum, business leadership program

Community work and leadership roles in a business school:

  • VP of University Relations
  • Leadership Coaching Intern
  • Ambassador Goizueta
  • 21st Century Leaders, Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit: Coach; ’21, ’22
  • Goizueta Women in Business Club, mentor and 1st year representative
  • Toastmasters, 1st Year Representative
  • Wellspring Living Networking Event: Coach
  • Goizueta gives: volunteer
  • Eagle Scholarship Recipient

What academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of while in business school? I am very proud of the efforts I have made to develop my coaching and mentoring skills over the past two years. I have been very fortunate in the support and guidance I have received in my life, so I wanted to take advantage of opportunities that would allow me to give back. I had a great time and learned a lot as a Leadership Coaching Fellow, a two-time coach for the Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit, a Mentor for members of the Women in Business Club of Goizueta, and an Ambassador for the MBA.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? One of the first projects I led was creating a new website for the medical practice where I worked. As anyone who has built a website can tell you, this is no small feat. This is a long and arduous process that can take months and involves several different parties. At the time, I had limited management experience and no technical background, so it was a very big learning experience for me. Although I felt completely out of my element, I was determined to be an effective team member who could maintain the system independently, so I trained outside of work to learn the web platform, program language, tools and SEO requirements.

I’m proud of this project not only because of the success of the product itself, but also because of how the new system has improved the patient experience and streamlined many practice processes. By adding new features that enabled online bill payment, digital form submission, patient portal access, online appointment requests, instant messaging capabilities, and educational videos about our practice, my team and I have been able to improve the number of patient referrals, reduce delays in the transmission of medical records and increase the payment of invoices on time by approximately 40%. The success of the project has also paved the way for many future practice digitization efforts.

Why did you choose this business school? When choosing a school, I of course valued academic rigor, but I also wanted to feel like more than just a number and have the opportunity to build strong relationships with my peers. I chose Goizueta because it offers the unique opportunity to be part of a close-knit community within a great university.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor JB Kurish has been one of my favorite teachers. It’s not just because of the material he teaches (his Social Enterprise & Impact Investing course, a new offering he launched this year, was one of the most engaging courses I’ve taken during my MBA), but also because of his incredible ability to engage and motivate us (even from a distance). He has a quiet confidence that can command a play, yet he is humble and approachable. He is always ready to help and offers encouragement, while empowering us to challenge ourselves. I love how he engages his students, builds on their thoughts, and incorporates humor into his teaching style. You never get bored with him.

Looking back on your MBA experience, what is one thing you would do differently and why? One thing I wish I had realized when I started is that these years represent a fantastic opportunity to try new things and learn in a safe environment. There were a few times when I avoided challenges because I was afraid of not performing well or having difficulties. I wish I had chosen them so that I could strengthen the areas in which I was perhaps weaker.

What is the biggest myth about your school? A myth I had always heard about business schools in general was that the environment can be competitive, bordering on cutthroat. I didn’t find that at all at Emory. In fact, I’ve found the opposite to be true. Although the program is rigorous and we are a competitive institution, the spirit of competition is a spirit of support and collaboration; we push ourselves to challenge ourselves, not try to surpass ourselves. My peers have been my biggest advocates and I’m proud to be part of a program filled with people who sincerely want others to succeed, who offer help and encouragement, and who celebrate the accomplishments of others.

What surprised you the most about business school? I think what surprised me the most about business school was the amount of learning I did outside of the classroom. The program and materials enriched and empowered me, but I would say that what I learned from my peers and other Emory community events (case competitions, conferences, volunteer activities) was equally valuable, if not more, for me. personally and professionally.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an advantage at your chosen school? Before my interviews, I went through mock interviews with a former MBA student of the program. This was helpful as the live practice allowed me to focus and refine my ideas far more than I could have done on my own.

Which MBA classmate do you admire the most? It’s hard to pick one person because I’ve been inspired by so many of my classmates, but someone who stands out for me is my friend Sarah Connolly.

Sarah is amazing. She is everywhere, doing everything with nothing less than herself. She holds several leadership positions on campus, attends all service events, has been twice on the Dean’s List, and has had a big impact as president of the Women in Business Club (GWIB).

What is perhaps most impressive about her is how humble and kind she has always been. She is very generous with her time and will go out of her way to help no matter what she might have on her plate. She knows everyone and always has a kind word to say or a thoughtful question to ask. She was never afraid to stand up for others or speak her mind. She is one of the smartest and most powerful women I know and I am grateful to have her as a close friend. I have no doubt that she will accomplish great things.

What are the top two items on your professional to-do list?

I want to be part of a solution that improves our health care delivery system, especially in the area of ​​behavioral health.

I want to travel and spend time in another city for a professional project.

How has the pandemic changed your outlook on a career? One of the things the pandemic has really highlighted is that it is, perhaps more than ever, possible to integrate your personal life with your professional life. The two no longer need to be separated as remote work gives us more flexibility in how we plan our time. You can work while being at home with a sick child; call for a team meeting while walking the dog or work on a project while something is in the oven.

There’s no doubt that working remotely presents its own set of challenges, especially the issues of “unplugging”, staying productive and connecting with our colleagues when you’re out of the office. However, I believe there is a great opportunity here to bring more balance to our lives.

What made Allegra such a valuable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Allegra is one of the most thoughtful and selfless students I have had the pleasure of working with this year. Allegra has an innate interest in the quality of her classmates’ experiences and works hard to ensure they get the most out of their MBA journey. This year, Allegra has worked to connect MBA students to the many resources available university-wide. One of the most valuable overlooked resources is the community, so Allegra has focused on bridging the gap between MBA students and other graduate students at other schools. This ongoing initiative aims to connect students through different educational activities with the aim of expanding networks and increasing the MBA’s sense of belonging.

Irving WilliamsIII
Associate Director of Student Life and Engagement, Full-Time MBA Program
Goizueta Business School at Emory University

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