2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Kunal Patel, Emory University (Goizueta)

Kunal Patel

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Age: 38

“A life-long learner, highly driven and innovative pharmacist leader.”

Hometown: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Family Members: Meera Patel – Mother, Dhara Shah – Sister

Fun fact about yourself: I recently visited Coimbra, Portugal, and I geeked out at the chemistry lab when I saw the original periodic table to elements.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

The University of Texas at Austin – Doctor of Pharmacy

The University of Texas at Arlington – Bachelor of Science in Biology

Where are you currently working?

Emory University Hospital

Pharmacy Operations Manager

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

Student Diversity Advisory Council Member

Usher’s New Look Student Mentor

Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists (GSHP) – District Director Northwest Atlanta Metro

American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) – Active Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  I am most proud of my team’s Goizueta Impact project presentation. The application of the structured problem-solving framework, while working with an external client, provided invaluable consulting experience for me.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Mentoring and teaching pharmacy students and residents has been a humbling and rewarding experience as it allows me to give back to the profession, while training the next generation of pharmacists.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Jeff Rosensweig – Global Macroeconomic Perspectives – His insights on macroeconomics trends and correlation with the US economy allowed me to fully comprehend the deeply intertwined global economy. Jeff’s professional experience and extensive network led to a series of distinguished speakers that added value to our learning experience.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Emory’s stellar reputation and rigorous coursework, coupled with world-class faculty, a diverse cohort, and extensive support services, were the primary factors for my choice. I was also drawn to the Business of Healthcare concentration.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? It was the ability to utilize business model frameworks to guide decision making, while allowing for agility. I am incorporating business school learnings as I develop project plans and lead various initiatives at Emory University Hospital.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? During the beginning of my 2nd semester, I unexpectedly lost my father due to cardiac arrest. It was a very difficult time for my family, and I was struggling emotionally. I am grateful for the EMBA program office and faculty for supporting me during this time. My teammates during that term were instrumental in ensuring my success and provided emotional support and encouraged me to stay the course. Some of those teammates have become my best friends.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Be flexible and come prepared to learn, network and grow professionally and personally!

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The biggest myth is that you will be able to easily juggle your personal commitments with every other weekend programs. My experience was that the workload was manageable, but it does require time management skills and sacrificing social commitments during busy times.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Rahul Gandhi – He has been a strong source of inspiration for me as he has been a great friend, motivator, and supporter as I navigated through personal loss during the EMBA program. We studied and worked on many project teams together, and have continued to build our friendship, including spending time with our families.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The primary reason for choosing the EMBA program was the quality of the cohort in terms of their professional experiences and coursework geared towards emerging executives. The EMBA program facilitates peer discussions and I have learned as much from my classmates as I have from didactic coursework.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate goal is continue serving as a pharmacist leader and continuously learn and grow every day. My hope is to transition into a system-level pharmacy leadership position within Emory Healthcare.

What made Kunal such an invaluable member of the Class of 2022?

“Kunal Patel has been an invaluable addition to the EMBA class of 2022.  Kunal’s spirit is infectious, and he always brings positivity to the academic and social experiences.  As the Pharmacy Operations Manager at Emory University Hospital, Kunal started school during the height of the pandemic.  Given his role in healthcare, he still was able to balance his professional and personal commitments in addition to being in school.  Kunal has always been a strong advocate for the program and participated on various panels speaking publicly about his experiences to future candidates.  His Goizueta spirit is always appreciated and we are excited to have him as an alum of the program.”

Jaclyn Conner, Associate Dean, Executive MBA
Emory University’s Goizueta Business School


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