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From peer mentor to would-be novelist, graduate’s strengths encompass the analytical and creative
profile image of Nyah Bruce

From mentoring younger students to starting a peer-mentor program for Black, Hispanic and Latinx pre-BBA students, Goizueta Business School graduate Nyah Bruce set — and achieved — multiple goals during her time at Emory.

Nyah Bruce will graduate from Goizueta Business School with a double major in business and English and creative writing. This Q&A was originally published by Poets&Quants for Undergrads. To read the full story, visit the 2024 Best and Brightest Business Major series. 

What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

I’m considering the idea of getting a private pilot license. I helped fly a plane around Miami’s coast.

What was your favorite business course? 

Business law. It was possibly the most challenging, but definitely the most rewarding. 

What are a few honors and awards you’ve received?

  • Dean’s List
  • Editor’s List, The Nassau Literary Review
  • Emory University 100 Senior Honorary
  • Goizueta Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Google, associate product marketing manager (San Francisco, California)
  • McKinsey & Company, sophomore summer business analyst (New York, New York)

Where will you be working after graduation? 

I’m excited to return both to New York City and to McKinsey & Company as a business analyst. 

Who is your favorite business professor? 

Professor John Kim’s use of the case method made classes engaging and course concepts easy to understand, so it’s one of the courses I most strongly remember. Plus, he was genuinely excited to be teaching every day, even bringing us pencils imprinted with strategy quotes. 

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? 

When I came to Emory University and Goizueta Business School, I was pleased to learn how impactful businesses can be in solving systemic problems. They are already doing so much to create positive change.

I have worked in organizations like Emory Impact Investing Group and Consult Your Community. This has allowed me to collaborate with small business owners in Atlanta to help address some of their business challenges and work towards closing the small business gap. There are also a lot of faculty members in the business school dedicated to social impact and case studies that demonstrate that social impact and profitability aren’t mutually exclusive, which isn’t how I’d always thought about it.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? 

Business courses are fundamental, but I’d also encourage students to explore other fields as well. Emory’s liberal arts education exposed me to a variety of areas of study, which resulted in some surprising intersections with business. I presented on marketing trends in fertility clinics in a biology seminar, learned about equitable hiring practices in sociology and discussed a business law case in my creative writing workshop. It’s all enhanced my understanding of the business world, especially in niche areas of interest that might not be explored in traditional business classes. So, I hope other students have the opportunity to do the same. 

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? 

Reflecting on my college and business school experience, I’m happy with the opportunities I’ve taken advantage of so I wouldn’t change much! Still, I would’ve loved to take part in one of Emory’s global internship experiences, especially the summer after my freshman year. I spent a semester studying abroad at a business school in Madrid, and it was an amazing opportunity for both personal and professional development, so I’d be equally eager to gain professional experience abroad.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? 

I wanted to support students with backgrounds underrepresented in business. So, this year I started a peer-mentor program for Black, Hispanic and Latinx pre-BBA students at Emory. I think I’m most proud of the way I took initiative to solve a problem I recognized. It’s been really gratifying to hear about the impact the program has had, even so far. 

Who would you most want to thank for your success? 

I would have to thank my dad for all the support and advice he’s provided on navigating the business world and just for listening as I talked through some of my big decisions. He’s also known when to provide feedback and when to let me learn from my own mistakes, which I’ve especially appreciated after the fact.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? 

I’d love to be the CMO at a Fortune 500 company. I’d also love to put my creative writing major to use and publish a novel. 

Libby Egnor, associate dean of the BBA program, shares what made Bruce such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024:

One of the things that is so mind-blowing about Nyah is how many things she has managed to do since coming to Emory. One day she casually mentioned taking a creative writing class. The next thing I know she’s double majoring in creative writing and business. I find out from a colleague in admissions that she is one of their marketing fellows. I am meeting with one of my direct reports and realize that Nyah is spearheading a program to recruit more students of color to consider the BBA program.

She coaches her peers, mentors younger students and strategically thinks about ways to make our program, our school and our entire Emory community better.

Her ability to do all of this so well, with so little fanfare, is what makes Nyah such an incredible student. We are so lucky she chose Goizueta.

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