Getting the MSBA ‘Amazing Race’ started

August was an exciting month for every newly admitted student to the inaugural class of the Master of Science in Business Analytics Program. As we all began a new adventure, we set to accomplish a variety of goals, such as tackling academic challenges, pursuing professional opportunities, exploring bleeding-edge fields, meeting interesting people and relocating to a new city. On this journey, we all need people who we can count on for support in all our endeavors. We got each other’s backs.

Since we all came from different backgrounds and barely knew each other before, it was important for us to build trust with each other for future collaborations. Given that teamwork is a fundamental component of the Goizueta community, the program office carefully designed “The MSBA Amazing Race in Atlanta” to help students bond with each other through a series of team challenges. We would be working in these teams of three for group projects for all classes throughout the semester. So, we all looked forward to some friendly competition, as we built relationships with our teammates.

The very first team mission of the Amazing Race was a scavenger hunt in the Martin Luther King Jr. Museum. We needed to find clues within the museum to answer questions without using our phones. Everyone was very ambitious in finding the answers. But in the process, we all learned a lot about Martin Luther King Jr. and became more appreciative of his historical and spiritual legacy in the U.S., especially Atlanta.

Next, we took the light rail to the World of Coca-Cola. Again, we were assigned tasks, such as finding the founder of Coca-Cola, taking a cute picture with the polar bear and sharing it on social media. It was also the first visit to the World of Coca-Cola for most of us. We all enjoyed trying a variety of beverages that Coca-Cola produces around the world before heading out.

The next mission at the CNN World Headquarters was filled with surprises. We took a tour with a CNN staff member and learned how they produce news and other programs. We even had our MSBA volunteer, Daniel, participating in the demonstration of how the background in weather forecasts are magically produced. When we were leaving, we had the opportunity to experience the total solar eclipse! Juliana Roth (Jules), Allison Jacobs and Ginger Baxter, who are our MSBA program office staff members, had thoughtfully brought eclipse glasses for us to observe the breathtaking view.

Finally, all MSBAers ventured to Piedmont Park Tavern to mingle with our new friends and introduce ourselves to faculty members. This helped everyone relax after we finished the engaging team challenges, and the party allowed people to share their experiences on how they collaborated and supported each other throughout the day. Based on this valuable team-building exercise, we were 100 percent ready to tackle new academic challenges in our coursework and take on leadership roles within our cohort in and out of the classroom. There was no doubt how much we loved this event and how much closer we became as friends and teammates for the adventure ahead. And, of course, we all fell in love with our new home: Atlanta!


Rachel Zhao

Rachel Zhao

Ruoxi (Rachel) Zhao is a Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) candidate in the inaugural Class of 2018 at the Goizueta Business School. Prior to Emory, Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematics from University of Southern California. She is an eager problem-solver and is passionate about utilizing her quantitative and soft skills to generate business insights as an aspiring data analyst. Outside of school, Rachel enjoys hiking, rock-climbing, meeting new people, and traveling!