Because of Goizueta: alumni sweethearts share Valentine memories

For some Goizueta alumni, Valentine’s Day is about more than flowers, chocolate and dinner reservations. It turns out that Cupid’s arrow nicked more than a few of the school’s former students—some on the first day of their respective programs, and others later, when they crossed paths at alumni events. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked several Goizueta-assisted couples to share how they met, their favorite Emory memories and advice on how to make a relationship work while dealing with the demands of business school. What follows are their stories in their own words.

Debbie Perantoni 00EvMBA and John Perantoni 00EvMBA

When did you meet?
At the start of our program in 1997.

Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
In those days, there was an unofficial Thursday happy hour, where MBA students would meet each week at a different bar and hang out.  We became friends through attending the weekly happy hour, often trying to help each other meet someone.  Eventually, we realized we were having more fun together than with the other people we were meeting.

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
A couple of events come to mind.  Before we were a couple, we went to the MBA formal separately, but the next day we met at Fellini’s to debrief on the evening.  The following year we went to the MBA formal together.  Also, the year of our graduation we took a Spring Break trip to Cozumel, Mexico, with some of our classmates.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation and your careers are not as integrated?
While still in school, it’s important to maintain some level of privacy before revealing the relationship to your classmates.  Once it becomes “public,” you’ll get lots of unsolicited opinions and advice, so it’s best to be sure you can make it work before exposing your relationship to open commentary and scrutiny.

Joanna Weiss 04BBA and Paul Reda 07BBA

When did you meet?
We met June 11, 2007 at a GBS alumni event at the Boat Basin in New York City.

Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
Paul is in Abu Dhabi, so I will answer. We definitely grew on each other — or at least for me. Paul did ask me out the next day, but I politely declined. While we remained friendly for years, we didn’t start dating for another two years.

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
There are so many to choose from since Emory has been such a big part of our lives together. The Goizueta alumni event where we met is definitely up there. Paul proposed at the same spot! Plus, months before we started dating, he bought a ticket to attend the alumni awards dinner in Atlanta where I was being honored with the Young Alumni Award. He definitely made an impression on my family that night.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation and your careers are not as integrated?
Staying connected after school all comes down to prioritization. Make time for the special people who are important. Technology certainly helps these days. Who doesn’t love a FaceTime call during a busy workday?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Copyright Erica Aitken Photography (www.myatlantaphotographer.com)

April S. Payton 13MBA and Jason A. Payton 12EvMBA

When did you meet?
April and I first met as undergrads on graduation day for Spelman College and Morehouse College…a few years ago.

Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
We were actually both dating other people, so we didn’t connect. Two years later we met again, and the attraction was instant, we’ve been together ever since!

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
In 2012 we participated in a colloquium to Istanbul, Turkey, with Professor Ray Hill and it was a fantastic trip. We learned so much about the culture, business, and our classmates. That experience was one of the many highlights during our time at Goizueta.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation and your careers are not as integrated?
Make time for each other! You’ll have precious little to spare the first semester and potentially even less as your careers and lives advance, but it’s important to find time to hang out together and remember how much you like each other.

Antoinette Rosenberg 14MBA and Ethan Rosenberg 14MBA

 When did you meet?
We met in the first few days of the MBA program.

 Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
Immediate. Ethan sat right behind me on the bus headed to Winshape Retreat in North Georgia, and the rest is history!

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
GALA (Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy). What an incredible adventure! We rented a house with sixteen of our classmates before we set sail, and had a great time hanging out on the beach, playing games, cooking dinners, and just enjoying each other’s company.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation and your careers are not as integrated?
Our advice for students dating is to get comfortable having your relationship’s highs and lows play out in front of your Goizueta family.

Nathan Deasy 10MBA and Renata Neri-Deasy 10MBA

When did you meet?
At the very beginning of the MBA Program, but spent more time together starting in the second semester of the first year.

Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
We grew into each other…
We were always interested in learning more about our lives and cultures, and the more we learned the more we wanted to know and spend more time together.

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
Renata
: When Nathan invited me to tour a few Atlanta spots which, as an international student, I wouldn’t have discovered. We discovered a great ice cream place and now we sometimes take our kids there for ice cream!

Nathan: Generally, there are so many wonderful memories of our time at Emory, including the day-to-day activities affiliated with the program. For instance, GALA, our broad group of friends from throughout the world, and time spent wandering and exploring the campus. We still live close to Emory, so we love to bring our children to campus and Lullwater Park to have them see and experience where we met.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation and your careers are not as integrated?
Take the time to get to know each other outside of school activities and classmates’ noise. It is important to get to experience life in all its facets to truly understand whether there is a connection beyond the program.

Mr. Satoki Nakano 16MBA and Ms. Sayaka Nakamura 15MBA

Was the attraction immediate or did you grow on each other?
Well, to be honest, our attraction did not grow at all while we were in school. LOL.
I was dating a different person and Satoki didn’t date anyone. In fact, I never saw him talking to girls, and he and I only spoke a time or two while we were both at GBS. Satoki is a very shy person, while I am super outgoing. Since we are so opposite, Satoki thought I would be the last person he wants to be friends with. LOL!

I graduated one year ahead of Satoki and we didn’t reunite until September of 2016, when Julie Barefoot (then head of MBA Admissions) asked each of us to share our Goizueta experience during an admissions event in Tokyo. Since we were the only two alumni at the event and the event lasted until 9 p.m., we decided to grab some dinner afterward. This was the first time Satoki and I really talked, and we hit it off very well.

I think we connected because we share so many good memories of Atlanta, the Emory community, and Goizueta. Then we naturally started to see each other regularly.

Turns out that Julie Barefoot is our matchmaker!!
Thank you soooooo much, Julie!!!!!

What is your favorite Emory memory as a couple?
We wish we had only one!
Our wedding is coming up in May, so we decided to visit Atlanta and have a pre-wedding photoshoot in April. We are planning to take our photos together in Atlanta for the first time! Of course, Emory will be one of our photo locations.

What advice would you give students who are considering dating while still in school? Or advice on staying connected after graduation when your careers are not as integrated?
You only live once, so I would recommend you date whoever you like regardless of going to school together. When you graduate, you might have to focus on your career and end up breaking up with him/her. However, I think you will meet the right person at the right time. (Maybe you will date the same person at a different time.) To increase your chances, I think it is important for you to stay connected to the group/organization that you love and share the same values with those in the group. Satoki and I were able to find each other because we stayed connected with the GBS community, which we love, and with which have great memories, and share great common values.

 

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *