Patrick Forrestal 24MBA with fellow veterans and MBA student Grace Miller and LTG (ret.) Ken Keen at Goizueta's 2023 Veterans Day Ceremony

Throughout National Veterans and Military Families Month, Emory Business will introduce readers to the stories of veterans who excel at Goizueta and are thriving in their careers. Here we meet Goizueta’s Patrick Forrestal, a veteran pursuing his MBA to transition from military service to a career as a management consultant.

Patrick Forrestal 24MBA

Patrick Forrestal 24MBA originally wanted to play college football, and hadn’t considered a career in the military. But when the Naval Academy offered him a chance to play, he couldn’t say no. Both his father and grandfather are Academy alumni. Forrestal graduated in May of 2017 and served five years in the Marine Corps as an aviation supply officer. He spent three years in San Diego and one deployment in Kuwait in 2020.

As Forrestal considered his next move after completing his service, the Albany, Georgia native knew he wanted a career in business in Atlanta, close to family. And a full-time MBA program seemed the way forward.

At the end of the day, Emory made the most sense. Emory differentiated itself with the small class size, experiential learning opportunities provided through the IMPACT program, and the tight-knit veteran community led by LTG (ret.) Ken Keen.

Patrick Forrestal

Comradery in the Classroom

Those veterans in the full time MBA program made Forrestal feel welcome beginning on day one. Active duty kept him from the first week of official onboarding at Goizueta. But when he walked into his first class at 8:00am, Forrestal immediately found the veterans in the class. They were seated together on the front row.

However, it’s not just the other veterans that make a difference. The faculty at Goizueta also play a critical role in supporting the school’s veteran community.

“When you’re in a classroom talking about business concepts, you wouldn’t really think that the military guys would have a lot of things to talk about. But the teachers really turn to us and ask us to talk about our experiences. It’s in a sense comforting and makes you feel like you’re bringing value there.”

Beyond Graduation

Forrestal serves as the president of Goizueta Business School Veterans Association

Forrestal graduates in May 2024, and will begin working for EY-Parthenon as a management consultant. While he’s looking forward to his new career, he’s also looking forward to helping prospective veteran students.

“The veteran alumni network is a very welcoming community. As I was considering different careers and different firms, I didn’t have a single veteran that didn’t respond to an email or didn’t set time on a calendar to talk to me about their experience. Now having the ability to do that for class behind us for the prospective students coming is super rewarding.”

And if graduating from Goizueta Business School with his MBA and starting a new job weren’t exciting enough life changes, Forrestal and his wife Ansley are expecting their first child in March.

Goizueta is proud to support our nation’s veterans and active-duty servicemembers as they continue their education. Learn more about our new Master in Business for Veterans program.