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Michelle Gooden

Evening-time MBA ‘24
Class Year:
Critical Care Clinical Dietitian, Emory University Hospital

Hometown: Connecticut will always be home for me. 

What's something on your bucket list? 

The Olympics are going to be in Paris in 2024, and I would love to take a postgraduation trip to Paris and catch a couple of the Olympic Games while I'm there just to celebrate finishing school and starting a new chapter in life. 

What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie about yourself and why? 

I'd go with Kerry Washington. I think she's a good actress. She's in "Little Fires Everywhere" with Reese Witherspoon. That was a great miniseries. She is just a great actress in general, so I would have no problem with her playing me. 

What's your favorite place you've traveled to and why?  

Italy hands down. I think the history in Europe in general is incredible. It is literally embedded in the walls everywhere you go, which is very different from the United States where everything's new and bright and shiny. We tear down old things to build new things. And I think I just love that you stroll through these ancient streets touching the same buildings that people 500, 600 years ago were standing by. I think there's something cool about that. I loved every moment being in Italy. The food, the people, the culture. It didn't matter where I went; I just had a great time the entire time I was there. 

Favorite family tradition: 

Any of the meals around Thanksgiving or Christmas. Those are always a big deal in my family. I absolutely love Christmas; it's my favorite holiday. My favorite family tradition is going to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra during Christmas. For me, that feels like Christmas has started. Let's bring on all the parties! That definitely gets all the heart feels, and plus I love music. So it's just a great way to blend all that together. 

What is your proudest accomplishment? 

My proudest accomplishment is when I earned one of my clinical certifications called AP. It's the Advanced Practitioner in Clinical Nutrition, and I was the first person in the state of Georgia to earn that. Globally, I was one of fewer than 50 people who had achieved that at the time I passed the exam. So, that felt like a big deal, because it was something many people tried to get. The pass rate was incredibly low. Earning that was a big deal in my profession. 

What did you want to be when you were small?  

When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a taxi driver. I think it was because you could drive cars all the time, and that seemed cool. Adults get to do that. When I got a little bit older and realized that, yeah, you could do that, but you could also do other things, I wanted to be a lawyer.   

What is your latest book recommendation? 

I haven't been able to read a lot in my free time anymore, but one of the books that is always in my top five is “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. I know many people have probably read it by now, but sometimes I stumble across people who've never heard of it. And I'm like, you must read it. It's one of my favorite books, hands down.  

Your life story in one sentence: 

A New England born kid with a passion for music who will live her life in service to others through her work and is now embarking on a new adventure in the world of business and science. 

My favorite restaurant in Atlanta:  

Pre-pandemic, it would have been 8arm. I'm not even a vegetarian or a vegan. In fact, I'm not at all. But they did it so well that the food was just amazing there. Post-pandemic, I really love Marcel. It's pretty pricey, though, so it's not like an everyday pop in kind of restaurant. 

My favorite comfort food or family recipe:  

Pizza every time. Hands down. I love pizza. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. New York style thin crust.

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