Starting the Georgia Tech Scheller MBA program is an exciting time in a student’s life. New courses, a new community, a new career, and for four couples – a new life partner.
We caught up with four couples who met in our Full-time and Evening MBA programs to talk about how they met, what’s currently going on in their lives, and what they loved most about attending Scheller.
Emily Bodiford (Full-time MBA ’23) and Tanner Truelove (Full-time MBA ’23)
For Tanner Truelove, it was love at first sight. Tanner and his current fiancé, Emily Bodiford, both started the Full-time MBA program in Fall 2021. After Emily said good morning to him on the second day of orientation, he knew she was it. Later that day, the two sat in a group and had lunch together and he recalled how he didn’t want the conversation to end. He eventually was able to convince her to go on a brunch date with him at Murphy’s and the rest is history.
“I proposed to Emily on Halloween weekend in 2022,” said Tanner. “We love to travel together and had always talked about making a scrapbook of our trips, so I made one with pictures from all our adventures since we started dating. I gave her the scrapbook and she went through all the pictures until she got to the last page where it read ‘Our next adventure… Will you marry me?’ She said yes and I let her know the brunch we were going to after was actually our engagement party!”
One of the couple’s biggest adventures has been going through the MBA program together as a team. Emily’s favorite part of the MBA program has been learning as much about themselves outside of class as they are learning in the classroom and pushing themselves toward new growth every day.
“Tanner is the most incredible teammate. We are so lucky to be on this MBA journey together. His outlook on life is so positive, and he helps others to see the joy in life even when times are tough,” said Emily.
The pair are currently venue shopping and looking to get married outside the Atlanta area in May 2024.
Jerel Jordan (Evening MBA ’18) and Kiana Jordan (Evening MBA ’20)
In August 2021, Kiana Jordan thought she was going to her then-boyfriend and former MBA classmate’s birthday dinner. Instead, Jerel Jordan made a surprise proposal at a venue in downtown Atlanta with all their families and closest friends in attendance. The couple, who are both graduates of Scheller’s Evening MBA program, met at a Scheller Blacks in Business (BiB) event while they were in school. Scheller was also somewhat present during their wedding – Kiana and Jerel got married right across from Scheller at the Biltmore Ballrooms on November 4, 2022.
“We both had similar goals and aspirations in life, so we motivated each other and held each other accountable while we were in school. We also had an automatic study buddy! It was also nice having someone beside you for those late nights studying for exams. Jerel also started the program a year before me, so he had a lot of advice when it came to the classes I chose to take,” said Kiana.
Balancing classes with a full-time job can be a challenge for Evening MBA students, and the couple made sure to spend time together outside of studying and networking while they were dating. Since graduating, Kiana joined Red Bull as a brand marketing manager and Jerel is a product marketing manager at Invesco.
“My favorite part of the Scheller MBA program was meeting my wife and making lifelong connections with my classmates and alumni," said Jerel.
Ben Perkins (Full-time MBA ‘18) and Maggy Perkins (Full-time MBA ’19)
Choosing electives in the MBA program usually has an effect on what concentration you pursue or subject you become interested in, but for Maggy and Ben Perkins, it was their meet-cute moment. The two became friends after being in the same group for a marketing analytics class. Then as fate would have it, they both interviewed for an internship at Delta, and both got the job in different departments. Prior to starting their internships, Ben asked Maggy to MBA Prom and they started dating shortly after. During their first summer of dating, they were both at Delta and spent the summer traveling the world. Their travel escapades did not stop after that summer.
“Being at Delta and having flight benefits, we decided to sneak down to the Florida Keys. It was New Year's Eve, and after a day of bike riding, sunbathing, and hiking, we were enjoying some tunes and margaritas up on the patio. Right as we were about to head in, Ben said, ‘There's one more thing I have to ask you...’ and popped the question as the sun went down. It was an easy yes!” said Maggy.
The couple got married in June 2020 and even had an appearance from the Ramblin’ Wreck at their wedding. Maggy and Ben welcomed their newest adventure in March 2022.
“We welcomed our first child, Elizabeth Anderson Perkins, on March 26, 2022,” said Maggy. “She is the light of our lives and being parents together has made this the best year yet. We are already dressing her in white and gold and teaching her to cheer the brave and bold! Ben is convinced that her early babbles can be extrapolated to mean, ‘Go Jackets!’”
The couple is no stranger to Georgia Tech – Ben studied mechanical engineering as an undergrad and also completed his master’s in statistical analysis while dual-enrolled in the MBA program, and Maggy’s father, Dave Deiters, is the associate dean of MBA Programs and the Jones MBA Career Center.
“My favorite part of the Scheller MBA program was getting the opportunity to take a break in my career and focus on learning new things and skills while meeting great people from all different backgrounds and sharing a common experience. And of course, amazingly, to my shock and surprise meeting my future wife,” said Ben.
Gina Barrios (Full-time MBA ’03) and Guillermo Barrios (Full-time MBA ’03)
Married 20 Years
Not only are Gina and Guillermo Barrios celebrating their 20-year wedding anniversary this year, but they are also celebrating their 20-year anniversary of graduating from Georgia Tech’s MBA program. The two met during their first year in the program and became best friends during the first semester after having classes together. After they missed each other over winter break, they began dating in January when they returned to campus. Not only did being in the same classes together enable the two of them to spend more time together, it also helped Guillermo, who is from Caracas, Venezuela, get used to living in the United States.
“From an international student perspective, being with Gina in the same program allowed me to adapt to American culture faster and improve my language skills,” said Guillermo.
Gina and Guillermo have two daughters and keep plenty busy with work, running a business, and attending Georgia Tech sporting events. Gina is a senior continuous improvement project manager at Invesco and Guillermo is a web operations manager at The Home Depot. In addition to their day jobs, Guillermo has a whiskey experience business by the name of The Whisky Knights, which offers a curated tasting experience at a client's location of choice.
I may have been the social chair during graduate school, but Guillermo became the social chair post-graduation as we frequently keep in touch and hang out with fellow students,” said Gina. “We have two daughters, Nicole a junior in high school, and Jessica, an eighth grader. Both are Georgia Tech fans and over the years have attended Georgia Tech cheerleading camps and were ball girls for the Georgia Tech women's basketball team! And, an example of life coming full circle, Nicole will be applying to Georgia Tech soon.”