Keystone Welcomes Students Back to Campus
What’s better than taking a couple of years off work to go back to school? How about not having to show up to class on your first day back to school because your entire class is volunteering in the local Atlanta community? The annual Keystone event provides second-year MBA students at Goizueta with that exact opportunity.
Keystone is a two-day celebration that welcomes students back to campus following a summer full of internships (Two-Year MBA students) or core classes (One-Year MBA students) and serves as an opportunity to integrate with the rest of the class (as well as the incoming exchange students), prepare for the upcoming year, and provide meaningful community service throughout Atlanta. While both days are capped off with incredibly fun social events, the real value comes from the activities that occur during the day.
The first day of Keystone starts out with an “all-hands” type meeting where the students, program office, Career Management Center, admissions team, and other groups provide key updates for the upcoming year. Following the updates for the year, students are then given the opportunity to write the famous “Goizueta Five-Year Letter” where we’re asked to reflect on the past year and write a letter to our future selves. While the content varies significantly per person, we’re encouraged to write about topics like where we expect to be in five years, what you want your life to look like, what your aspirations are, or what advice we’d give our future selves. This is meant to as serve as a small investment in planning a future for yourself is hopefully something that will be a joy to read in five years. As the legend Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Your future depends on what you do today.”
Keystone’s second day is all about community, with the core focus being a series of class-wide community service events across Atlanta. For the 2021 event, I was honored to work alongside Sarah Connolly 22MBA and Mounika Yarlagadda 22MBA to plan service events across Atlanta. As someone passionate about using the many opportunities I’ve been blessed with to provide opportunities to others, I am incredibly grateful to have the privilege of planning the service portion of the Keystone event.
This year, we worked with 13 unique organizations across 15 projects that ranged in terms of cause, location, a virtual or in-person setting, and type of work. Despite internships, 128 students participated in the projects contributing a total of over 350 service hours in just one day. While the numbers themselves sound great, the smiles and appreciation received by student volunteers and project leads were the most valuable. Finally, to close out the celebration, we all gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate our achievements thus far and get to know our classmates better, which couldn’t have been a better start to our “first day of school.”
Overall, Keystone is a really great way to reset. Not just as we head in to our second year of school, but as we begin the transition into a new chapter of life. Taking the time–both through reflection and service–to understand what is important to each and every one of us, as well as how our actions can impact the lives of so many others, is a meaningful process in which I’m incredibly glad to have taken part. With so much going on in the world and with so many great opportunities at business school, slowing down to give back for a few hours can really make a difference.
Organizations partnered with (Goizueta Student Project Leader):
Youth & Education
- Covenant House (Bryan Shepherd 22MBA)
- Atlanta Children’s Shelter (Zad Adloo 22MBA)
Environment & Development
- Piedmont Park Conservancy (Nikki Moorer 22MBA)
- Atlanta Beltline Partnership (Rachel Jain 22MBA)
- Zoo Atlanta (Vaishali Nijampatnam 22MBA)
- Good Samaritan Farm (Chuka Isichei 22MBA)
- Atlanta Community Food Bank (Breanna Spurley 22MBA)
- Jerusalem House (Bernard Clevens 22MBA)
- Open Hand Atlanta (Caroline Kimberly 22MBA 23MPH)
- Salvation Army (Hina Arora 22MBA)
Healthcare & Disabilities
- Kyle Pease Foundation (Sean O’Donnell 22MBA)
- Medshare (John Truesdell 22MBA)
- PAWS Atlanta (Margaux Galitz 22MBA)