ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: JENNYFER GOUNÉ – Why I did My Mid Semester Module in Atlanta

I spent my Mid Semester Module (MSM) here in Atlanta participating in the Power & Influence MSM taught by Professor Rodney Lacey. Despite the fact that I chose not to partake in an international module, I truly gained some important tools that I will use throughout my career by opting to take this course.

Furthermore, participating in an Atlanta MSM enabled me to take two additional weeks off after the course ended to spend time at home with my friends and family who I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

The three greatest takeaways of the Power & Influence MSM course for me were better understanding the effects of stress, unconscious bias, and politics.

Unconscious Bias normally occurs toward diverse audiences such as women, ethnic minorities, and people with certain religious affiliations and gender identities, to name a few. As a woman and ethnic minority myself, this course provided me with some great tools for navigating these biases and I also learned that unconscious bias can also occur in other less obvious ways.

Stress is a key issue that affects almost all working people. This course was helpful in identifying triggers (such as new job responsibilities or conflicts with colleagues). Furthermore, this course helped me uncover controllable and uncontrollable stressors and the importance of letting go of the things you cannot control. A few personal recommendations I have for combatting stress is saying “no” more, taking up yoga or meditation, and seeing a masseuse. However, you’ll learn more after taking this class!

The last, and possibly most important topic, discussed in the Power & Influence course is Politics.

As inevitable as politics are in organizations, it is so important that this topic is addressed and I was grateful that Emory addresses it through the MSM curriculum. Politics can be a barrier in many ways, such as being hired, being fired, receiving a raise, or even the types of projects you’re eligible for. In this day in age, it is all about knowing the right people who will sponsor you and support your upward mobility. This class discusses these give and take relationships and methods for building them, which include getting people to like you, being consistent, demonstrating authority, and making yourself an invaluable resource.

Though I didn’t get the MSM international experience, I did gain tools that will help me on the first day on the job and over the course of my career. If you are an incoming or prospective student, you should definitely consider taking the Power & Influence course!