SEMESTER SERIES : RACHAEL WADDELL – A Response for the New York Times

A recent New York Times article, “In B-School, Is That a Syllabus or an Itinerary?” alludes to the fact that business school is more about networking and personal connections than academics. The article states that social traveling is often viewed as “an investment in a [student’s] career” and travel opportunities should be a factor in making a school selection.

Once my Dad printed the article and started his lecture about “when he was in business school”, my Mom cut him off. She asked how anything he was about to say was relevant to the current environment. She is right.

So often the case, the article seems to exaggerate the disproportional focus on a social agenda over academics. My experience at Goizueta has actually been incredibly balanced.

Well, the first semester Core was a lot of school and less play. But then came Mid-Semester Module and I traveled to India along with recruiting trips to New York and Chicago. I bonded with classmates at the beach in Goa, collaborated on case prep in the hotel room on the loop and stretched beyond the MBA community to meet an Emory undergrad interviewing with the same company near Times Square.

My biggest bonding opportunities? KEGS on Thursday in the Goizueta courtyard, formal in downtown Atlanta, and the apartment pool parties. I am not underscoring the importance of socializing in business school, but contest the idea that developing longstanding relationships with classmates require a trip to Vegas or Tahoe. While I am pretty sure my favorite social activities are not on the syllabus for Economics or Operations, they don’t require an itinerary either.