Why I chose Goizueta
Pursuing an MBA is a daunting prospect. Although it opens doors and shifts your career into the fast lane, it requires a leap of faith into the unknown. Essentially you have to trust that the institution you are entrusting your time and money to is going to fulfill their end of the bargain and deliver the experience and result you expect. This is no small feat as, to attend business school, we are leaving behind successful careers and holding off work for one to two years. Hence it is critical that the school you go to and the program you choose fits your needs and style of extracting value from the educational experience.
Before I outline what mattered to me and how I think about it, I want to recognize that this is an individual journey and everyone’s picture of a successful time will look different.
As for the program, for me it was clear I wanted to pursue a two-year full-time MBA. I was fortunate enough to experience my entire pre-MBA career in one industry and company, producing a depth of experience that I am grateful for. However, this meant I would go into post-MBA recruiting with a limited breadth of experience. So, it was tremendously important to me to have a summer internship where I could trial a whole new industry and broaden my experience. Additionally, much of my personal and professional experience had been outside the U.S. As a result, despite being an American by birth, I was aware there would likely be a significant cultural adjustment. Having an extra year in school to learn from my classmates what it takes to be successful in the U.S. was crucial.
Choosing the school itself was far more challenging. When evaluating the school, I decided to be as objective as I could since this was such an important life choice. I didn’t want to leave much to subjective measures. What I landed on was comparing schools by rank, size and resources. For rank, it was important to me that the school be recognized as one of the best; it was important to pass the bar of “good enough.” Beyond this, the size of my cohort was the more important metric since this had a greater impact on my personal outcomes. In terms of becoming known to my professors, connecting with my classmates and standing out during recruitment, it was critical that the cohort size be as small as possible. I am extremely confident in my own abilities, but competing against an extremely large pool of equally qualified people seemed unappealing. Lastly, in terms of resources the school must have staff that care about their students and will work on an individual basis to help them achieve their goals. For me this school was Goizueta. It had a great reputation, rock-solid career network, intimate class size, and staff that made me feel supported.
The objective approach has produced results for me. I have a career ahead of me I couldn’t have imagined, classmates I feel incredibly fortunate to call friends, and throughout it all I have felt encouraged and enabled by the school to pursue the path that I decide is best. Again, I encourage everyone to follow your own objective means to deciding on which school is best for you, but I encourage you to put Goizueta on that list.