Why Not Choose Goizueta?
The brash will answer the question “why” with “why not.” I morphed into one of them over time as I became more convinced that my decision to attend Goizueta was indeed the appropriate choice for me. I recall being asked the question of why I selected Emory’s Goizueta Business School just after I received notice that I had been accepted.
I responded to this question with an answer that was of low-hanging fruit: excellent reputation, top eight EMBA program, faculty who were practitioners… All the answers one would expect to receive if they posed a similar question. To be fair and give a more thoughtful answer the next time I was asked, I more thoroughly considered what really led me to Goizueta as opposed to other schools.
Take out the fact that Goizueta is located in the center of Atlanta, where 75 percent of the Fortune 1000 have a presence, or that the city is quickly becoming a major tech center for established companies and startups alike. Never mind the economic and geopolitical relationships that Goizueta has shaped throughout Georgia, the southeast, and beyond, or the fact that the Emory name is considered a leading authority in public health, nursing, and business. Forget the fact that the school draws its student and faculty base from diverse and compelling sets of backgrounds, thoughts, experiences, and skill sets.
Roberto Goizueta, after which the business school is named, was a passionate and principled leader who maintained that a function of leadership is to foster new leaders. The true meaning of “leadership” is at the very core of Goizueta’s EMBA program. It is a consistent and intentional theme that is thoughtfully woven into the school’s academic fabric, from every course and every professor to each case study. Emory maintains close ties with the United States military, its generals, and its heroes. Their capacity as educators and students amplifies the university’s dedication and duty to lending the tools that create tomorrow’s great leaders. This is an institution where the committed can become leaders, and leaders can become a leader of leaders.
I chose to be here to further enhance my ability to effectively lead other leaders and build upon my weaknesses; Goizueta recognizes and addresses both. It is a renowned institution that has shaped and cultivated these critical traits in many of its alumni—one of which I’ll become in the spring.
Genuine leadership is now more critical than ever. In a digital world where employees work remotely and customer meetings are more frequently held via video conference, one’s ability to galvanize the collective base with truth, purpose, and transparency demonstrates a steady balance between science and art. Inconsistent economies create anxious professionals while artificial intelligence usurps job functions. In this current environment, leadership is a necessity that cannot be manufactured. The human elements of empathy, compassion, and encouragement are simply not replaceable.
Prior to becoming a student, I knew of Goizueta’s reputation of producing capable leaders. However, I did not fully understand or appreciate its true weight until I became a program participant. The impact is real, recognized, and shared among the school’s internal and external stakeholders.
In the waning months of my time at Goizueta, I consider the subconscious-yet-honest reason I chose this institution was because of its all-encompassing theme of leadership. Now when asked why I elected Goizueta for graduate school, my response is “why not.” I may not literally respond with those exact words, but they are certainly implied by the person I’ve become.