Emory’s Goizueta School: Anatomy Of A Turnaround Few Knew Was Needed

The courtyard outside Emory’s Goizueta Business School

NEW CENTERS ALLOW MBAS DEEP DIVES INTO ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS, MARKETING ANALYTICS AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Dean Benveniste has also bankrolled three new research centers—in alternative investments, marketing analytics and social enterprise—to give the school greater distinction in three fast growing areas. Unlike typical academic centers, however, Goizueta’s are closely connected to the companies and organizations they serve. “To be successful, you need to have a general business education and a deep dive,” he says. “What this has permitted is some very deep dives in unique areas.”

The cumulative effect of those changes has been nothing less than dramatic. MBA students have received internship offers in nine of the past ten years. The so-called “conversion rate”—the percentage of students who return from their internships with job offers in hand—went from around 25% to nearly 60% last year. That is one reason why Goizueta was able to beat every other Top 25 business school in the U.S. in successfully placing its Class of 2012 into jobs and why average starting salary and bonus have risen higher at the school than any other major rival.

“We are now 14th in the country on starting MBA salaries,” says Dean Benveniste. “That to me is the metric. That is amazing along with 91% placement at graduation and 98% three months after. But it isn’t just a placement story. It’s a big success story. When you do that with enormous jumps in salary and bonus, that’s the story. You know you’ve done something when you have both of them going on at the same time.”

‘WE’VE TAKEN VIRTUALLY THE SAME POOL OF MBAS AND SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGED THE OUTCOMES’

Other then that discomforting moment when his leadership team walked into his office with bad news, Dean Benveniste has helped to engineer a major turnaround at a Top 20 school that often gets overlooked and under appreciated. “I have never seen a school respond to a fairly significant change in direction, from top to bottom, as this school has,” believes Benveniste. “I just don’t think it would be possible at a lot of other places. Everybody here lined up to do his or her part.

“I’m very proud of that because what we do is fundamental. It’s not about throughput, getting good people and then graduating them into the world. It’s about what we add when they are here. I think we’ve proven over the last five years that what we add is hugely significant because we have virtually taken the same pool and significantly changed the output. That can only happen for one reason: what has gone on in between.”

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