For the last century, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has grown and prospered by tapping leaders and faculty with rich research interests and experience, remaining connected to industry and business while establishing a community that focuses on enrichment not only for the individual but the world outside school grounds.
This rich culture continues today.
As Dean Erika James stands at her desk surrounded by technology her predecessors would most certainly envy, she’s mindful that the challenges and goals for the future are in some ways similar to those that have come before.
James is one of many deans to lead Goizueta Business School since 1919, each leaving a noticeable thread in the school’s fabric. The priorities and visions of each administration have been reflected in updates to the curriculum, research focus and building aesthetics. James looks to do the same while also keeping the school agile in the face of increasing change. Many, of course, consider this a requirement as the business world faces more complex problems on a global scale.
“Business is changing rapidly,” James said. “How organizations are structured, the technologies they use, where and how they do business and the skills they need to succeed are all changing. That means business schools, as a conduit to business, have to change as well. We hear a lot about the competition for talent. That’s because the people skills and capabilities have not kept pace with the speed with which business is able to operate. There is also, in some cases, misalignment between what current and future generations of professionals are looking for and the structures and goals of the organizations that are seeking talent. Business schools have a responsibility to try to realign the two, and doing so requires educating both employers and students.”
This must occur in a context of great challenges for business schools, including declining enrollment numbers and rising costs. Additionally, Business must increasingly understand—and embrace—the changing needs and desires of students. Schools and the business community must foster diversity of background, culture, and thought.
Research—the backbone of higher education—must ground itself in theory and applicability, thus bridging a gap between the academy and industry. James believes Goizueta is well-positioned to address these areas in the coming years, thanks, in part, to its commitment to serving the community and improving society.
Melissa Rapp is the Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. In this role, she leads the team responsible for the recruitment, evaluation, and matriculation of students across Goizueta’s portfolio of MBA programs. Melissa has worked at both small and large institutions helping to form and implement admissions strategies. Most recently, she was Director of Admissions for Full-Time MBA and MSMS programs at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a masters from Baker University.