10 Business Schools To Watch In 2022

Emory Goizueta Exterior View

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

DEI — Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Business schools love to develop electives, invite speakers, and hold events for DEI-related themes. Just how many make this a centerpiece of their programming? That’s what you’re starting to see at the Goizueta Business School. Over the past year, Goizueta has boosted its programming that examines how business — and society at large — can meet the needs of the most vulnerable.

That starts with Goizueta’s rollout of a new DEI concentration. Beginning this spring, MBAs can take several custom-developed courses that address areas like workplace bias, social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and even a philanthropy Lab.  Such programming reflects Goizueta dive into DEI as a strategic priority, both in teaching and research.

“These curricular innovations are positioning Goizueta as a leader in DEI, as we are among few business schools to introduce this level of academic depth within the curriculum,” writes Brian Mitchell, associate dean of full-time MBA programs, in a press release.

The concentration is the latest in a series of moves that has solidified Goizueta’s spot as a leader in social impact and social justice. Last March, Goizueta Business opened The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute. Technically the institute is an expansion of the school’s Social Enterprise @ Goizueta initiative. The upgraded mandate? Use a business lens to address the biggest business and social problems, particularly in the areas of inequality and climate change. An interdisciplinary hub, the institute features a 14-week business accelerator and early stage finance, with microbusiness development in coffee markets being one of its passion projects. In addition, the institute will support faculty research along with providing coursework and capstone experiences to students. In the end, the institute’s role is to bring together the area’s best minds to channel ideas and energy into results.

“As professional schools, business schools have the obligation to ensure business leaders do more good and less harm,” Wes Longhofer, the executive academic director of the institute told P&Q. “And they are producing some of the best research in my field.”

The institute also houses the Peachtree Minority Investment Fund, a million dollar student-run fund devoted to African American, Hispanic, and Native American entrepreneurs. Led by five managing partners, the fund makes investments that can go up to $50K and had already drawn 100 applications from founders by last November. The fund, according to Robert Kazanjian, Peachtree academic advisor, is designed to address the limited access to seed funding faced by minority founders.

“We encounter lots of people with strong entrepreneurial interests,” Kazanjian tells P&Q. ”But there’s a lack of support at the early stage of funding for underrepresented minority entrepreneurs.”

Brian Mitchell, dean of the full-time MBA at Emory Goizueta. Courtesy photo

Call it a win-win scenario. Minority founders enjoy support that might not otherwise be available. At the same time, MBAs gain training and hands-on experience in capital investments. In addition, the fund hammers home an unforgettable point, adds Humza Mirza, one of Peachtree’s managing partners.

“I want to make sure that I’m going into the venture capital world with a completely objective and open mind, and make sure that all of my decisions are equitable, thoughtful, and intentional,” he tells P&Q.

Still, the John Lewis Case Competition  remains Goizueta’s most recognizable move into the DEI space. The first-of-its-kind, the competition is entering its second year after attracting 500 students from 52 universities (not to mention 24 sponsorships from partners ranging from Walmart to Johnson&Johnson). This year, the competition is holding preliminary rounds focused on different rounds. In the process, student teams answer questions relating to how they would address a racial injustice in that industry (and where they would donate their prize money).

“We see this as the beginning, not the destination,” explains Lynne Segall, the school’s associate dean for management practice initiatives “We see the competition as a flagship in a constellation of initiatives. There are all kinds of educational opportunities in and around the competition, and we are looking to explore leadership development.”

Of course, these developments simply amplify Goizueta’s advantages. With each class enrolling roughly  165 students, Goizueta Business provides small school intimacy with a distinctly Southern friendliness. “Goizueta’s small-by-design format instantly caught my attention,” says first-year Cade Ricker, a U.S. Army engineer. “It attracts people who prefer a collaborative program both in and out of the classroom. You cannot go through a program like Goizueta without truly getting to know all your classmates. This was a priority for me as I believe relationships are one of the most important aspects to succeeding in business and life.”

On top of that, you have Atlanta, whose city and metro area features outposts for three-quarters of the Fortune 1000. In other words, MBAs can enjoy the comforts of a tight community with the opportunities of a major metro. “Everyone knows each other, adds Brian Mitchell. “And at the same time, our students have access to a huge network of employers ─ the 3rd most Fortune 500 HQs in the US for example ─ and service opportunities because we are in a dynamic, global city rather than a small town.”

That means business students can tap into a deep network and gain an array of experience. In many ways, experiential learning is Emory Business’ hallmark. Notably, MBAs are required to complete a two semester IMPACT360, which begins with intensive training in problem-solving and teamwork before moving into a consulting project that’s supporting by on-going coaching.  For additional experience, students can enroll in the Goizueta Advanced Leadership Academy (GALA), which is capped off by a week-long, team-driven sailing adventure around the Virgin Islands. Of course, every Goizueta alum is certain to share their experience at the Leader’s Reaction Course at Fort Benning, where student teams build bridges and scale obstacle to strengthen decision-making and communication. Such lessons, observes first-year Siva Prasad Kalimuthu, make all the difference.

“Leadership and decision-making in such high-risk environments requires conviction, accountability, and fortitude. I feel this a unique approach to leadership development, and this experience is not what a typical MBA candidate expects in their program.”

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