Several business schools made impressive gains in P&Q’s undergraduate business school ranking in 2022. You can count the Goizueta Business School among them. It moved from 16th to 11th. Of course, the improvement was bitter-sweet. After all, they fell just one index point short of topping Georgia Tech’s Scheller College, just five miles away in Midtown.
The secret to Goizueta’s success? Think incremental progress in its composite scores. Last year, Goizueta finished 14th in Admissions, a bundle of data points that includes acceptance rates, average undergraduate GPAs, and average SAT and ACT scores. This year, the school moved to 11th. In the Employment bucket, which includes pay and placement, Goizueta climbed from 24th to 16th. When it comes to Alumni Experience — a combination of survey responses from 2019 alumni — the school’s index score inched up from 31st to 27th.
Call it steady progress…the kind that builds on itself and lasts.
Take acceptance rate, a measure of demand and selectivity. This fall, the school accepted just 14.77% of applicants, a noticeable improvement over its 19.8% rate two years ago. Among them, the percentage of women increased to 45%. When it comes to outcomes, the Class of 2020 delivered improvements in both placement (95%) and starting pay ($75,794). Let’s not forget alumni surveys. Here, Goizueta produced improvements in most categories, performing particularly well in career and academic advising, soft skill development, teaching quality, and networking with employers and practicing professionals.
And then there is the alumni question that really matters: “Do you believe your business degree was worth its cost in tuition?” On a 10 point scale, with 10 being the highest possible score, Goizueta knocked out a 9.17 average among respondents.
In other words, Goizueta is doing a lot of things right.
One of these items, writes an anonymous 2019 grad is integrating hands-on projects into nearly every class. “Capstone had mini-consulting where you had a choice of 8-10 sessions and you pick your two favorites. I chose to work on capstone projects on the Harlem Globetrotters marketing campaign for Millennial parents and a competitive, real-time simulation for Littlefield Labs. Projects involved data analysis competitions, consulting on a past Deloitte case, valuations, strategic management decisions, competitive costing, R&D portfolio decisions, supply chain analyses, business plans for a sustainable company, operations consulting for Sprinkles cupcakes, devising a leadership training program, Negotiations class that conducted negotiations on Tuesdays and debriefed on Thursdays, and wine tasting led by a sommelier.”
That’s just the start. This graduate could’ve also listed Goizueta revamped curriculum, coaching culture, and Atlanta location. And Andrea Hershatter, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at the Goizueta Business School, does more than that. Along with exploring these items — and many others — she also shares the new developments and unique differentiators that make Goizueta a business school to watch in 2022.
5 QUESTIONS WITH ANDREA HERSHATTER
P&Q: What are your undergraduate business program’s two biggest strengths and how do make students better prepared for business once they graduate?
Hershatter: “I believe the two characteristics of Goizueta’s BBA Program that add the most value to our students’ experience are our curricular structure and our focus on experiential coursework.
All of our students start their Emory careers in the liberal arts and are consequently immersed in many different ways of seeing and knowing the world. When they enter the business school, they have thus acquired contextual frameworks that enhance their ability to be intentional in thinking about the kinds of contributions they want to make to business and society, and can plan their course of study accordingly. The BBA curriculum has enough inherent flexibility that 28% of the graduating class complete a full liberal arts major in Emory College, 76% acquire more than one business area depth, and, in a non-pandemic year, 30% take a semester abroad. Goizueta also offers a dual degree in engineering and three integrated BBA/master’s level degrees. Consequently, our graduates are able to gain the expertise they need to excel in their first functional jobs, while simultaneously pursuing a range of academic experiences that serve as the intellectual foundation for their future aspirations.
Starting in their first semester in the Business School, our BBA students are consistently engaged in hands-on work that leverages course content in support of applied projects. For example, every semester, the core business communications course requires students to work on a challenge posed by a company and to present their solutions to executives. A recent iteration involved formulating a strategy to introduce the new Mercedes all-electric crossover SUV to Gen Z. In electives, among many options, students have the chance to create a quantitative model and use it to manage a stock portfolio of real endowment assets; take an on-site assignment at a venture start-up and provide it with consultative services; or develop an integrated marketing campaign for the Coca-Cola Company and one of its strategic partners, with company executives providing feedback. These experiences, and the many others like them, allow our students to internalize and learn to deploy content knowledge that is immediately applicable in organizational settings.”
P&Q: What are some new and upcoming developments in your program that will enhance the business program for future business majors?
Hershatter: “We have just completed an extensive four-year design-thinking based curricular revision process. This new curriculum, which will roll out next year, provides more clearly-articulated pathways while building in even greater ability for students to customize their coursework in pursuit of their intellectual and professional passions. A few hallmarks are an expanded foundation in data analytics, a flex-core that allows targeted focus on functional areas, and touchstone trajectories focused on building personal and professional competencies,:
P&Q: How does majoring in business in Atlanta enrich a student’s overall experience?
Hershatter: “The amazing thing about Emory’s location is that the campus is lush, green and sprawling, but is situated right within the city of Atlanta, ranked third in the country in number of Fortune 500 headquarters. This means that speakers, site visits, and job opportunities are all right in our backyard, as is a vibrant start up culture and a robust and growing film, music and entertainment industry. In addition, our airport is the world’s most travelled, making us a very easy stop-by destination for executives and alumni.
Our students especially value the opportunity to engage in impactful projects with our local community through The Roberto C. Goizueta Business & Society Institute and to work with micro-entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have access to seed capital through the Emory Impact investment group. One small example of the way we are able to leverage our easy access to the business community is through our senior seminars. Every BBA student completes two of these one-credit-hour short courses, which are taught by local industry professionals and augment our academic content with real-world practical insights.”
P&Q: 21% of your fall class hails from overseas. What makes Emory Goizueta so attractive to international students? What types of support does Goizueta provide to these students to ensure their success?
Hershatter: “Because students enter the business school after enrolling in liberal arts, our international students first choose Emory. I think they do so for the outstanding academic reputation, the warm and welcoming community, and our location in a global city that offers extensive and diversified cultural experiences. We in the business school then work very closely with our pre-BBA students from other countries to assure that they receive the guidance and support needed to pursue their desired academic plans.
We also offer a dedicated series of programs for F-1 students through the Goizueta Career Management Center, working in partnership with Emory’s office of International Student and Scholar Services. In the program, our students from overseas are not only able to broaden their perspectives by collaborating with classmates from all over the world, but also to find community and support within their own identity groups through formal and informal groups. I think that one particularly useful aspect of our curriculum for BBA students who are here on an F-1 visa is this: they can choose a relevant college major along with their business degree. They are also able to graduate with a major in a STEM field that qualifies for OPT extension, which enhances their employment options.”
P&Q: What Emory Goizueta undergraduate business experience do you wish more prospective students knew about? Why is that so important to their development as professionals?
Hershatter: “I think the opportunity to build deep and meaningful relationships is a hallmark of the Goizueta BBA experience. We are small enough that there is a strong sense of interdependence and community and large enough that there is an option for everyone. One of the things I am most proud of is a new policy initiated by the 2021-22 BBA Council. It mandates that every BBA student may join any business school club without application or a selection process. This strong statement of inclusivity stands in sharp contrast to practices elsewhere. Beyond our clubs and organizations, we host a weekly social networking gathering every Thursday afternoon and many formal opportunities throughout the year for students to bond, including an off-site orientation retreat and the annual BBA ski trip.
Our students start their BBA career with a one-on-one coaching session with their BBA advisor and a series of consultations with our Career Management Center. The BBA Team closely tracks and supports our students’ personal and professional development on an individual level. When someone falters, staff is there to provide guidance and alternatives, and when a student reaches a goal or milestone, the whole program celebrates! Our students form alumni relationships through the clubs, a formal mentor program, career panels, and treks to major cities. Finally, they interact with their professors in and out of the classroom. Goizueta faculty members are known for being accessible and they share a strong interest in our BBA students’ successes. These connections with peers, staff, alumni and faculty form the basis of a personal and professional Goizueta network that profoundly impacts our graduates’ lives.”
Next Page: Georgetown University’s McDonough School
Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.