Thursday, November 23, 2006

We are FAMILY!

In a recent Organization & Management class, a core course for first-year MBA students, the topic of discussion was Organizational Culture.

At the beginning of class, we were all asked to go to the chalkboard and write the one word that we felt described the Goizueta culture.

Overwhelmingly, the word written by over half of the class: FAMILY.

How did this happen??

"Family" is not one of Goizueta's seven core values; that would be too easy. Have we all been brainwashed? Of course not!

The small class size of the full-time MBA program is one major factor. My incoming class of 150 students is one big family. To be realistic, as in most families, there are certainly times when issues may arise, but also like most family members, students are committed to the long-term success of the class. Problems are quickly resolved, and everyone once again gets along.

This commitment to helping each other succeed has no bounds - whether studying for tests in class, starting a new club, or preparing for the next job interview. (I have personally been helped in all three. For example, roughly one-third of my class - including me - is seeking a summer internship at a consulting firm, and interviews for these positions are heavily based on solving cases. Preparation for these case interviews is critical, and rather than shying away from other students who are competing for the same internships, my classmates are pro-active in setting up sessions for us to practice cases with each other, and even with second-year students who have recently succeeded in earning these consulting internships and full-time positions. This level of involvement and access to second-year students is also unique to Goizueta.)

Goizueta students, as most business school students, are competitive by nature. But at Goizueta, our motto is, "You win. I win. Goizueta wins." ... and we live by that.

Each incoming class also has a theme. "Family" is quite clear in the theme for my Class of 2008:

"We can go anywhere, as long as we go ... TOGETHER."

MBA '08


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