Gary Hauk on contributions of business school leaders to Emory’s rise

Emory campus

A 2012 aerial view of Emory University shows the growth and expansion of the university.

Gary Hauk, vice president and deputy to Emory’s president, arrived on campus as a graduate student in 1983. Five years later while completing his PhD in religion, he accepted a job in the University’s administration, rising to work closely with the board of trustees and four successive presidents (including 1993–94 interim president Billy Frye). In this recent interview with Emory Business, Hauk discusses the contributions of past business school deans in supporting the University’s overarching strategic goals, articulated both in President Jim Laney’s 1987 “Emory 2000” address and in the 2005–15 strategic plan developed under President Jim Wagner’s leadership.

EB: When you joined Emory’s administration, John Robson was dean of the business school. How did his appointment figure into the larger scheme of things at the University?

Hauk: In 1987, the year after Robson’s appointment, President Laney delivered his “Emory 2000” address, which outlined specific targets to guide the development of the University over the next 13 years. Laney listed a number of benchmarks, including doubling federal research grants, graduating 100 first-rate PhD’s every year, and moving the business school into the top 20 nationally. While the school had done well over the previous decades, John Robson’s appointment signaled a determination that this business school needed to play on a bigger stage. Robson had served as a CEO and in several presidential administrations, and he had both a national stature and the opportunity to ratchet things up to a higher plane.

EB: Which of Robson’s initiatives especially helped further the University’s strategic aims?

Hauk: Both Robson and his successor, Ron Frank, were determined to appoint the most eminent faculty they could find, and that was very much consonant with the University’s aims at the time. Jim Laney wanted all of the University’s schools to be competitive with the top schools in their respective cohorts by the year 2000.

Ron picked up that challenge and found ways to connect with the Atlanta business community, and particularly with The Coca-Cola Company, that helped establish the kind of foundation that would push even more vigorously in the direction Jim had outlined. Ron’s relationship with Roberto Goizueta also made it possible for the new buildings to be built—without which it would be hard to imagine the business school being what it is today.

EB: Ron Frank also introduced the Evening MBA program in 1992, which made an Emory MBA available to a wider range of students.

Hauk: Yes, Ron recognized the value of training Atlanta businesspeople for leadership in public affairs. At the University level, Bill Chace was committed to developing that connection to Atlanta and to nurturing city-wide relationships, and what Ron was doing with the Evening MBA fit that very well.

EB: Can you point to pivotal changes over the past thirty years that have aligned the business school more closely with University’s strategic goals?

Hauk: In my mind, the key change has been the development of a much stronger research focus within the business school faculty, which fit the profile of a competitive, national research university that the Laney administration and the trustees sought to develop for Emory. The appointment of faculty committed to doing research and making that a part of their teaching and consultation was also essential to laying the groundwork for launching the PhD program in 2002 under Tom Robertson. The PhD program put the kind of research stamp on the business school that was necessary to meet the ambitions of Jim Laney, and of Bill Chace after him. That research emphasis has become a stronger part of the business school’s identity, and it has helped the school continue to attract top-notch faculty and higher quality students—central components of the University’s 2005 strategic plan.

The other thing I would note—and this is where Tom Robertson, and to some extent Ron Frank, played important roles—was the sense that Emory needed to become an international university. This was a particular emphasis during Bill Chace’s presidency. He worked hard at trying to identify opportunities for strengthening both Emory’s international footprint and the presence of the world at Emory. Chip Parks implemented the business school’s first international student exchange program in the early 1980s, and Ron Frank was open to recruiting and providing necessary funding to a number of international students. President Wagner has really encouraged this development across the University and appointed Tom Robertson in 2004 to spearhead the University-wide effort to find ways Emory could develop internationally.

Larry Benveniste, who served as dean from 2005 to 2013, continued to build Goizueta’s global brand while also working to raise student quality and enhance student experience—another strategic University theme. Part of that enhanced experience is the requirement that BBA students complete two years of liberal arts education before entering the business school, a sequence that Emory believes contributes something important and distinctive to our preparation of business leaders. This requirement is perfectly in keeping with the goal of making the student experience at Emory as rich and strong as possible. The rise in rankings during Larry’s tenure suggests that others are taking note of the quality of our business students’ experience.

Lastly, in addition to the longstanding joint degree programs at the graduate level, the new joint concentrations between the BBA program and the College have furthered closer collaboration between the business school and the University—one of Jim Wagner’s priorities as president. He believes strongly in the notion there is one Emory. We are one institution, and to the extent that the schools foster collaborations and strengthen each other as they strengthen themselves, that is what Emory needs to be doing.

Goizueta’s students continue to achieve top employment numbers


98% of the class of 2013 reported job offers three months post-graduation.

As reported by Poets & Quants, “For the second consecutive year, Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business boasted the best MBA placement record of any U.S. business school in the Top 30, with 98.1% of the Class of 2013 reporting job offers three months after graduation.”

“Our career success is due, in large part, to our high caliber student population. We are pleased that Goizueta MBAs continue to be sought after by the world’s best companies,” says Wendy Tsung, associate dean & executive director of Goizueta’s MBA Career Management Center (CMC).

Goizueta’s CMC partners with students early in the course of their MBA experience, starting even before they arrive on campus. The team is staffed by a director, four full-time career coaches, and two employer relations staffers, an office manager and recruiting coordinator. Their dedication to offer students access to top companies is matched by a commitment to prepare students for every stage of the job search process.

“Since the school revamped its curriculum so that the core is taught in the first semester, students with full-time offers at the end of their internships have more than doubled. The early start, the one-semester core, the early outreach by the career staff along with their close follow-up has made a huge difference in the school’s outcomes,” reports Poets & Quants.

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The immediacy of digital strategy

Venessa Jeswani 08BBA, manager of digital strategy at BBDO, NYC

Immediately after a power outage caused a bank of lights to go out in the Superdome during this year’s Super Bowl, the creative team at Oreo jumped into action. Within minutes, the team tweeted a photo of a partially obscured Oreo cookie – mimicking the scene at the Superdome – and the phrase: “Power Out? No Problem. You can still drunk in the dark.”

On a night when 30-second television spots set advertisers back as much as $3.8 million, the 11 word, no cost, real-time tweet stole the show.  It’s the kind of immediate impact that makes digital strategy so exciting, explained Venessa Jeswani 08BBA, manager of digital strategy at BBDO, NYC.  Positioned at the intersection of strategic management and marketing and business strategy, digital strategy draws on a clear understanding of an organization’s vision, goals, and advantages to maximize the effect – and business benefits – of digital initiatives.

At BBDO, Jeswani analyzes “what content people are engaging with and what they’re doing with it” across various digital platforms.  After gathering data, she drives insights and provides BBDO’s creative team with an additional, analytically informed perspective. “I get to use my analytical skills set to develop big picture strategies,” she says.

Given the relative newness of digital strategy, it’s not surprising that every member of BBDO’s 12-member digital strategy team is under the age of thirty. Perhaps more surprising is the client Jeswani is currently charged with assisting: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company by revenue, and one whose history predates the invention of the automobile.  These days Jeswani’s job is to help the corporatation ensure that its online presence is relevant and accessible for users across all devices, especially mobile, so consumers can access real-time, relevant information about its products.

Prior to joining BBDO, Jeswani held a similar position at Digitas. She began her career at Ogilvy & Mather and while there recognized that “digital was the way to go.” Emory connections helped Jeswani land a summer internship Ogilvy that morphed into a full-time job. “Emory gave me a foot in the door,” she says.  The Emory network also gave her a base in her new city.  Several alums worked alongside Jeswani at Ogilvy, and she became a regular at Emory alumni and industry events in Manhattan.

It didn’t take long for Jeswani to fall in love with the city. From exploring new restaurants to working with Free Arts NYC, an organization that provides underserved children and families with arts, crafts, and mentoring programs, Jeswani was hooked.

On her Twitter page, Jeswani describes herself as of “Indian descent, Manila born, Barbados heritage.” She grew up in the Philippines, and her grandparents currently live in Barbados – a place Jeswani might begin visiting more often to check off an item on her to-do list: surfing. “I love water sports and adventure sports,” she says.  Jeswani has been skydiving, scuba diving, cliff diving, and parasailing, but she has yet to surf. If flying to Barbados to hang ten with her grandparents isn’t an easy option, there’s always the Jersey Shore.

-Allison Shirreffs

Goizueta Hispanic/Latino Student Recruitment Advisory Board

Goizueta Foundation Scholars and Alumni Reunion

Goizueta Foundation Scholars and Alumni Reunion

The Goizueta Business School Office of MBA Admissions is proud to announce the formation of the Goizueta Hispanic/Latino Student Recruitment Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will provide Goizueta important thought leadership on recruiting and enrolling Hispanic/Latino professionals across MBA programs. A grant from the Goizueta Foundation helps to fund this initiative.

Goizueta champions diversity and all it has to offer. Not only is diversity one of the school’s core values, but as a top business school, Goizueta believes strongly that a diverse community fuels better business results by combining multiple perspectives into valuable insight.

Rebbecca Kaplan

Rebbecca Kaplan, assistant director of MBA Admissions and manager of Hispanic student recruitment

“Goizueta Business School strives to uphold the principles of the school’s namesake, Mr. Roberto C. Goizueta, by championing diversity and excellence in education,” says Rebbecca Kaplan, assistant director of MBA Admissions and manager of Hispanic student recruitment.  “To this end, the Goizueta Hispanic/Latino Student Recruiting Advisory Board will harness the talent of local business and non-profit leaders, to assist the School in identifying new opportunities to expand our presence in the community and enroll more Latino students across our nationally ranked MBA programs.”

The Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting in July and has plans for an active year. Most recently the Goizueta Foundation Scholars and Alumni Reunion was held to bring together past and current recipients of the Goizueta Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship is intended to broaden educational opportunities for college-going Hispanic students in the state of Georgia. The Board helped plan the event and several members attended and engaged with students, speaking on behalf of the Goizueta MBA programs.

Members of the Advisory Board represent various leadership positions from area corporations and non-profits, including Sun Trust, AT&T, UPS, the Latin American Association, and INROADS, among other organizations. Goizueta Business School is honored to welcome these leaders as the inaugural members of the Goizueta Hispanic/Latino Student Recruitment Advisory Board, as they bring many years of meaningful experience, leadership, and insight to the table.

Goizueta women work together to foster community


It’s been a busy start to the 2013-2014 academic year for Goizueta Women in Business (GWIB). The student led organization provides professional and personal development opportunities for women at Goizueta by fostering relationships inside and outside the Emory community.

“Having a community of likeminded individuals is very important. There aren’t very many women at the MBA level in business school and GWIB does a great job of bringing outside expertise in as well as fostering the talent on campus,” says Eve Rosenzweig, associate professor of information systems & operations management and GWIB faculty advisor.

The group also partners with GWIB alumni and other alumni groups for networking opportunities and to share experiences. “Some of what GWIB does is networking, some of it is addressing problems faced in the workforce and providing opportunities to give back,” says Rosenzweig.

New to the agenda is the Women in Business Mentor Program. This initiative pairs GWIB members as mentors with members of Emory Women in Business (EWIB), an undergraduate organization comprised of Goizueta BBA women and undergraduate women interested in business throughout the university.

Rachel Lattimore 14MBA, VP of community and alumni outreach, leads the new initiative to mentor undergraduates. “GWIB acts as a forum for women to connect as a community and provides a supportive environment to help them be successful as students and professionals,” says Lattimore.

Most recently GWIB hosted a networking event for members, Goizueta female faculty, and key female staff persons. Interim Dean Maryam Alavi, faculty from across the business school, and women staff members in leadership at the Goizueta attended.

Soojin Yim, assistant professor of finance, attended the event and advises students to get to know each other outside of the classroom. She commented on the importance of groups like GWIB and their efforts to foster community. “Often times it’s the informal relationships you build that become most valuable in the future,” says Yim.

GWIB has a number of events planned to round out the semester, including more networking among internal university groups and external organizations and several community service opportunities for members.