The Goizueta Business School offers students both a wide variety of MBA programs and a wide variety of MBA specializations.

The school’s heavy emphasis on communication and teamwork skills were notably rewarded when it was recently ranked in the top 10 by the Wall Street Journal for “communication skills and ability to work in a team.”

Below is the four-page transcript of our interview with Julie Barefoot, Director of Admissions.

How much time do you spend explaining how to pronounce the name Goizueta?

I explain it on a regular basis.  I always tell people that I pronounce it “gauze-sweat-ah” – Goizueta.  At the groundbreaking event for the Business School, Mr. Goizueta started his speech (jokingly) by apologizing to the students of the program because he said that for the rest of their lives they will have to repeat the pronunciation of their alma mater.  It is a Cuban name and once you get used to it, it just rolls off your tongue.

It seems that the Goizueta MBA Program has been moving quickly up the ranks towards a top 10 MBA program.  What has led to the program’s rapid success?

It has been really exciting time at Goizueta.  Some of the changes and developments have been going on for quite some time. The real focus of the momentum changed when Tom Robertson, who is our current dean, came on board.  He was able to move the program forward very rapidly.  We had a new building, a new name (Goizueta Business School) and he put in place a very aggressive strategy and made the commitment to move us forward in a number of different areas.  He encouraged curricular innovations.  We are able to provide the scholarship dollars to recruit the absolute best class every year.  He made a commitment to diversity.  He also made a decision to add a Ph.D. program that ramped up the intellectual capital within the school.  We had to add a number of faculty slots and it was a wonderful time to recruit Ph.D.s.  The students are excited and enthusiastic about all these changes.

What general advice would you want applicants considering Goizueta’s MBA to know?

There are so many things, but first and foremost, I think they need to know who we are.  We have a very diverse student body and I’m really proud of that.  About 1/3 of our students are international and come from all over the world.  Also, 34% of our fall MBA class is women, which I think is the highest of any of the top-tier programs and 11% of our students are minority, which also makes us very proud.  The kind of student who is attracted to Goizueta is someone who wants to be a leader; Goizueta is a small program and we have a strong community.  Students can make a difference here and really demonstrate their leadership skills.  We enroll between 150 to 160 students a year in our 2-year program—about 50 per year in our 1-year program.  At Goizueta, our small size enables students to personalize and tailor the curriculum to their interests.

When do you encourage applicants to apply?

We’re actually quite flexible about that.  We have deadlines but don’t have set decision “rounds.”  I would encourage applicants to apply between November 1 and February 1.  Our application deadline for the 2-year program is mid-March.  If a candidate is interested in being evaluated for a scholarship, then they need to apply by February 1.  I would like to add that for applicants with an undergraduate business degree or a strong quantitative background who really know what they want career-wise, I encourage them to take a serious look at our 1-year program, keeping in mind that it is the same faculty and same degree.  It starts in the summer and the students then join the second year program.  It is very integrated.  I think it is attractive to a lot of students, but candidates must have completed most of the core undergraduate business classes prior to enrollment and be focused in their post MBA career choice to be a good fit for our 1-year program.

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