Scholarship donors boost business students to new heights
By Michelle Hiskey | Development Communications | Aug. 19, 2013
When Roberto C. Goizueta spoke at the 1994 dedication of his namesake business school at Emory University, he challenged the audience to find the courage and wisdom to add a “completely distinctive” value to society.
Today, scholarship funding supports the qualities that fulfill Goizueta’s vision. For six top MBA students who are preparing for careers in global business, scholarship funding paves the way to important firsts.
First in his family: With scholarship support from the Woodruff Foundation and Consortium Fellowship, Darell Singleterry Jr. 15MBA has the freedom to study what he is most passionate about without the pressure to work or worry about student loans. The funding enabled him to travel abroad for the first time. He is the first member of his family to attend college.
“I have a never-ending sense of curiosity and I am committed to lifelong learning,” he says. “I want to study the dynamics of globalization both inside and outside the classroom. The scholarship is very significant to me in many ways, but the biggest is psychologically.”
First sign that risks pay off: In her home country of El Salvador, Giselle Barrera 15MBA worked for a petroleum company that offered to pay for her MBA expenses if she stayed there. She said no, gambling that she could get into a top American business school and find a scholarship to support her. Goizueta offered assistance through a scholarship funded by the family foundation of alumna Sarah Beth Brown 89MBA.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and wanted to get a world-class education that would help me make a bigger difference,” Barrera says. “The Brown MBA Scholarship turned possibility into a reality for me. I hope one day I am able to pay it forward to a student who—just like me—has all the drive and capabilities to attend Goizueta but lacks the financial resources to make it happen.”
First step to a new career: In her three years as an engineer, Heather Eisenman 15MBA discovered what she loved most: project management and interacting with clients. To advance, she needed more business knowledge; to pursue a full-time MBA, she would have to give up her job.
Enter the Forte Foundation Scholarship, given through Goizueta and Forte, a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of women in business.
“I did not think pursuing an MBA full time was possible,” Eisenman said. “The Forte scholarship made it reality. Scholarship donors allow more potential students to take the leap.”
First immersion into life-changing travel: Antoinette Rodriguez 14MBA is a Teach for America alumna who plans to apply Goizueta’s lessons in business strategy to public schools and nonprofits. Her education is funded through the Roberto C. Goizueta MBA Scholarship and Consortium Fellowship, which also allowed her to travel to South Africa.
“This has been one of the most transformational experiences of my life,” Rodriguez said of her MBA. “I go to school with some of the most brilliant and kind individuals. I get to travel to incredible places. Most important, I get two years to learn, reflect, and grow.”
Making Goizueta Business School the first choice: Sean McLeskey 14MBA was an engineer intrigued by the high-level decision making in his company. To join those leaders, he needed an MBA. McLeskey was drawn to Goizueta for its reputation, national ranking, career center and family roots. His wife, Kristin Fortin McLeskey 08C, had just earned a master’s degree, and the couple didn’t want to increase their student debt.
McLeskey considered schools with lower costs until he received the Bill Elfrink Scholarship. Elfrink 48BBA was a World War II veteran who built a successful insurance and loan agency. “The award helped tip the cost-benefit scales for Goizueta,” McLeskey says. “My experiences in my first year were more than I could have hoped for. I am so thankful for this scholarship helping me to make the decision to attend GBS.”
Making an important first impression: Tim Heine 14MBA wanted to move from selling financial products into the niche field of distressed investing. One company he hopes to work for is Hudson Advisors, but he needed an MBA. Heine was drawn to Emory’s Center for Alternative Investments.
In one of Heine’s first-semester classes, several Hudson executives participated as guest speakers. These connections helped Heine land a summer associate position at the firm.
“My next step is to convert this summer position to full-time employment,” said Heine, who is the Life of Georgia/Richard Agnor Scholar in Finance. “It couldn’t have worked out any better.”