During the last week in January, Brian Mitchell 00MBA/MPH, associate dean of the Full-Time MBA Program, gathered with a dozen students to discuss On Race, a book by Howard Zinn. It was Mitchell’s current choice for his “Core Values Reading Series,” an informal group that gathers four times a year (after a break, so that students have time to read) to review books that align with Goizueta’s core values. “These core values don’t just exist in business school, but in life as well,” explains Mitchell, who manages the academic, international, and leadership components of the full-time MBA program. “We see the student experience in a holistic way.”
For the past five years, Mitchell’s Reading Series has helped students open their minds to new things. He introduces first-year students to the series by offering them What Got You Here Won’t Get You There , by Marshall Goldsmith, a book that showcases the core value of “rigor” and helps students avoid “resting on the laurels of their past success,” says Mitchell. Over the upcoming spring break, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living , by the Dalai Lama (core value: accountability) suggests to students that there is more to life than big job titles and paychecks. “It’s a great book for students who are about to graduate,” notes Mitchell.
Given that the group’s latest meeting coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and preceded Black History Month, On Race centered on the core value of diversity. The MBA students were impressed by how students at black colleges organized sit-ins without the benefit of social media. And that in the face of something so “blatantly wrong,” said one student, the protests were still peaceful.