EMORY MBA STUDENTS FOCUS THEIR EXPERTISE ON JF&CS GRADWORKS PROGRAM Three of the Goizueta students with Rick Aranson at the 21st Annual Larry Bregman, M.D., Educational Conference. (L to R) Joseph Moore, Kathryn Gelder, Rick Aranson, Fatima Wyche.

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

Consistently ranked among the top business schools in the world, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has a reputation for developing future leaders who make a positive impact on society. Lynn Redd, President of Jewish Family & career Services (JF&CS), learned of a program offered by the school, Goizueta Nonprofit Consultants (GNC), designed to assist metro Atlanta nonprofit organizations with social enterprise projects. The program provides selected nonprofits with a team of graduate students to focus on key strategic opportunities and challenges.

JF&CS applied for the program and after a highly competitive process and significant vetting, they were chosen as one of four nonprofits in the Atlanta area to benefit from the services of a GNC team. Four Emory MBA students worked with JF&CS throughout the winter and spring of 2014.

The team of students focused their expertise on GradWORKS, a program being re-energized in JF&CS’ Career Services – Tools for Employment division. GradWORKS will provide an array of resources for recent college graduates who are looking for employment. The students selected this particular program because it deeply resonated with them, as they are all fairly recent college graduates who understand the struggles of finding a job. Together, the team worked with Arvin Goldberg, Director of Tools for Employment, and Rick Aranson, Chief Operating Officer, to develop a business strategy for the program as it is prepared for launch later this year.

“This process has taken our vision for GradWORKS and helped to formalize it and make it actionable,” said Aranson. “We look forward to providing this new service to the community over the next 12 months. We are also in the process of designing a test pilot program that we intend to launch before the end of the year.”

To gain a better understanding of the broader array of JF&CS’ services and so they could view the organization as more than just a business project, the students volunteered at the 21st Annual Larry Bregman, M.D., Educational Conference. Bregman, a program for adults with developmental disabilities, their families and their caregivers, offers classes that emphasize topics such as being part of the community, being a self-advocate and living a healthy lifestyle. This experience served as a window into the Developmental Disabilities Services and gave the students a hands on view of JF&CS’ impact in the community.

Based on the success of the graduate students, this summer will see an undergraduate student from Goizueta’s Servant Leadership Internship Program beginning a project with JF&CS. “We are most grateful to Ellen Williams from Goizueta’s Social Enterprise program and to Ellen Macht, student advisor on the project,” Aranson said. “We are excited to continue this relationship and to see what the future brings.”

Editor’s note: for more, please visit www.ytfl.org/gradworks or contact gradworks@jfcs-atlanta.org or (770) 677-9358.