“How lucky we are to be alive right now!”

And some may argue, enrolling in business school during a pandemic is non-academic. Perhaps even my grandma would agree, staying alive past 2020 would be enough and I wouldn’t disagree and call her bluff. Like for most of you, this past year has been rough, but it has made us all strong and tough, and that is enough. The fact is, there are leaders and followers but make sure you are not a reed and you will succeed.

Although COVID-19 was trying to erase our world, Emory was busy trying to keep us all breathing. I can only imagine that leadership isn’t easy. Evening MBAs are business school’s equivalent of warriors so when you see us, don’t delay, it’s best you obey. No one should pretend they aren’t challenged with Zoom MBA, look around, this is the perfect timing to strengthen our resilience, expand our experience and sharpen our brilliance; please no disobedience.

When they finally write the COVID-19 story someday, I imagine our names will be there to stay, at least within Goizueta Business School I pray. Evening MBAs are not afraid to take on even more because anything less, wouldn’t be enough. If you can share a fraction of your virtual smile and laughter with your cohort, that would be enough. There’s a reason you were chosen to be at Goizueta Business School this season, Corey knew you wouldn’t give up for no COVID-19 reason.

And even though the war is not done, promise me you will fight until we can again hug and have fun. I relish to one day see your smiles and hope to get a beer with you at The Righteous Room instead of Zoom. If it takes one semester longer, our bonds will only grow that much stronger because no one wants to wear a mask any longer. Don’t be afraid, Eric is working on the masquerade, maybe even a Goizueta Business School parade.

So long as we finally go to campus someday, that will be enough. This will be part of our legacy, but for now, social distance continuously. Look how far together we’ve come, before you know it, you and I will be part of the alums. You deserve a chance to meet Omar, Gu, Cui, and Usha one on one instead of on Zoom or over the phone. Let’s offer each other peace of mind and make sure no one is left behind because, trust me COVID-19 is not kind. They say good things come to those who wait, so let’s do our part and not let COVID-19 duplicate.

Let this note be the first chapter and let us continue to be adaptors because this monster is a non-factor, and no one should continue to suffer. Shoutout to all nurses, healthcare workers and doctors, you are our heroes, vectors, and protectors. Look around and make sure we all stay above ground. Do your part to be your cohort’s keeper since we lead with courage, integrity, accountability, rigor, diversity, team, and community.

We are Emory Goizueta Business School leaders. I wonder if you know how lucky we are to be alive right now!?

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Fred Mbena

Fred Mbena is a finance professional with a background in Corporate Finance and Accounting. Most recently he was employed by WarnerMedia where he held various roles from financial reporting and analysis to corporate budgets, forecasts and strategy. He has B.S in Accounting from Kennesaw State University and is currently an MBA candidate at Emory University.

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