Understanding the Global Perspective
"... being concerned about sustainability is not just talk — it’s reality."
Over his 30 years of teaching college, he’s seen many changes, both in how technology has revolutionized course delivery and how national and global trends have impacted the business curriculum. For example, he says Goizueta has ramped up its offerings in entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to cause-related businesses.
“The talk about millennials being interested in creating or working for social enterprises and being concerned about sustainability is not just talk — it’s reality,” he said.
Rosensweig says his “enduring interest” in global business began early in his career, and his inspiration was a mix of world events coupled with personal experience. For example, he studied at the University of Oxford at what he calls a fascinating time in the history of the United Kingdom: Margaret Thatcher had just become prime minister, and she went on to lead an economic revolution. He also recalls when Deng Xiaoping came into power in China, opening the country’s market to the world. Finally, while earning his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rosensweig spent time consulting in Jamaica, a country with a developing economy.
These firsthand cross-cultural experiences, especially those involving underdeveloped nations, led to his realization that private businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and sensible public policy were all needed to help alleviate poverty — together. This idea has informed not just his research and teaching, but also his initiatives with Goizueta’s Robson Center. For example, Rosensweig recognized a prime opportunity for collaboration between the business school and Emory’s Center for Public Health.
"I try to help build their sense of self-esteem and prevent that spiral of feeling deflated."
Between teaching, consulting, speaking engagements and charitable work, Rosensweig is quite busy. But he finds he’s able to keep up with all facets of his life by finding ways to combine them.
“I create synergies between them,” he said of his various endeavors.
For example, if he’s set to speak to a group of CEOs, he’ll research their industry in depth, which then allows him to teach related topics more effectively. His academic research interests continue to fuel his speeches and classroom lectures. And he says his keynote talks often end up creating opportunities for Goizueta students.
“An executive may hear me speak and then say, ‘Hey, Jeff. You must have some good students. Maybe we should recruit at Goizueta,’” Rosensweig explains. And they do.
He also says his students keep him young and engaged. Many of his MBA students, from all over the world, already have considerable business experience. He says this continually brings him new perspective.
Likewise, Rosensweig's students benefit from his passion and enthusiasm in the classroom. Patrick Henson, an EMBA graduate and former student of Rosensweig's, said that “Dr. J,” as his students call him, has an excitement about economics that is contagious. “From the first minute of the first session with him, he packed in as much learning as possible in our time together. It was really cool to see how excited he would get about things most of us in the class never really spent much time thinking about. Topics like the jobs report suddenly became dinner conversation material for most of us because of Dr. J’s passion for his ‘doughnut ratio,’ or the true employment figure,” said Henson.
Rosensweig is proud to have mentored some of Goizueta Business School’s most successful alumni. Always humble, he says he could never take credit for being the only mentor to those “superstars.” Likewise, he makes sure he is there for students who may need a little reinforcement, such as when someone suffers a hit to their self-confidence by not getting a job offer as early as some of their classmates.
“I try to help build their sense of self-esteem and prevent that spiral of feeling deflated,” Rosensweig said. “I hope my own confidence in them helps that turn what could be a vicious cycle into a virtuous circle.”
"If you’re able to find that calling, the wise course may be not to mess that up."
Going beyond, for Rosensweig, means not being restricted by his job description. “I’m never alienated from work,” Rosensweig said, explaining that everything he does seems to tie back to Goizueta. Rosensweig is aware that in today’s world, some people may be criticized for doing the “same thing” for 30 years. But he says he’s ready to weather comments like that. “If you’re able to find that calling, the wise course may be not to mess that up,” he said.