Taylor Goldsmith - MBA
When Taylor Goldsmith decided he was going to pursue his MBA, he knew he wanted to find a program that offered two things: 1) A flexible schedule that would fit with his busy lifestyle, and 2) A program that focused on the business worldview from a Christian perspective.
He found both at Southeastern University.
Goldsmith, vice president of marketing and sales at Goldsmith Construction in Lakeland, Florida, said he was drawn to Southeastern’s accommodating schedule. He completed his MBA in 18 months, and never had to attend class more than two nights a week.He chose to take classes on campus instead of online because he preferred the face-to-face interaction with professors. He appreciated that interaction even more as he developed stronger relationships with the Southeastern faculty.
Goldsmith, 26, also wanted to be exposed to the Christian perspective of business. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and worked at his family’s construction business for more than six years before enrolling at Southeastern. He knew how the traditional business world operated, and he wanted a stronger ethical foundation from his MBA.
“(Other schools) try to teach ethics, and it doesn’t connect because there’s no solid foundation from where they’re trying to pull it from,” Goldsmith said.
Once he was enrolled, Goldsmith was not disappointed.
Goldsmith said his family’s business has always been run with Christian ethics, but he credited Southeastern with broadening his view on how businesses can help others. He discovered that business can be a tool for ministry and influence rather than just a money-making machine.
He credited Southeastern for a recent marketing initiative he put together around the Mayfaire by the Lake arts festival held annually in Lakeland. Goldsmith’s company was renovating an historic home around the lake, but rather than simply putting a sign out front with his business’s name on it he decided to provide ice-cold towels to help the patrons cool off in the blistering heat.
At first he intended to sell the towels, but he knew the best way to serve people was to give them away for free. The servant-focused teaching he received at Southeastern helped him change his mind.
“Whenever we meet people and we look them in the eye, we feel confident that they see Christ,” he said.
Goldsmith also put more of an emphasis on online marketing after he earned his MBA, developing a new website for his company that is easier for prospective customers to use. He has seen instant results as people have searched the floor plans and contacted the company’s office by visiting the site.
During his Marketing Management class, he produced a Power Point presentation outlining marketing strategies for Goldsmith Construction. When he graduated, he went to work implementing those strategies – creating awareness and targeting new prospects – and saw instant results with the growth of his company’s remodeling business. That growth has helped the company stay strong as new construction has dipped during the recession.
Southeastern’s business faculty had a major influence on Goldsmith.
Dr. Joe Childs, dean of the College of Business, facilitated the MBA program’s course on the National Leadership Forum, an event held every year on Southeastern’s campus. MBA students either attend the event or participate in discussions related to the topics and speakers, with former President George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice among the recent speakers to attend.
Dr. Childs also taught a course covering different business theories. Goldsmith came away from that course with the understanding that even though there are many prominent business theories out there, they all have a common core of principles.
Goldsmith also enjoyed the MBA capstone class, taught by Dr. William Hahn. The class featured a business simulation where students in teams of four had to manage different aspects of a new company, earning points based on areas such as marketing and profits. Goldsmith’s team finished in the top 1 percent of the world in the international competition.<
“That course served its purpose,” he said. “It brought all the other courses together.”
Goldsmith isn’t ready to disconnect from the Southeastern community. He said he enjoyed giving presentations and helping classmates so much that he would like to eventually join the business faculty at some point.