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W&L’s Goodman on Target for Success

Washington and Lee University’s loss is Target’s gain.

Isaiah Goodman will graduate this month from W&L with a major in business administration. And it’s certainly true that this Heinz scholar&rsrsquo;s excellent academic achievements will serve him well. After graduation he will take a position at Target’s Corporate Headquarters in his home state of Minnesota, where he interned during his sophomore year.

“I’ll be a business analyst for merchandise planning,” says Goodman, “and I’m really excited about it.”

His classroom experiences include providing consulting services, with other students, to a project in Brazil. He was also CEO of an advertising class, which designed an ad campaign for an international competition. “We actually won for best planned book for the competition, and were runners-up overall” says Goodman.

“It was a great experience and I was able to lead a lot of students in that project. I could see what it felt like to run a business, or at least an advertising agency. I think experiences like that are important. I’ll be able to look back and say that I led a class for 12 weeks.”

But Goodman feels his non-academic experiences will be equally important.

In his first year of basketball team in 2005-06 season, the General had a 4-19 record. But things improved dramatically over his career. As a junior, he captained the 07-08 team that was 15-11 and became the first squad to be better than .500 in a decade.

Then came his senior season when Goodman helped the Generals reach the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game.

They didn’t win the title, but the 16 wins was the most in two decades. “To be able to say that we made it to a conference final and we did something that nobody expected felt awesome,” says Goodman. “It’s really neat to work hard and then see the payoff. Of course we wish we could have won, but it was still a great experience.”

Besides captaining the basketball team for two years, Goodman is chair of the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). It serves as the liaison between the student athletes and the NCAA. Goodman says that without basketball he would never have been able to have that kind of experience.

He also helped create the campus’s SAAC, which provides a voice for student athletes on campus to help them meet their needs.

Added to that, he founded the Captain’s Council. This first for W&L provides clinics for the captains of sports to help them understand their roles and develop their leadership skills. “I was selected as a sophomore going into my junior year to be a captain,” says Goodman, “and I had no idea what that really meant. So I thought it would be good to create a group that helps captains deal with issues that might arise.”

Goodman says he thinks his experience as captain of the Generals will definitely help him in his future career. “I think it’s going to make me very prepared and probably ahead of the curve.”

But Goodman’s campus activities also include some surprises.

In 2008, he joined a hip-hop dance crew called “The Klazics,” which has performed three times on campus. He also participated in the aerial dance performances at the Lenfest Center for the Arts at the end of May. To the delight of the crowd, he performed a basketball-themed dance that he choreographed himself.

“I think coming to W&L has provided me with a wide variety of amazing experiences,” says Goodman. Let’s hope that Target will give him even more opportunities to shine.