Jeff Witt is currently a student at the Harvard Business School where he is pursuing an MBA. He was a fall 2009 John Jay Fellow and continues to serve in the Air National Guard as a reserve F-16 pilot.
How has your time at the John Jay Institute influenced your thinking about pursuing a career in business?
My time as a Fellow at the John Jay Institute gave me the opportunity to think deeply about the proper purpose and goal of business. It helped me see business in a historical context, a social context, and a moral and theological context. Ultimately it helped me understand that a career in business can and should be always oriented toward and contributing to the flourishing of the communities in which it participates.
Given your pathway to this point, what has brought you in this direction?
I have felt in my heart, even from a young age, a responsibility to act as a leader in the communities of which I have been a part, ranging from my high school football team to my Air Force officer commissioning class. Because of this sense of responsibility, I have sought opportunities to develop the virtues and skills that would enable me to become a trustworthy leader of good judgment. It was with this in mind that I chose to pursue an MBA following my military career. I thought an education in business could contribute to my development as a well-rounded thinker and leader, especially within the context of American society, where business has such an important role. I intend, at least in the near term, to work in business.
What do you think is the theologically-informed purpose of business? How does it play into God's plan and purpose for the earth and humanity?
I believe that business is one of the best means that God has given us for developing order and organization within human activity, for allocating natural and human resources in ways that enable shared prosperity, and for coordinating social action through peaceful means that respect human freedom. I believe that business should seek to serve society and neighbor by providing goods and services that are needful and that conduce to human flourishing.