Refining the MBA
Several schools have recently announced fundamental changes in their MBA programs:
- Ashridge Business School has redesigned its MBA to offer a choice of start dates, open enrollment to a mix of full- and part-time students, and extensive practical experience in global business. The curriculum is designed is based around four key themes: leading change, creating value, embedding sustainability, and managing globally. Narendra Laljani, dean of graduate studies at Ashridge, said “the new MBA is academically robust but focused on practically helping address the complex challenges facing managers and organizations around the world.”
- Bain & Company helped HEC Paris revamp its MBA curriculum. Bain collected data from HEC students and alumni, professors, and companies to assess stakeholder needs around the HEC MBA. The revised program stresses leadership skills, experiential learning, and ethics. “The MBA program will introduce a new curriculum that aims to enhance the participant experience,” said Bernard Garrette, associate dean of the MBA Program. “It will focus on deepening participants’ knowledge of key disciplines while encouraging the development of entrepreneurial, team-building, and leadership skills in an international context.”
- In revising the MBA program at the University of British Columbia, the Sauder School of Business’ Robert H. Lee Graduate School has shifted from a focus on academic disciplines to what it calls the “dynamic skill sets demanded by the global marketplace.” The MBA distills what had been eight specializations and 10 sub-specializations into four integrated career tracks—business innovation, consulting and strategic management, product/service management, and finance. It also introduces a mandatory global immersion module that sends students to China, India, or Denmark, and dramatically increases hands-on learning with companies and organizations. “By embracing an integrated approach that responds to the reality of international business, rather than academic tradition, and focusing on using knowledge in real-world contexts at home and around the globe, we’re equipping students to find success in the hyper-competitive international job market,” Sauder Dean Daniel Muzyka said.
Columbia Starts EMBA-Americas Program
Columbia Business School has launched an executive education program, EMBA-Americas, designed for professionals from across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. The program runs for five semesters over 20 months, with classes meeting for a week approximately once a month, primarily in New York City. After completing the core curriculum over three semesters, students finish their program by choosing from a wide range of electives and international seminars.
McCombs MBA Students Bolster Yoo-hoo Brand
The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has teamed with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group to give MBA students real-life branding experience. DPS tapped a pair of the university’s MBA students to serve as brand consultants for the chocolate drink Yoo-hoo.
Charged with bringing a fresh, innovative approach to marketing the product, the team developed a strategic growth plan for presentation to the company and possible subsequent implementation. The students and DPS are the first participants in the McCombs Brand Experience, an experiential learning initiative launched this year by the Center for Customer Insight and Marketing Solutions at the school.
Cranfield Helping World Food Supply Chain
The Cranfield School of Management is the lead partner in a major research project, Step Change in Agri-Food Logistics Eco-Systems, designed to dramatically improve the global food supply chain. Factors driving the three-year initiative include rising food demands from a growing global population, increasing energy prices, and the need to reduce environmentally damaging emissions. “In the face of increasing environmental uncertainties and resource limitations, Project SCALE has the ambitious goal of increasing economic competitiveness in the food and drink supply chain, improving environmental sustainability and also improving the well-being of those working in the sector,” said Denyse Julien, senior lecturer in the Supply Chain Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management.
Hopkins to Focus on Business-Healthcare Links
The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has reorganized to focus its degree programs on the study of business issues related to healthcare and the life sciences. “Health care is approaching 20 percent of the national gross domestic product, and it’s a key factor in the costs of any economic model, whether in manufacturing or services,” Interim Dean Phillip Phan said. “Understanding the complexities of the modern health care industry is a crucial skill for any business manager.” The new focus includes an increase in cooperative research and teaching efforts between the business schools with other divisions of Johns Hopkins, particularly its schools of medicine, public health, nursing, and engineering. To date, about 10 professors from those schools have been jointly appointed to the Carey faculty. Also, Carey and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine plan to launch a dual MBA/MD degree program this fall.
Tippie College Dedicates Fifth Habitat House
May saw the dedication of the fifth Habitat for Humanity house built by students, faculty, and staff from the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Constructed for a family that immigrated to the United States from Ivory Coast in 2002 to escape the civil war there, as well as an immigrant from Mali, this latest project is part of the college’s TippieBuild partnership with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity. Tippie College students have raised more than US$250,000 for Habitat for Humanity over the past five years.