|Emory Dean Erika James|
Some schools turn themselves inside out to make themselves relevant to the complexities of business today. Most align with other programs (medicine, journalism, engineering and law, e.g.) and consider altering the structure and timetable of degree offerings. Many now require overseas study (usually in the student's second year) and combine courses like finance, marketing and operations to show prospective employers that MBA graduates have depth across disciplines and functions. Sure, they continue to have required content. Students cannot avoid a core curriculum of economics, statistics, marketing, accounting, operations, policy, and finance.
It's all inevitable. It's normal for business schools to introduce new disciplines, programs and initiatives every year to keep up and stay relevant. The sample below tells what's going on at many Consortium schools in early 2015.
Students, too, still haven't forgotten about how the predictable, safe careers paths of their elders were derailed in the late 2000's. MBA graduates, Thomas said, are choosing "meaning and purpose" in what they want to do. Sometimes what they want to do is not doing what they can to secure a spot at Morgan Stanley or McKinsey.
Like many top schools, Georgetown encourages and helps arrange international experience. It sponsors a "Global Business Experience" program, where students are assigned to a company in a foreign "client" country and recommend solutions in finance, operations and organization structure.
Today, entrepreneurship (via academic study, special institutes, coursework, and student groups) is a major concentration at most schools. They offer a long slate of courses and invite successful alumni regularly to explain their start-up stories to eager students. Students devote time to start-up ideas or legitimate business plans, and schools arrange for venture funding, sponsor competitions, and organize alumni networks to help students take signficant steps to execute their plans.
USC-Marshall now offers a master's degree in entrepreneurship and innovation. Cornell-Johnson sponsors its version of the "Shark Tank" television program, where students present their ideas and detailed plans to panels of professionals. (A "Shark Tank" on its campus is scheduled for Feb. 15.)
En route to Emory, she and others have done interesting research on women as CEO's of major companies. They examined what happens to the stock price of a public company when it announces it has appointed a woman CEO. Research shows that in many cases (all other factors being controlled or acknowledged), the stock price declines. They tried to explain the cause. Often, the decline might be caused by the market's lack of confidence in the selection or by a perception that investors force women heads to prove themselves before share prices catch up.
Researchers indicate employees are more productive and more committed to job functions when they understand their impact on bottom-line performance and understand what the company must do to reach revenue-profit goals.
The Yale MBA students provide guidance in leadership, finance, and organization management, based on their experiences and studies. The undergraduates get to have an MBA "big brother or sister" in their midst and learn something about the value of graduate business education. Yale SOM gets to steer smart minds toward an eventual Yale MBA.
CFN: Wall Street's Favorite Business Schools, 2014
CFN: Yale SOM Gets a New Look, 2014
CFN: Georgetown Becomes the Consortium's Newest School, 2013
CFN: Wisconsin: Preparing for a Diverse World, 2014
CFN: Is the MBA Under Attack? 2013
CFN: MBA Diversity: A Constant Effort to Keep Up, 2012
CFN: Fighting the Gender Fight at Harvard Business School, 2013