MBA Academics

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If you take the networking, career search and fun from the MBA, what’s left ? Classes, of course. Your tuition should cover all the basics, but we have compiled a few resources you might find useful for your research.

Mobile apps that can smooth MBA path

Business school students need to maximise their study time, be able to contact classmates easily and keep abreast of extracurricular events. So which smartphone apps are the most useful when it comes to streamlining timetables and workload? The Financial Times’ MBA bloggers offer their top choices. Jess Webb, at the University of Edinburgh Business School, says WhatsApp has been essential from day one. Its group conversation function means there is an all-class group and mini groups for assignments, treks and clubs. “And someone is always online to help with questions,” she says. The app’s ability to work with international numbers and various languages really helps “when you have 23 nationalities in your cohort”, she says. Her school offers easy access to course material through a mobile learning app called Blackboard, while ParticiPoll allows real-time online polling in class discussions. Marta Szczerba favours GroupMe, a messaging app that works across smartphones, tablets and a desktop computer. The Harvard Business School student also relies on Venmo to make instant payments. She adds that HBS has two apps that were invaluable when trying to get an administrative grip on campus life. An app called Thrive provides everything from canteen opening times to fitness sessions, while Learning Hub lists details for all courses and classes. Some apps can help in your preparations for an MBA. Apricot Wilson will start China Europe International Business School in Shanghai next year and is using Skritter to get up to speed with the language’s characters. “It lets you practice writing them on screen and then compares the character you have drawn with a flashcard,” she says.Read full story: Financial...

Your MBA In 300 Words

What’s the best management advice you’ve ever received? That was one question we asked Fortune 500 CEOs in our annual survey. Their answers were terse, but enlightening. We offer you the best, below. The most frequent theme was to focus on building the right team: “You are no better than your team.” “Surround yourself with great people, and great things happen!” “Hire the best people and give them the freedom to operate their business/dept., demand transparent communication and hold them accountable for the results.” Also frequently mentioned: “Listen”: “You have 2 ears and one mouth – use them in this ratio.” “Listen more then move with speed.” “Lead with questions, not answers.” The need to be ruthless in setting priorities was also a popular topic: “ Focus on one or two top priorities.” “Spend your time on the important, not the urgent.” “Focus your energy on a few things and delegate the rest.” And pacing was on the minds of many: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” “Nothing wrong with getting rich slowly.” “Don’t get too low with the lows or too high with the highs.” “Start small, fail fast, scale quickly.” The importance of values in an age of transparency was another recurrent theme: “Leadership is built on a foundation of values and only with strong values will our efforts to lead be sustainable and successful long-term.” “Always operate with integrity and excellence.” “Tell the truth.” “Do everything as if it will be on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.” And then there were a few random chestnuts: “Don’t screw up.” “Prepare, prepare, prepare!” “Company first, career second.” “Leadership is action, not position.” “Take your vitamins, you’ll need them.” Read full story:...

MBA books for 2016

Looking for something to read? Try these MBA related...

5 Awesome Benefits Millennials Gain From Their MBA...

Congratulations! You’ve earned your undergraduate degree and have started your very first job out of college. Those all-nighters have finally paid off. After receiving my B.A. in English and Political Science from The University of Texas at Austin, I decided to put my degree to good use and sell women’s shoes at Nordstrom for six months. I eventually went back for a Masters Degree and found out that a background in English can actually get you far in the startup world as a Content Marketer. But enough about me. The point I’m trying to make here is that college grads don’t always know what career path they wish to pursue straight out of college. If you aren’t going to law or medical school directly after your undergraduate studies, you are suddenly left with a variety of random options and job paths. This in mind, millennials today are recognizing the value of pursuing a higher degree of education. Of course, additional degrees aren’t necessary in order to be successful, but they can open a door of opportunities that otherwise would have remained closed. Consider an MBA, for example. Sure, there are many well-known entrepreneurs (i.e. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg) who have remained “MBAless” and have had wildly successful careers. Unfortunately, not all of us have what it takes to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Time for an MBA? Paul Ollinger, stand-up Comedian and Author of the new book, You Should Totally Get an MBA: A Comedian’s Guide to Top U.S. Business Schools, uses humor as a vehicle to provide business school applicants (of all ages) with great advice about what it takes to earn an MBA. After receiving his MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Ollinger decided to write...

Read Like an MBA: Top 5 Books Ivy Leaguers Read in Business School...

Want to get an Ivy League MBA education without the six-figure cost? It’s simple: read like an MBA student! We dug into the best school’s required reading lists Take a look at what MBA seekers at America’s top Ivy League schools are reading. Harvard Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robort Sutton and Huggy Rao “A great read that provides read, practical advice whether you’re a team of five or fifty thousand.” ––Lazlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations, Google In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author, Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague, Huggy Rao Sutton offer a comprehensive guide to management in a package of enticing stories, subtly supported by references to high-end research. Their personal history in the Silicon Valley and their global access to interesting organizations provides a relevant backdrop. The main theme is that, while many good practices exist in organizations, they either get lost or there are difficulties when attempts are made to spread them (scale them) across the organization. The breadth of this theme means that this book will provide value to anyone who would like to see organizations improve. The benefits are not limited by industry, functional area or organizational size. Stanford What books do alumni from the Stanford Graduate School of Business recommend? Here’s one: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie “It was written by a guy who made Hallmark cards. It’s about maintaining creativity in a corporate structure.” ––Tristan Walker, founder of Walker & Company Any business can morph into a giant hairball, a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems based on what worked in the past that can plunge it into mediocrity. Gordon MacKenzie...

Why Top Companies And MBA Programs Are Teaching Improv...

It’s the standard business school storyline: A manager decides to get an executive MBA degree and starts classes with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. “You may have reached that point in your career where you’re middle management, you’ve done many things right, you’ve had some failures that you’ve learned from, [and] you could be molded into thinking you’ve figured some things out,” says Michael Desiderio, executive director of the Executive MBA Council, a nonprofit association that works with more than 200 universities and colleges that offer executive MBA programs. “You think there are some things you know, and you quickly figure out your peers can help you identify what you don’t know by asking challenging questions that you wouldn’t have even thought of, because you have one frame of reference,” he adds. “It completely changes how you think about enterprise and business.” Executive MBA programs—designed for senior professionals who have at least seven years of experience—have been a way for managers to develop an edge in their business acumen. Depending on the program, training consists of rethinking standard leadership practices and management structures, and immersing students in specific foreign cultures with programs catering to new professions, like a wine-intensive MBA program. The thing is, if you’re going to cultivate exceptional leaders, you’re going to need some innovative training. Enter improvisational classes, which may not be the first thing that comes to mind when putting together an executive MBA curriculum, but Desiderio says can be very effective in helping leaders identify—and admit—their deficiencies. So much so that dozens of mega companies, like Google, PepsiCo, and McKinsey have included improv sessions in their own corporate training. GETTING THROWN A CURVEBALL WHILE IN TRAINING—LIKE DANCING OR SINGING—IS BELIEVED TO...

Why NYU’s B-School Teaches Mindfulness

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Yale’s Ted Snyder is Business School Dean of the Year...

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Business School Faculty Feedback: A Tool For Excellence Or Appeasement?...

Faculty feedback is supposed to be a great tool to assess the quality of education being imparted in an academic institution. For academics in general and business schools in particular, the faculty feedback mechanism is considered to be the vital component, key element, important parameter , an effective tool and clear indicator for assessments and appraisals. For B-schools, the significance of feedback is even more keeping in mind the market orientation of MBA degree. Simply put, MBA degree is mostly result oriented with clear outcomes (job opportunities) for the consumers (students). Hence, students ought to have the real power to evaluate the quality of service providers (teachers). Let us understand the importance of faculty feedback system in business schools. Most of the schools use the students’ feedback to assess the faculty, courses, delivery, pedagogy and content; some schools connect it to evaluate faculty’s yearly appraisal. There are several debates and meetings conducted inside the schools on how the faculty feedback system should be understood and interpreted. This is applied from top rated to schools to ordinary schools. Some schools evaluate based on students’ online digital submissions using some software, while some schools believe in paper-pen based submissions. There are qualitative and quantitative feedbacks. There are also schools that take both subject feedback and faculty feedback to check correlation between a faculty and subject. Many B-Schools – which have started to place emphasis on faculty feedback by their students – do not know the application of the insights thrown by data. And primary reason for inaction is the faculty crunch. This provides a cocoon to faculty with middling performance. The B-Schools are as well happy to keep the feedback system going without any effort to infuse meaning in it. Why...

How MBA schools are trying to teach character, not just skills...

Mary Crossan’s MBA students can analyze business environments in Indonesia and Milwaukee, break down Coke’s brand identity versus Pepsi’s and list three reasons why Uber should pull out of Mexico. But most still aren’t prepared for the assignment Crossan throws at them in the leadership course she teaches at Ivey Business School. Crossan asks her students to close their eyes, clear their minds, and imagine that they’re dying. As they think about their last few days on Earth, and eventually their final moments, she urges the class to consider how they want to live them. Are there conversations they need to have with colleagues or family? Behaviours they want to drop? What’s giving their life a sense of purpose? “It can be challenging for some people,” Crossan says of the 20-minute guided visualization, “but it can also be very liberating and clarifying. It helps you figure out what’s important, and that can help ground you when you face challenging situations later on.” For many MBA programs now, global experience comes standard Imagining the day of their own demise isn’t one of the highly marketable business competencies most grads will eventually list on their C.V.s, but the exercise offers essential insights to future leaders, says Crossan, who’s one of a growing number of MBA instructors interested in teaching leadership character alongside hard skills like accounting and operations management. Who executives are—how they make decisions, what motivates them, how they respond to stress—can be just as important as what they know how to do. Crossan points to Volkswagen’s recent admission that it rigged diesel-engine emissions tests as an example: That ethical lapse wasn’t caused by business incompetency, but rather by key managers’ poor judgment. “We’ve kind of hit a wall on...

7 books every MBA should read before they look for a job...

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have spent my summer in Palo Alto, California, interning on the data science team at Wealthfront, a startup innovating in the financial services sector. I learned an incredible amount over those 12 weeks, not only about the job I was doing but about the many other areas of our business that are crucial to building a world class company. And while I had fantastic resources and opportunities to learn about startups and hypergrowth companies during my first year through Wharton and Wharton FinTech, living and working in Silicon Valley showed me that there is so much that goes into making a successful technology company that my peers and I don’t get exposure to as MBA students. Working with world class designers, engineers, product managers and the rest of my colleagues over the summer gave me a sense for where some of these gaps in my knowledge were. The many conversations I had with my Wealthfront teammates over Blue Bottle Coffee in downtown Palo Alto gave me insight into what they do every day and where I can learn more. And because Wealthfront is led by executives from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Greylock, and many other Silicon Valley institutions  —  people who have built and invested in billion dollar businesses  —  I felt I had to take full advantage of their knowledge. So I also reached out directly to them to get recommendations on the best places to read about their respective domains from the perspective of someone without specific knowledge of their role and how they think. As a result, I’ve put together what I now call the MBA Startup Reading List: a collection of books (and a few blog posts) that constitute the...

The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Business Books...

Who has time to read anymore? Except for billionaires of course, somehow they always find time to read books, newspapers, and the Robb Report. It must be nice to be one of the few lucky people with the financial freedom to spend an hour each day for reading, thinking, and self-improvement. How can ordinary mortals with less than 3 commas ever catch up to them? Getting an MBA at business school helps, but that costs $100,000 and two years. Reading a lot of books is equivalent to an MBA, but then again, if people had time to read entire books they would already be financially independent and not need to read said books. The rich only get richer, because they read! So, as a small personal contribution to the struggle against wealth inequality, we came up with a solution. Compile the top investing and business books and summarize each with a one-sentence takeaway. Absorbing our list of takeaways provides almost all the benefits of reading the books, but only requires five minutes. For example, if we were listing the best movies of each decade and its key takeaway, the first entry would be: The 5-Minute MBA: 90’s movies Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes: Always bet on black Now, for your education and amusement, “The 5-minute MBA”. The 5-Minute MBA: Stocks Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd: Use fundamental analysis and buy below intrinsic value The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: Buy with a margin of safety from Mr. Market Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letters by Warren Buffett: Value investing works Money Masters by John Train: Value investing works with different investors Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher: Buy companies that grow Margin of Safety by Seth...