3 MBA Programs Equipping Students for the AI-Driven Future

3 MBA Programs Equipping Students for the AI-Driven Future

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to revamp the business landscape, MBA programs worldwide are adapting their curricula to prepare future business leaders for these big transformations. 

The integration of AI into business education is not just about understanding new technology; it is about reshaping the way future leaders think, strategize and operate within their industries. 

Three distinguished professors from leading business schools — NYU Stern, INSEAD and IESE — share their insights, below, on how they are integrating AI into their teaching and preparing students for an AI-driven future. 

The strategic approach at NYU Stern

Robert Seamans, professor of management and organizations at New York University’s Stern School of Business, stresses the profound impact AI will have on white-collar occupations. 

He predicts that AI will transform how work is done across various professions, akin to the impact of computers and the internet. Seamans highlights the importance of lifelong learning and critical thinking, ensuring that MBA students are not just skilled in AI, but are also adaptable to new technologies as they emerge.

“My goal is to make sure students are critical thinkers and lifelong learners. I encourage them to dabble with AI, but try not to put it on a pedestal,” Seamans says. He prepares his students by integrating AI into courses on strategy, game theory and data-driven decision making, while also directing Stern’s Center for the Future of Management, which focuses on the evolving global business landscape.

Seamans acknowledges the current hype cycle around AI investments, advising MBA students to think about the long-term applications of AI in their future careers. “Those that are forward-looking, and thinking actively about how AI can transform the work they do, are the ones that will be best placed to benefit from it in the long term,” he notes.

INSEAD’s multi-faceted approach 

At INSEAD in France and Singapore, Theos Evgeniou, professor of decision sciences and technology management, integrates AI through foundational courses, specialized electives and AI-related sessions in numerous courses. He stresses the importance of MBA students having strong fundamental skills, alongside real-time exposure to how organizations are currently leveraging AI.

“Given the speed of change, it is important to manage two aspects at the same time: make sure the fundamentals are strong, and also ensure exposure to how organizations leverage AI ‘here and now’,” Evgeniou explains. At INSEAD, this is achieved through foundation courses, executive guest-lectures and student projects that apply the latest AI developments.

Evgeniou foresees AI democratizing technology use within organizations, which would enhance efficiency and innovation. He also predicts an increase in AI’s reliability and safety, driven by regulatory requirements and market expectations. “As AI gets adopted in the market, we will see AI organizational maturity improving, and an emphasis on the reliability and safety of AI will also increase,” he says.

IESE’s practical AI insights

Sampsa Samila, professor of strategic management at IESE Business School at Spain, integrates AI into its MBA program by focusing on its managerial implications across the curriculum, while offering elective courses for deeper exploration. Samila views the coming decade as a period of experimentation for companies as they learn to harness AI’s potential.

“Companies will do a lot of experimentation to learn about the impact on their business and organization. Over the rest of the decade, we will see a lot of changes in how we organize and compete based on the learnings from these experiments,” he predicts.

Samila underscores the unique economic properties of AI, which necessitate a different approach compared to previous technologies. He advises MBA students and alumni – managers – to understand these properties to make effective deployment choices. “The idea is to figure out how to create and capture value effectively with AI technology underlying your business,” he explains. This involves designing organizational transformations while continually learning about the technology’s implications.

Looking ahead

All three professors agree that while predicting specific future trends in AI is challenging, the focus should remain on understanding AI’s economic and organizational impacts. They illustrate how business schools worldwide are equipping their MBA students with the skills to navigate and lead in an AI-driven world.

By integrating AI into their curricula, these MBA programs are not only preparing students for the immediate changes AI will bring but also fostering a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability.


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