How would YOU change MBAs?


ralph
Looks like GMAC (the org that produces GMAT) is offering a $50,000 reward for coming up with the best response to this question:

"What one idea would improve graduate management education??

Come up with the best idea between July 21st and October 8th, and you stand to make a lot of money.

How are they going to judge who's response is best? Looks like some big financial people will be judging, including Rona Fairhead, CEO of the Financial Times Group, Jack Maree, CEO of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group, and Arif Maqvi, CEO and founder of Abraaj Capital.

They're also rewarding four second-place prizes of $25,000 each and ten third-place prizes of $10,000.

After the best answers have been decided, they'll post them on their website and recommend that business schools adopt them.

What would Ralph do? He'd change business education by subsidizing tuition, so students aren't paying $100,000 a semester. He'd also have schools make all of their lecture material available in video format online so that anybody could see it. That way you could have a Hass/Stanford/Wharton education without actually going to those stuffy campuses.
Looks like GMAC (the org that produces GMAT) is offering a $50,000 reward for coming up with the best response to this question:

"What one idea would improve graduate management education??

Come up with the best idea between July 21st and October 8th, and you stand to make a lot of money.

How are they going to judge who's response is best? Looks like some big financial people will be judging, including Rona Fairhead, CEO of the Financial Times Group, Jack Maree, CEO of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group, and Arif Maqvi, CEO and founder of Abraaj Capital.

They're also rewarding four second-place prizes of $25,000 each and ten third-place prizes of $10,000.

After the best answers have been decided, they'll post them on their website and recommend that business schools adopt them.

What would Ralph do? He'd change business education by subsidizing tuition, so students aren't paying $100,000 a semester. He'd also have schools make all of their lecture material available in video format online so that anybody could see it. That way you could have a Hass/Stanford/Wharton education without actually going to those stuffy campuses.
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fishball
That would be horrible. You would be educating the masses and be destroying the valuable cachet that a top MBA has!

I wouldn't subsidize tuition - I think if people want a top MBA, they should sacrifice and pay for it. As it is, MBAs are dime a dozen, if anything, the top schools should further distance themselves from the rest of the masses.

What would I do to change business education? I would look at educating the best and brightest in business, about business. An MBA is about business, and should remain about business - about making money and profit, not about some half baked idea about social responsibility and going green. Not some sky in the pie for engineers who realize that their vocation sucks and that they'll never earn more than a 26 year old MBA in a hedge fund. Not about a bunch of tree huggers looking to go into non-profit.

I would look at educating the best and brightest business minds to make even more money.....
That would be horrible. You would be educating the masses and be destroying the valuable cachet that a top MBA has!

I wouldn't subsidize tuition - I think if people want a top MBA, they should sacrifice and pay for it. As it is, MBAs are dime a dozen, if anything, the top schools should further distance themselves from the rest of the masses.

What would I do to change business education? I would look at educating the best and brightest in business, about business. An MBA is about business, and should remain about business - about making money and profit, not about some half baked idea about social responsibility and going green. Not some sky in the pie for engineers who realize that their vocation sucks and that they'll never earn more than a 26 year old MBA in a hedge fund. Not about a bunch of tree huggers looking to go into non-profit.

I would look at educating the best and brightest business minds to make even more money.....
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Rhino
Fishball, it seems like you are true blood wall street banker.
I wouldn't trust you with a bloomberg machine, you might suck a billion $$$ into your pocket.

If I would change MBA, it would be giving the students a project to create a company and run it for half year, and try to sell it to venture capitalist or private equity firm.
MBA is about management skills, one should know end-to-end process of a business.
From operation, logistic, human resource, marketing, finance, technology, CSR.
You can learn them from textbooks from classrooms all over the world.
However, without any 'real' project to test your knowledge, one won't be able to understand business concepts.
Students should experience what they learn in the classroom.

For example, students won't be able to understand the difference between 'cooking the book and 'creative accounting' if they never experience it.
Fishball, it seems like you are true blood wall street banker.
I wouldn't trust you with a bloomberg machine, you might suck a billion $$$ into your pocket.

If I would change MBA, it would be giving the students a project to create a company and run it for half year, and try to sell it to venture capitalist or private equity firm.
MBA is about management skills, one should know end-to-end process of a business.
From operation, logistic, human resource, marketing, finance, technology, CSR.
You can learn them from textbooks from classrooms all over the world.
However, without any 'real' project to test your knowledge, one won't be able to understand business concepts.
Students should experience what they learn in the classroom.

For example, students won't be able to understand the difference between 'cooking the book and 'creative accounting' if they never experience it.
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ralph
If I would change MBA, it would be giving the students a project to create a company and run it for half year, and try to sell it to venture capitalist or private equity firm.
MBA is about management skills, one should know end-to-end process of a business.


This is a good idea. Since MBA programs are generally stuck in theory, this would be a good practical way to experience what a real business is like. It could even be virtual, like a computer simulation, so as to avoid real risk.
<blockquote>If I would change MBA, it would be giving the students a project to create a company and run it for half year, and try to sell it to venture capitalist or private equity firm.
MBA is about management skills, one should know end-to-end process of a business.</blockquote>

This is a good idea. Since MBA programs are generally stuck in theory, this would be a good practical way to experience what a real business is like. It could even be virtual, like a computer simulation, so as to avoid real risk.
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fishball
Life is a game and money is just the score ;)

But that aside, you've got a pretty good idea about that - however, 6 months to run a company is far to short to experience anything.

It would take at least 1 year to 1.5 years to really experience the entire spectrum of non-technical roles in a company. Maybe a variation of your idea is that by the end of semester 1, students find 2-3 partners and launch a company and run it with advise from professors for the duration of the MBA. On the downside, Harvard has 900 students... that would translate to 300 new companies... I don't think there would be time for classes ;)

Another option. Don't do an MBA - find a business mentor and start your own gig. IB/MC may pay well and get the girl's panties off, but nothing has a better return than a start-up that hits pay dirt.
Life is a game and money is just the score ;)

But that aside, you've got a pretty good idea about that - however, 6 months to run a company is far to short to experience anything.

It would take at least 1 year to 1.5 years to really experience the entire spectrum of non-technical roles in a company. Maybe a variation of your idea is that by the end of semester 1, students find 2-3 partners and launch a company and run it with advise from professors for the duration of the MBA. On the downside, Harvard has 900 students... that would translate to 300 new companies... I don't think there would be time for classes ;)

Another option. Don't do an MBA - find a business mentor and start your own gig. IB/MC may pay well and get the girl's panties off, but nothing has a better return than a start-up that hits pay dirt.

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ralph
I agree that that wouldn't be feasible. That's why I would recommend a virtual way of doing it - I can imagine a decent computer simulation could be arranged, with almost like a game interface. This is a simple example, geared towards sustainability:

http://knowledge.allianz.com/ceo2.html

A bit of programming, and pulling live stock and markets information could provide for a reasonably accurate simulation - and to your argument that 6 months is too short - I would imagine that projections could be built around choices made by the student and future market forces.

In the end, it's school, so this is still admittedly theoretical - but the implications of having students really start their own companies (cost, time, energy) are too serious to do this in real life.

And your last point about not doing an MBA and jumping right in - that can and has worked for many as well. Especially in terms of entrepreneurs - even though the MBA programs today claim to have "entrepreneurial focus" and entire classes geared toward this discipline - I doubt they work as well as actually doing it.
I agree that that wouldn't be feasible. That's why I would recommend a virtual way of doing it - I can imagine a decent computer simulation could be arranged, with almost like a game interface. This is a simple example, geared towards sustainability:

http://knowledge.allianz.com/ceo2.html

A bit of programming, and pulling live stock and markets information could provide for a reasonably accurate simulation - and to your argument that 6 months is too short - I would imagine that projections could be built around choices made by the student and future market forces.

In the end, it's school, so this is still admittedly theoretical - but the implications of having students really start their own companies (cost, time, energy) are too serious to do this in real life.

And your last point about not doing an MBA and jumping right in - that can and has worked for many as well. Especially in terms of entrepreneurs - even though the MBA programs today claim to have "entrepreneurial focus" and entire classes geared toward this discipline - I doubt they work as well as actually doing it.
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fishball

A bit of programming, and pulling live stock and markets information could provide for a reasonably accurate simulation - and to your argument that 6 months is too short - I would imagine that projections could be built around choices made by the student and future market forces.

....

And your last point about not doing an MBA and jumping right in - that can and has worked for many as well. Especially in terms of entrepreneurs - even though the MBA programs today claim to have "entrepreneurial focus" and entire classes geared toward this discipline - I doubt they work as well as actually doing it.


I'm a bit skeptical to whether it will be possible to create sophisticated and complex enough a computer simulation to simulate a start-up. Perhaps an option might to be to split the class into several groups - each representing a stakeholder in an organization, including suppliers and customers - and run it that way. But I'm pretty sure the business schools are way ahead of our thinking :) Maybe Harvard already has a top secret module like that?

As for the entrepreneurship and risk taking at business school... well.... going to business school is hedging your career risks. I'm not sure how many would really get out there and walk the talk - those that do, might have done the same without an MBA.
<blockquote>
A bit of programming, and pulling live stock and markets information could provide for a reasonably accurate simulation - and to your argument that 6 months is too short - I would imagine that projections could be built around choices made by the student and future market forces.

....

And your last point about not doing an MBA and jumping right in - that can and has worked for many as well. Especially in terms of entrepreneurs - even though the MBA programs today claim to have "entrepreneurial focus" and entire classes geared toward this discipline - I doubt they work as well as actually doing it.</blockquote>

I'm a bit skeptical to whether it will be possible to create sophisticated and complex enough a computer simulation to simulate a start-up. Perhaps an option might to be to split the class into several groups - each representing a stakeholder in an organization, including suppliers and customers - and run it that way. But I'm pretty sure the business schools are way ahead of our thinking :) Maybe Harvard already has a top secret module like that?

As for the entrepreneurship and risk taking at business school... well.... going to business school is hedging your career risks. I'm not sure how many would really get out there and walk the talk - those that do, might have done the same without an MBA.

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ralph
I'm a bit skeptical to whether it will be possible to create sophisticated and complex enough a computer simulation to simulate a start-up.


No, a simulation can never emulate reality perfectly. But we're at a point with computer software development that programmers can create very complex virtual worlds that can integrate real time data from the internet. With the right software design, and as you said dividing the student pool to take different roles, I believe that a system like that would yield an adequately complex and dynamic virtual environment. And if schools could use that alongside real world case-studies, then decision making could be honed even further.

But you're right - maybe MBA programs are already using this kind of teaching... Anybody experienced anything like this?
<blockquote>I'm a bit skeptical to whether it will be possible to create sophisticated and complex enough a computer simulation to simulate a start-up.</blockquote>

No, a simulation can never emulate reality perfectly. But we're at a point with computer software development that programmers can create very complex virtual worlds that can integrate real time data from the internet. With the right software design, and as you said dividing the student pool to take different roles, I believe that a system like that would yield an adequately complex and dynamic virtual environment. And if schools could use that alongside real world case-studies, then decision making could be honed even further.</blockquote>

But you're right - maybe MBA programs are already using this kind of teaching... Anybody experienced anything like this?
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