Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz

Each week, we bring you news from the front lines with business school bloggers sounding off on life in the trenches.


M@ (Ross) is reveling in the brand-spanking new building that is now home to the Ross School of Business. The previous building was sort of a weird cocoon that had neither charm nor personality, a sort of prison for a program that prides itself on creativity and learning through doing. But how to show the appropriate appreciation? By enveloping Dean Robert J. Dolan in a warm embrace. “The guy who somehow convinced a real estate baron to give $100 million of his money to building this thing deserved something more intimate than a handshake,” he says.

Second-year AGirlsMBA just experienced her “most HBS day” ever as classes came to a close this semester. Four rock stars of the business world took time out last Monday to come talk to MBA students at Harvard. These stellar speakers included Shumeet Banerji, CEO of Booz & Co.; Jack Brennan, CEO of Vanguard; W.L. Ross, who turned around the entire steel industry in the US; and Kent Thiry, CEO of DaVita, one of the most impactful dialysis companies in the world. “It just continues to humble me and amaze me that I get to experience this, I honestly feel so fortunate everyday, ” she says. “I sometimes wonder if they did it all as a ploy to get people more appreciative before finals.”

With fall quarter finals nearly finished, To MBA or Not to MBA (Chicago Booth) is experiencing complete exam/school fatigue. “I am completely devoid of any enthusiasm whatsoever for timed tests, paper writing or model building. Sitting in a room with a pile of sharpened pencils and a calculator while the minutes tick down feels juvenile,” she says. “More formulas? More hectic scribbles and guesswork? More late night cramming? More Excel? More report cards? Didn’t I do this already?”

On the Kenan-Flagler student blog, Susanna gives her perspective from the “Hippie MBA Conference,” a.k.a. the conference put on by Net Impact, an organization for MBA students and professionals interested in sustainability & corporate social responsibility. Her biggest gripe centers on the wicked ways of a certain soda manufacturer that appeared on the opening keynote discussion. “It was somewhat sickening to hear Coca Cola Enterprises talking about all this environmental stuff they’re doing, when the core product itself is crippling its customers,” Susanna says.

Term 1 is finally over for The Ruminator, who has advice for anyone interested in applying to the London Business School. MBA programs are advertising like crazy trying to get people to depart with their hard-earned cash and re-tool while the world sinks, he says, so his main advice if you have a job and are pretty secure in it: sit tight and reap the reward of the uptick when it arrives sometime next year.

Final exams were the topic dejour for most b-school bloggers this past week. For an in-depth look at the torturous goings on at the top MBA programs, check out these entries by the Zen Entreprenuer at Stanford Bradley Lautenbach at HBS, Tinydancer at Wharton, and JulyDream at Darden.

(photo courtesy of Ross School of Business)

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