Category Archives: General

B-Schools Showcase Green Business Practices

Today’s global economy has two faces: one of exponential growth in developing countries, and the flip side—a voracious ravaging of resources by developed nations. While some business leaders continue to march in step to the …

Today’s global economy has two faces: one of exponential growth in developing countries, and the flip side—a voracious ravaging of resources by developed nations. While some business leaders continue to march in step to the “more is better” mantra, others are realizing that business as usual is not sustainable for our planet.

Earth Day may be commemorated officially on only one day of the year, but business schools around the country are using the occasion to show their dedication to tackling issues of climate change and sustainability that are at the core of doing green business.

sustainability and business

Here’s what’s going on this week at some of the top MBA programs:

Business Takes the Lead: How Innovation Will Drive Our Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change 2015 Conference, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Fight Less, Collaborate More: How to Solve the World’s Greatest Environmental Challenges, Thursday April 23, 2015, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

UCLA Anderson School of Management is on day two of its annual Social Innovation Week, which runs April 20-23, 2015. Panelists and speakers will discuss social entrepreneurship, social impact in media and entertainment, corporate social impact and one-for-one models.

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business announced yesterday that the team from the full-time MBA program took first place in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, at Morgan Stanley’s London Headquarters on April 17. The winning team’s investment thesis was about drought mitigation innovation.

University of Michigan Ross School of Business announced today that influential Indian business leader, GV Sanjay Reddy, Vice Chairman GVK, will be the keynote speaker for Commencement on May 1st, 2015. At the event, he will share his views on the power of positive business, and how it creates a social impact on society.

And finally, Columbia Business School deserves a ‘shout out’ for its great article on the business case for going green.

This is just a sampling of the activities currently taking place on business school campuses, where sustainability and good stewardship are more than just buzz words—they are the very key to long-term economic growth and a better planet for future generations.

Earth image courtesy of Flickr user woodleywonderworks, CC 2.0

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In Business School, One Size Does Not Fit All

Poets & Quants recently  published an excellent, in-depth article to help applicants figure out if your target b-schools really ‘fit’ you. There are so many factors that go into determining fit, and many b-school hopefuls …

Poets & Quants recently  published an excellent, in-depth article to help applicants figure out if your target b-schools really ‘fit’ you. There are so many factors that go into determining fit, and many b-school hopefuls focus heavily on rankings and prestige over finding an MBA program where they will truly be able to thrive.

Editor John A Byrne takes a look at class size, and how a large or small class can affect both your relationships during school and your alumni network. He also shares which schools are known for having collaborative or competitive cultures. Learning styles, cost of living, caliber of professors and geographic and weather considerations should also be weighed when making this expensive, life-changing decision.

For some applicants, there may be a clear winner after looking at the quantitative and qualitative data. Or, after researching all of these elements, you may still feel pulled in different directions. But at least you have a head start in finding the program(s) that fit you best.

Read the full story now on Poets & Quants.

You may also be interested in:

Reputation and Rankings Trump All in B-School Selection

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Stacy Blackman B-School Application Survey

It’s that time again, folks! We at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans. The survey poses 13 simple questions, …

sbc-meetstacy

It’s that time again, folks! We at Stacy Blackman Consulting want to check the pulse of this year’s crop of b-school applicants by polling them about their MBA plans. The survey poses 13 simple questions, such as “How many schools are you applying to?”, and the whole questionnaire should take less than three minutes to complete.

Every participant has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win a $100 Amazon gift card. The survey is live now and will close at midnight PST on May 5, 2015. So please, take a moment to share with us your thoughts and experiences related to the MBA application process.

Enter survey here.

Thanks so much for your participation!

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Decide Whether to Pursue a Pre-MBA Internship

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com The summer before business school is traditionally a blissful time to just hang out, travel, sleep in and generally savor the brief respite between …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

The summer before business school is traditionally a blissful time to just hang out, travel, sleep in and generally savor the brief respite between your turbocharged job and the whirlwind that awaits once you set foot on campus.

While the vast majority of incoming MBA students still do spend the months leading up to school indulging in their favorite pastimes, the pre-MBA internship has become a growing trend among the recently admitted. Let’s take a look at what it is, who it’s for and why you should think about pursuing one – maybe.

What Is a Pre-MBA Internship?

A summer internship is the hallmark of the two-year MBA program, but a pre-MBA internship is one that is specifically targeted to professionals who will be heading to business school in the fall for a full-time program. Whether you’re interested in banking, private equity, venture capital, consulting, marketing, or nonprofits, there’s probably already a niche program with this group in mind.

These internships or “camps,” as they’re sometimes called, are short, usually ranging in duration from four to six weeks. Many companies have created intensive pre-MBA programs lasting no more than a few days.

If you know the industry you would like to pursue, begin tapping your fellow future students and the alumni network for leads, and check to see if the companies on your career target list offer these opportunities. Above all else, make sure the internship environment provides you with a chance to learn, not make coffee runs.

Who is Best Suited for a Pre-MBA Internship?

This type of internship is ideal for career switchers, who make up 38 percent of incoming students, according to the latest Prospective Students Survey Report published by the Graduate Management Admission Council. If you are switching fields, this short stint before your first year is like a test drive of a new area of interest and effectively gives you two summers to do an internship.

Use the experience to try out an industry or company and see if you love it and want to return the following summer, or move on to a new and different industry instead. The pre-MBA internship is brief, but it’s usually enough to confirm your interest so that you’re not wasting your precious summer internship doing something you’re not passionate about.

Why Should You Do a Pre-MBA Internship?

The obvious reason for pursuing a pre-MBA internship is that it allows you to build skills and gain experience in a new role or industry. It often feels like the recruiting starts as soon as you set foot on campus, so students should arrive on campus with a fairly clear idea of where they want to intern.

It can be challenging to persuade recruiters that you’re serious about the field and to take a chance on you if you have zero experience in their industry and only a few weeks of case studies and lectures to back you up. Having a bit of real-world exposure under your belt makes you that much more competitive and will give you more ammunition when you interview with recruiters for a summer internship.

When Should You Avoid a Pre-MBA Internship?

As I’ve said, most incoming students don’t pursue a pre-MBA internship. You already have a lot going on between sorting out your financial aid, budget and housing as well as finalizing projects at work.

From a purely financial point of view, it’s unlikely you would make as much money in the internship as at your current full-time job, so this might be the time to save your pennies before going to school and facing that steep MBA tuition.

On the other hand, many admitted students have spent the past few years with their nose to the grindstone, with little thought or time for a rejuvenating vacation. The summer before business school could be their last chance for some carefree fun and globe-trotting, and a necessary break to recharge and refill the tank before the intensity of the MBA program hits.

Ultimately, you are already admitted to the program so this is not about gaining favor with the admissions committee. It’s a personal decision about how you want to spend your free time.

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UV Darden Welcomes Newest Ventures to i.Lab Incubator

Earlier this week, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced it will welcome a new and diverse cohort of ventures to the 2015 i.Lab Incubator program, a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage businesses …

Earlier this week, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business announced it will welcome a new and diverse cohort of ventures to the 2015 i.Lab Incubator program, a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage businesses from U.Va. and the greater Charlottesville community. The i.Lab and the incubator are operated by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The 24 ventures in the 2015 class include 10 founded by Darden students, 10 founded by U.Va. students or faculty members, and four founded by individuals unaffiliated with the University.

“This year we saw a particularly experienced group of applicants,” said Philippe Sommer, director of Darden’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “It will be an incredible asset to have entrepreneurs in the incubator with deep expertise in fields such as engineering, biomedicine and education.”

entrepreneurship at Darden

(c) jack looney photography

The i.Lab Incubator program includes a 10-week summer accelerator, during which participants develop and refine their business ideas and participate in the community of fellow entrepreneurs. Ventures receive a $5,000 grant, office space, mentoring support, networking opportunities with local investors, and access to accounting and technological expertise. The program also includes a clinic with faculty and students from the U.Va. School of Law, who offer guidance on the legal aspects of new-venture creation.

Participants in the i.Lab Incubator can also tap into the experience of a cadre of entrepreneurs in residence, who provide one-on-one coaching and offer sessions on various aspects of the entrepreneurial process.

Eight ventures from the 2014 class will remain with the program for the coming year — the largest number of returning ventures in the program’s history. “These young companies have made great strides, figuring out their business models and how to manage risk,” continued Sommer. “We are all impressed by their desire to persevere and to continue exploring the market for their offerings.”

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Female Leadership: Where it’s Strong, Where it Can Improve

Gender issues at business school remain a hot topic in graduate management education, and just this past week, three fascinating articles on the subject have been published. The first is a Bloomberg Businessweek interview with …

businesswomen around the globe

Gender issues at business school remain a hot topic in graduate management education, and just this past week, three fascinating articles on the subject have been published. The first is a Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Dean Allison Davis-Blake of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

As one of only ten female deans at the top 60 business schools, Davis-Blake tells the media outlet that she’s used to being alone at the top. She points out that the reason why the vast majority of deans are men can be traced back to the 1980s, which is when most of today’s deans were in graduate school and women made up a much smaller percentage of students pursuing advanced degrees.

The road to deanship includes many required benchmarks, explains Davis-Blake, from earning a PhD to landing a tenure track job as an assistant professor to eventually making tenure, and then candidates must further distinguish themselves as academic leaders. We currently find very few women at the other side of those hurdles.

While the dean had many male mentors who exposed her to leadership opportunities along the way, Davis-Blake says she hopes women coming up today have something she didn’t: more direct female role models.

Speaking of her mentors, the dean tells Bloomberg, “They might be a lot like me dimensionally, they might think a lot like me, or they might speak a lot like me, but I can’t look at them and say, ‘Oh, that person has the same issues in life that I have.’ Looking at another woman, I can say that I see myself more in that person. Having more women deans around allows people to say, ‘Yeah, I could do this’.”

***

Female numbers in MBA programs were miniscule 30 years ago, but the demographics are changing, and many top business schools have enrolled up to 40% women in the Class of 2016. Women make up 37% of the Yale School of Management Class of 2016, down 2 percentage points from last year, but there are still healthy signs of strong female leadership at the school.

A new story in the Yale Daily News  reports that earlier this month, the SOM student body elected its fourth female student body president in a row, calling this a sign of increasing female involvement and diversity at the business school.

Brittan Berry (MBA ’16), who was just elected for the position, says the SOM’s dedication to diversity contributes to this continuity in female leadership, adding, ““I think the SOM is continuously moving forward in its mission to become one of the most diverse business schools.”

According to current student government president Alexa Allen (MBA ’15), about half of all leadership positions at the SOM are occupied by women, and that “diversity is the norm.” Former president Caitlin Sullivan (MBA ’13) concurs, noting that “although her class at the SOM was about 35 percent women, the women within the school exhibited disproportionate influence because of the leadership positions they occupied.”

If this trend at Yale SOM (and elsewhere) continues to grow, Dean Davis-Blake will be able to rest easy about having sufficient female role models for the next generation of women leaders.

***

Whereas traditional two-year MBA programs are making notable strides to achieve parity in female enrollment, a new article in Fortune reports that is far from the case at executive MBA programs offered at the country’s top business schools.

Harvard Business School’s two-year MBA program is made up of 41% women; the EMBA enrolls 24%. At MIT Sloan School of Management, the figure in their executive program is about 17%. And while the Wharton School declined to offer specifics, the school’s vice dean of executive education Monica McGrath told Fortune that although the two-year program had almost 50% female enrollment, “In executive education, it’s not even close to that. It’s a problem, for sure.”

In short, notes the article’s author Katherine Noyes, “Exec-ed programs skew male because, unfortunately, C-suite offices still skew male.”

And so it goes back to the problems Dean Allison Davis-Blake laid out above. Executive education programs are designed for professionals who have been in the workforce for ten-plus years, and that’s where the numbers for women begin their decline.

The outlook is not all doom and gloom though. With the approaching parity we’re seeing in two-year MBA programs, in another 20 years this issue of imbalance may be nothing more than a relic of the past.

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