Category Archives: School News

Wharton MBA Class of ’16’s Entrepreneurial Mindset

It seems this year’s incoming MBA students to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School are an incredibly entrepreneurial-minded bunch, with 5% coming in with prior entrepreneurship experience, and 23% who say they plan to start their …

It seems this year’s incoming MBA students to University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School are an incredibly entrepreneurial-minded bunch, with 5% coming in with prior entrepreneurship experience, and 23% who say they plan to start their own company after graduation.

“In addition, 82 students in the Class of 2016 have held significant roles at startups—that’s up from just over 30 last year. So we know they’ve got the startup bug,” writes Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship, on the school’s entrepreneurship blog.

Take at look at the chart below to see how this new class continues to build upon Wharton’s entrepreneurial drive, as compared to the Class of 2015.

image credit: UPenn Wharton School

image credit: UPenn Wharton School

With all of the programs, contests, and awards available at Wharton, Kavanaugh says,”We look forward to a lifetime of supporting these dynamic individuals as they pursue the often complex career path of entrepreneurship, whether they launch their first businesses the day before graduation or 25 years after.”

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Beyonce Profiled in New HBS Case Study

Harvard Business School will publish a new case study next week examining Beyoncé’s stealth release of her self-titled 2013 “visual album” from a variety of business-related perspectives, the Harvard Gazette reports. To refresh your memory, …

Harvard Business School will publish a new case study next week examining Beyoncé’s stealth release of her self-titled 2013 “visual album” from a variety of business-related perspectives, the Harvard Gazette reports.

To refresh your memory, Beyoncé and her entire management team and corporate partners kept the album a secret until its release just after midnight on December 13, 2013, and fans had to buy the entire album—no individual song purchases allowed.

HBS students will look at what it took to pull off this ambitious campaign, market conditions at the time, the structural and technical obstacles, and the many difficult decisions that cropped up for Beyoncé and her team along the way, the Gazette reveals, adding that the case asks MBA students what they would have done it they were working for the pop idol.

“She’s clearly among the most powerful people in the music industry at the moment … so to understand the operation behind such a powerful figure is always very interesting,” says Anita Elberse, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at HBS who co-wrote the case study with a former student, Stacie Smith, MBA ’14.

The study will be taught in Elberse’s course “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries” in early October, the Gazette reports.

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Michigan Ross Students Launch Private Equity Club

Two students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have started the school’s first private equity club to strengthen the relationship between students interested in the industry and professionals. The group, called Michigan …

Two students at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business have started the school’s first private equity club to strengthen the relationship between students interested in the industry and professionals.

The group, called Michigan Ross Private Equity, was formed by founder and co-president Greg Sanker. He is joined by co-president Ann Brophy, both MBA students at the school. The group is advised by Professor David Brophy, who serves as the director of the school’s Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance and is Ann Brophy’s father.

Michigan Ross Private Equity has attracted close to 100 members so far, each of whom pays about $100 to join. The money will be used primarily to run the club’s upcoming events. “We’re one of the more expensive clubs on campus, [so] it’s great to see so many people sign up,” Sanker says.

The club has organized several events and plans a full-blown private equity conference, akin to those held at Wharton School and Harvard Business School, in 2016. Other events include a panel during the Michigan Private Equity Conference on Oct. 17.

The club’s conference will be “for students, put on by students, for everyone’s benefit,” Sanker says, describing the difference between the group’s event and the existing private equity conference.

Also, Michigan Ross Private Equity will run a “Private Equity Advisory” program for students to work directly with private equity firms.

The club is working to grow its alumni members and build awareness outside the university. Michigan Ross Private Equity wants to bring on more advisory board members who are private equity professionals and University of Michigan alumni. Also, the group also wants to find private equity firms looking for students to work with them during the school year, Sanker says.

Both Sanker and Brophy have private equity experience. Sanker worked for about two years prior to business school at River Cities Capital Funds focusing primarily on control equity investments in healthcare service companies. Brophy worked this summer at Huron Capital Partners.

“Working in middle market private equity was a great learning experience. It’s a profession that combines disciplines from entrepreneurship and finance, two fields I’m very passionate about,” Sanker says. “Michigan Ross is one of the best business schools in the world without a private equity club. I want to help students discover what I did at River Cities and build the school’s presence in the industry.”

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Enrollment Flags for Women Pursuing the MBA

As more and more business schools publish their MBA class profiles for the incoming class, it has become clear that despite all the discussion of women and MBAs of 2013, female enrollment numbers overall have …

As more and more business schools publish their MBA class profiles for the incoming class, it has become clear that despite all the discussion of women and MBAs of 2013, female enrollment numbers overall have stagnated.

While a few schools, such as UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Emory’s Goitzueta Business School, heralded record numbers of female enrollment in the MBA Class of 2016, several notable programs—University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Yale School of Management, and Michigan Ross School of Business—reported fewer women in this year’s entering class.

To find out why this may be happening, TopMBA.com‘s editor-in-chief Louis Lavelle spoke with Elissa Ellis Sangster, executive director of the Forté Foundation. This non-profit consortium of leading companies and top business schools works together to launch women’s careers through access to business education, opportunities, and a community of successful women.

Here is an excerpt from their interview:

LL: This year the forward momentum many business schools had been making on enrolling women seems to have stalled.  While there were a few schools with substantive improvements (…) 9 of the 14 schools I checked recently had made no improvement, or enrolled fewer women.  How are you interpreting that?

ES: I think that when I look at it as a trend we’ve been improving, but every few years we have a stagnation period. We’re at 34 to 35% now. I think what we’re seeing is there’s a limited applicant pool and that applicant pool can only produce so many women. The schools at the top are seeing the dramatic increases at the top…I think we’re going to continue to see progress but we’re going to have setbacks.

LL: Even though more women are applying to business schools, US business schools are stubbornly stuck, for the most part, at about 35% female enrollment. Why aren’t more female applicants making the cut?

ES: I think there are two things: we want to make the MBA more visible to women, but we also want them to present the best application they can. Often women will take the GMAT cold and walk away disheartened, or they’ll write an essay and won’t have anyone look at it. Through the Forte’ Foundation’s MBA Launch program, we work with women to prepare for the GMAT, assess school fit, and prepare their personal story for the applications and interviews.

LL: What can business schools do to fix this problem? Is the answer more female applicants – in the hope that a larger pool of female applicants would contain more qualified applicants who will be admitted – or is the answer somehow leveling the playing field for women in the admissions process?

ES: Obviously more women in the applicant pool is important. Schools are battling over a pool of women and those women are getting many opportunities. The problem is now we don’t have enough women to fill the demand. More women would be better for everybody. But to get women into the top 25 we have to make sure women are presenting the best applications, so that when admissions officers look at these profiles they see someone who is ready to make that MBA decision.

Lavelle and Sangster have much more to say about the state of women and business school, and I invite you to continue reading their extended Q&A here.

You may also be interested in:

HBS Dean Apologizes for School’s Sexist Attitudes

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Cornell Launches Dual Degree with CEIBS

Cornell University and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) have partnered to create a dual MBA and Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program launching in fall 2015. The dual degree will offer a …

Cornell University and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) have partnered to create a dual MBA and Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) program launching in fall 2015.

The dual degree will offer a well-rounded hospitality management education with courses in operations management, organizational behavior, corporate finance, marketing, properties development and planning, managerial communication, human resource management, responsible leadership and governance, and more.

Industry projects will be an important component of the program, and students will complete an internship in hospitality or a related service industry during the summer between their first and second years.

Students will complete the MMH degree at Cornell and the MBA degree at CEIBS. Students can begin the program at either CEIBS or Cornell, spending their second year at the alternate campus.

“China is the second-largest economy in the world, and its hospitality industry is poised for dramatic expansion. As the Chinese middle class grows, domestic hospitality companies are building new brands, and international brands are expanding into the country,” says Michael D. Johnson, dean and E. M. Statler Professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.

Hellmut Schutte, CEIBS dean and Distinguished Professor of International Management, says understanding Chinese business practices is an invaluable asset, adding that the country’s service industry is becoming increasingly important.

“CEIBS is pleased to be able to collaborate with Cornell in offering this opportunity of a dual degree that aligns two very important areas,” says Schutte.

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IESE’s New Course in Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Spain’s IESE Business School has introduced a new MBA course in “Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship” that explores the connection between social and financial objectives. A total of 72 MBA students are participating in the …

Spain’s IESE Business School has introduced a new MBA course in “Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship” that explores the connection between social and financial objectives.

A total of 72 MBA students are participating in the inaugural class, where they will have the chance to work directly with five companies from different sectors, and discover what it means to run a social enterprise from a hands-on perspective, the school explains on its website.

Organized in groups of 10, the students will work with the five enterprises over a five to seven-week period, during which time they will contribute their own ideas, analysis and strategic plans as part of the experience.

The elective will also feature a hands-on project component, where students work directly with social enterprises and other companies to learn about how the course concepts play out in the real world.

Among the learning outcomes, MBAs will master the distinction between hybrid organization and social enterprises, how to develop strategic models that combine financial and social value, and the geo-political perspectives of social innovation.

IESE Prof. Antonino Vaccaro, director of the course, says there is a growing interest in the subject of social entrepreneurship among MBAs. “This is because a social enterprise helps people feel their lives make sense and helps them feel realized.

“What we are seeing is that many top executives who, having worked for years in multinationals, are making a financial sacrifice in order to dedicate themselves to social entrepreneurial projects because the work feels more meaningful.”

And the benefits of adopting a social focus can yield concrete results, he says.

“Companies are realizing that a positive social impact has to go beyond corporate social responsibility. Some firms are beginning to think of themselves as communities of people and are incorporating social objectives into their overall strategy. They’re also discovering that a social focus makes them more competitive.”

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