How Carey’s Dean Gupta Plans to Innovate Biz Education

Last week, we shared news from the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University as it prepares to launch its new Global MBA Program in August. The school’s inaugural dean, Yash Gupta, plans to reinvent the modern MBA and offers his vision for management education in a Q&A with the JHU Gazette.

Q: When you arrived here from USC’s Marshall School of Business, you said you wanted to forge a new type of learning. Can you give an example of that?

A: Many things. Let me start with the full-time MBA program. It’s as interdisciplinary as it gets. It has tenets anchored in liberal arts, medicine, engineering and public health.

We have pushed four major things. One of them is intellectual flexibility, the ability to think and embrace a variety of disciplines. Think of someone like Leonardo da Vinci, who was trained as a military engineer but then learned the treatise of geometry, the use of colors and medicine. That is what we need to do to train the future business leaders. Our people will be strong in multiple disciplines.

Second, it’s important to enhance a student’s ability to do critical thinking with empathy. When I was growing up, maybe you had five friends, 20 tops. You talked to them in person, or called them on the phone or, if they lived far away, you wrote them a letter. Today, an 18-year-old spends so much of his or her awake time on the television, on the phone or online.

Kids today have 2,000 friends through places like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, you name it. They have the ability to make friends and communicate with a lot of people. How do you do that without empathy? You can’t. They are grown in the culture of empathy. They want to reach out and make a difference.

The third element is global understanding. Business is about people, what inspires them, what is the good and bad in people. I really believe that students need to understand world view, historical perspectives and the culture of other societies to connect with future customers.

The last element, the fourth, is innovation. We need to create knowledge and inventions and have them help humanity. We need to make that happen.

To read more of Gupta’s thoughts on the economy, type of graduates he hopes to produce and some of the faculty hires so far, read the entire Q&A here.

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