MBA News Bites

Stacy Blackman’s Weekly Roundup of B-School Intelligence

Business school students at Oxford University plan to spend at least one of their breaks in Dubai, not just to swap gray skies for sunny ones but to secure something more lasting: a job. With job opportunities dwindling in London and other financial capitals, particularly in banking, school advisers say the oil-rich Persian Gulf region is a bright spot in an otherwise grim global economy.

Kellogg’s Distinguished Lecture Series continues with noted author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist James B. Stewart, who will appear at the Kellogg School of Management November 17 to speak to students, faculty and alumni about the meltdown on Wall Street and the economic implications of the presidential election.

The Millennials are pursuing MBAs to change the world, but first they’re forcing business schools to make changes in order to accommodate them, BusinessWeek reports. Beginning as a trickle last year, the flow of Millennials into B-schools will become a flood this year and next, as the bulk of Gen Y begins entering the prime B-school age group of 26 to 28. When that happens, B-school will never be the same.

University of Chicago retained the No.1 spot on BusinessWeek‘s 2008 biennial ranking of “The Best B-Schools.” The best-ranked programs from previous years continue to dominate the top of the list, including Harvard, which jumped two spots to No.2, Kellogg (No.3), and Wharton, which dropped to No.4.

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) has designed a customized executive education program with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Financial Times reports. “If you are into solving issues, why wouldn’t you want to solve your own instead of generic ones?” says Rose Patten, senior executive vice-president and head of human resources at BMO. “In these days, it’s not difficult to come up with your own issues.”

The 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that online enrollment rose by more than 12 percent from a year earlier. “We are still seeing double-digit growth,” says study co-author Elaine Allen, Research Director of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship at Babson College. “Yet schools report they are competing for students as online options expand.”

Newly-qualified MBA graduates tend to assume that their piece of paper automatically qualifies them to be a freelance consultant or to run their own business. Think again, says Robert Craven in Running a business is about action, it is not about theory. What is great in the classroom (because it is intellectually attractive or academically rigorous) is not always relevant in the real world.

The University of Maine Business School has launched a Masters of Business Administration and Sustainability program. The program joins an array of 11 MBA programs on sustainable enterprise in the United States and one in Norway. “We’re approaching business from a holistic and sustainable point of view,” Terry Porter, assistant professor of management in the Maine Business School at UMaine, said in a statement. “It opens up a lot of questions about the paradigms of business and the world.”

The Black Business Student Association (BBSA) at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business has announced that film director, producer, writer, and actor Spike Lee will deliver the keynote speech at the Association’s Alfred L. Edwards 33rd Annual BSSA Conference, Dec. 4-7, 2008. Lee’s speech will focus on the theme of this year’s conference, “Building your Legacy: Achieving Personal, Professional and Philanthropic Success,” discussing the ways in which conference participants can create personal roadmaps toward success.

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