Beyond the MBA Classroom

In MBA degree programs, classroom lectures, discussions, and assignments only comprise half of the educational opportunities from which you will benefit. Equally as important to the total learning experience are those activities that take place outside the classroom. MBA programs offer a variety of extracurricular activities that will help you to develop both professionally and personally. By participating, you will develop leadership skills, network with other people who share your professional and personal interests, and find opportunities to apply new knowledge. In this issue of our E-Bulletin, we highlight some of the opportunities that are available outside of the MBA.

Babson MBAWhile most top business schools offer internships and other applied learning experiences, Cornell stretches and deepens such opportunities. This approach, called "performance learning," requires students to perform (deliver results) in a real business setting even as they are learning by doing.
Cornell offers abundant performance-learning opportunities. The longest are generally internships. One significant difference at the Johnson School is the way that our students prepare for these; most undertake immersions (or equivalent individually-developed concentrations) during the second semester of the first year. Thus, they enter their internships exceptionally well prepared.
Other performance-learning opportunities include consulting projects and club leadership. Students manage several speakers’ series as well as major events like the Business Idea Competition and Stock Pitch Event. Other Johnson School distinctives:

Immersion Learning
The Johnson School's unique immersion learning curriculum replaces lecture- and case-based training with integrated, experiential, “hands on” learning that is excellent preparation for that critical summer internship. Students solve real problems under intense time pressure and are often evaluated, as they would be on the job. Immersion learning produces MBAs who are ready to contribute to their organizations.

Parker Center for Investment Research
The Parker Center feeds expertise to the world's financial marketplaces and is the home of the student-managed Cayuga MBA Fund, with $11 million in assets under management. The Cayuga Fund posted a total return of 10.4 percent in 2005, outperforming the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 (NASDAQ) index. Student fund managers use one of the world's best-equipped virtual trading rooms, with $1.8 million of sophisticated software and online data feeds.

Babson MBA At Babson, practical, hands-on learning opportunities beyond the classroom allow graduates to leverage their MBA more effectively in their careers. Babson provides a number of unique opportunities for students to gain practical experience solving real world business problems.

The Babson Consulting Alliance Program (BCAP) provides cost effective competitive analysis and consulting services to Boston-area companies while providing a business environment for MBA candidates to utilize what they have learned in the classroom. Groups of five or six first-year MBA students are matched with companies in industries in which students have expressed a career interest. Guided by an advisor, BCAP teams work directly with company representatives to complete a major project and a relationship with the organization throughout their first year. Also, the Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) program offers Babson MBA students the chance to participate in semester-long consulting projects. Teams students work together with a faculty advisor to solve a business problem for the sponsor company.
The Global Management Program enables students to earn academic credit for on-site consulting internships at companies in Europe, Asia and Latin America. At the end of their project, participants present results and recommendations to management at the sponsor company. The global programs allow students to broaden their professional experience, improve foreign language abilities, and develop global management skills.

HECThe HEC MBA Program has integrated personal projects into the curriculum to give MBA participants the opportunity for involvement in issues, projects, and activities in areas of sustainable development, humanitarian support, and community service. MBA participants learn and test their leadership skills by solving real problems of local, national and international significance.
Individual Professional Projects (IPP)
The newest track on offer at HEC, IPP allows participants to devote 4 - 6 months on a full-time, in-company project. Closely guided by a faculty mentor, IPP is an exceptional opportunity for individuals to test newly acquired skills in a real setting, and to leverage their experience in the job market.

Visions of Leadership
Launched in September 2003, the Visions of Leadership initiative has become an integral part of the HEC MBA Program, structured around seminars and conferences to develop new skills and discover untapped interests. Visions of Leadership enable participants to discover contemporary leadership approaches and study the attitudes of modern leaders. It gives the possibility to position oneself, explore one's personal vision, and be critical about the phenomena of leadership.



Babson MBAThe Schulich School of Business at York University provides students the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills in the real world. Several examples of this, include:

Strategy Field Study is a 6-8 month strategic consulting project carried out in real time on an existing company. With a team of 6-8 students, and an advisory group of 3 faculty members, the Strategy Field Study provides an opportunity to apply strategic thinking to a real organization and takes students far beyond the traditional case method. It acts as a tool to integrate the various business disciplines studied in the first year of the MBA program and applies them in a holistic manner to the various stages of the study.

"Hands down, the Strategy Field Study, although tough and rigorous, was the most interesting experience of the entire program. Not only did I learn what it meant to work in a high-performing team, it also allowed me to apply my learning to a real company."

—Clarie Norman MBA '04

Global Leadership Program is a unique strategic consulting project that involves creating a market entry strategy for a foreign company that is interest in entering the North American market, or a Canadian company contemplating foreign markets. Students work in two teams - one from Schulich and one from an International partner school. Each team travels to the other school/location to consult with the company and/or present the final recommendations. The team is supported by faculty advisors

York Consulting Group offers a wide range of management consulting services to businesses in both the private and public sector. As students of the Schulich School of Business, YCG consultants are high caliber MBA candidates with a wide variety of work experience and necessary skills to analyze unique situations and propose realistic solutions to complex business problems.

"My experience in Schulich's York Consulting Group has been tremendous. I apply theories learned in class to real, live, client situations and we work with some of the MBA's best faculty and most driven, committed students. It all ads up to a dynamic and fast paced experience that deepens the learning process at Schulich".

—Matt Wolodarsky MBA '06

Clubs and Organizations – Schulich encourages students to take advantage of countless opportunities to enrich their formal, in-class learning with extracurricular activities. There are dozens of events that student-led organizations put on throughout the year, including guest lectures, expert panels and conferences. Students can choose from over 30 clubs, including Women in Leadership, Net Impact, Finance Association, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital, Non Profit Management Association, Arts and Media Management Club, East Asian Business Association or Latin American Business Association and the South Asian Business Club. They can also participate in Case Competitions or the MBA Games, and take leadership roles in the clubs or run for the Executive of the Graduate Business Council.

"Competing in the L'Oreal E-Strat Challenge took my Schulich experience to an entirely new level. Utilizing the skills I'd gained during my MBA studies, and the experiences and talent of my team members, we created a synergistic strategy and applied it throughout the competition. We were challenged and encouraged to go beyond our capabilities to make the best choices as business leaders and see real-world results".

—Allan Yu, L'Oreal E-Strat Challenge Canadian National Award Winner

ESADE In addition to their classes, ESADE students have the opportunity to participate in internships and/or consulting programs. Two recent internships include working with the designer Jesús del Pozo (positioning and licensing) and working with the Barcelona professional football team (Barca) in their international expansion. ESADE's Career Services Center has developed the Envolve In-Company Tailored Consulting program, in which companies are able to use MBA students to solve company's business issues while at the same time the students are able to learn about consulting. MBA students apply the management skills and business studies learned during the MBA to a business environment, and the company gets to know the students and how they apply their newly-attained skills in a professional environment.

"I had the good fortune of working with a classmate and colleague that I had never worked with before. From the beginning it was as though we were working for a large firm where you never know who will be part of your team from one project to another. Our assignment lasted three months, during which time we were to complete a market analysis for a client interested in developing a new business. Due to the relative scarcity of information about this niche market, we were forced to really dive into our investigation and traveled to trade shows, production facilities, and organizations within the industry to interview stakeholders and get a better sense of how the market in Spain compared to others within Europe. Needless to say, such a nitty-gritty journalistic investigation proved very rewarding, and even encouraged an additional assignment from the client: to construct possible business models based on our findings. When we presented our final project at the end of the three months, our client was delighted with our recommendations. For me the Envolve project was my first experience as a consultant, and a fantastic way to complete my MBA at ESADE. By applying my previous work experience with new methodology from the MBA program, I was able to gain practical and enjoyable work experience that has helped me reenter the employment market."

—Sarah Day, current ESADE student

The MBA Tour - Boston, MA 01890