Beyond the Classroom

In MBA 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 classroom in three different MBA programs in the UK, USA and Australia.

Cranfield School of Management
Despite the heavy workload of an intensive one-year MBA programme, Cranfield students manage to find the time to organise and take part in a number of extracurricular sporting activities, and to enter several high profile international business competitions.  Cranfield’s emphasis on teamwork helped them to reach the finals and win a number of these competitions this year.

International Business Schools’ Regatta
“Over 60 Full-time and Executive MBA students took part in the 16th Cranfield MBA International Regatta organised by Cranfield students.  The largest regatta yet saw 10 other business schools compete over two days off the south coast of England.  For many students it was the first time they had been on a yacht and I was impressed by how quickly they learned that teamwork is crucial to sailing!”
Ben Cartledge
Full-time MBA student, 2007

The London Marathon
For the last eight years, Cranfield students have taken part as a team in the London Marathon and raising money for charity:
“This year a group of MBAs ran the <London Marathon dressed as a sausage dog.  Over 26.2 miles we swapped in and out of the costume making it a real team effort.  Supporters of both family and friends from Cranfield were there to cheer us on and after 5 hours, 28 minutes and 13 seconds, we finished as a team.  It was an amazing experience, raising over £36,000 for our chosen charity”
Steve Allum
Full-time MBA student, 2007

AT Kearney Global Prize
A team of Cranfield MBAs won the European final of the AT Kearney Global Prize, for the second year running in November 2006.  The competition based on a real AT Kearney consultancy project is designed to test students’ analytical, teamwork, interviewing and communication skills. 

Johnny Johnston, a member of the winning team said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling for our team to have beaten several prestigious European business schools for a second year in a row.  We couldn’t have done it without the overwhelming support of our fellow MBAs and faculty.”

HHL Business Case Competition
The HHL Case Challenge competition sponsored by a leading German solar cell manufacturer and based on the solar power industry, involved the teams submitting a presentation before tackling another assignment in the final.  Cranfield teams competed against the German host school HHL in the grand final, and it was team work and the tangible strategy that they presented that won the day. 

Steve Allum, captain of the winning Cranfield team said:
“It was great to be part of the competition, and to be able to put into practice some of the academic knowledge we’ve learnt in the classroom, to help a fast growing company.  The Cranfield MBA approach, based on team work, was what really gave us the advantage in the final.”

L’Oreal e-strat Challenge
Cranfield’s MBA team beat more than 1,500 others from around the world to get through to the L’Oréal e-strat Challenge final in Paris in April 2007. 

They competed against teams from India, Turkey, Brazil, Switzerland, Russia, USA and Taiwan in the final, which was the culmination of months of online competition where teams managed a virtual cosmetics company. 

Adrian de Courcey, a member of the group said it had been an amazing experience.  “The L’Oréal e-strat challenge is one of the highlights of my MBA.  It was a very tough competition which tested a whole range of MBA skills from statistical analysis, strategy and marketing to presentation and communication skills.  We are very grateful to the Cranfield faculty and L’Oreal UK for all their support”. 

Entrepreneurs’ Choice Award
A team of Cranfield MBAs were awarded the Entrepreneurs’ Choice Award at the Venture Capital Investment Competition, held at London Business School in March 2007.  This competition involved eight teams from different European business schools competing as venture capitalists.  They had to interview five entrepreneurs and chose one idea for investment. 

Robin Duxfield, a member of the winning team said: “The Entrepreneurs’ Choice Award is awarded to the team which the entrepreneurs felt did the best job of asking insightful questions, building rapport and conducting themselves in a professional manner.  We feel that we achieved all of those goals during the due diligence sessions by working as a team and sticking to a clear agenda throughout.”

At the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, students have opportunities to explore and experience varieties of events and outside of the classroom.  Here are several examples of events and the centers students can be involved in:

Inaugural Mergers and Acquisitions Competition (October 11th-12th, 2007)
Hosted by the MBA Finance Association at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

This case competition is the inaugural Mergers and Acquisitions Competition hosted by the Smith school, and it will comprise teams from some of the top MBA programs in the world.  Teams of up to 4 students will compete over a two-day period in a competition that will simulate an actual M&A pitch meeting to Wall Street Bankers and corporate executives. The competition will include a networking reception for students to mingle with other schools, judges and invited guests, while providing recruiting opportunities and cash prizes for the winning teams.  Corporate sponsors include Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers, Marriot, Constellation Energy, and Black and Decker. For more information, please email finassoc@rhsmith.umd.edu.

Attending schools are:
• University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
• Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business
• Columbia Business School
• University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
• Purdue University's Krannert School of Management
• University of Virginia's Darden School of Business
• University of Rochester's Simon Graduate School of Business
• National University of Singapore
• University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business
• Yale School of Management

Carly Fiorina and Under Armour’s Kevin Plank Establish $175K Entrepreneurship Fund at University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business announced the launch of a $175,000 alumni donor endowment fund for the Smith School’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship to invest in student and alumni run companies. The fund was established with gifts from Smith alumni Carly Fiorina, former president and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and Kevin Plank, founder and chief executive of Under Armour. A portion of the fund is earmarked for investment in socially responsible ventures.

The Dingman Center invests up to $30,000 in viable companies started by current and former Smith students. The center has invested in Hook & Ladder Brewing Co., a microbrewery started by a Smith MBA student; board game maker North Star Games, started by two Smith School MBAs; SHOP DC, a shopping publication started by an MBA student and acquired by the Washington Post. Newsweek Interactive;  Goozex, an online used video game trading platform founded by a Smith MBA and University of Maryland undergraduate economics graduate; and Geocentric, a Web-based destination marketing company founded by a Smith executive MBA graduate.

Mayer Fund
The Mayer Fund is a year-long, advanced finance seminar for second-year full-time MBA students. The seminar provides the students with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in finance classes to actual investment decisions, and to enhance their skills and knowledge in this area. The Mayer Fund was established in 1993 with a contribution from the College of Business and Management Foundation. Through appreciation and outside contributions, the Mayer Fund has grown to over $1.2 million, as of September 2006.

The Mayer Fund's goal is to achieve capital appreciation by capturing the superior returns that equity investments have historically provided. The Fund's long-term performance goal is to outpace the appreciation of the S&P 500 on a risk-adjusted basis. Although the primary goal of the fund is to achieve capital appreciation, it is just as important that each member learns the processes by which investment decisions are made in a professional asset management setting.

As part of their training, the students discuss a variety of topics including: portfolio management theory and practice, security screening and selection, economic and industry analysis, corporate qualitative and financial analysis, valuation analysis, and trading strategies.

Melbourne Business School

INSPIRING, engaging and challenging – Melbourne Business School is about more than just a classroom. Outside of the MBA programs’ classroom lectures, discussions and assignments is an environment where friendships, business connections and life changing experiences take shape. MBS believes in the benefits of extracurricular activities and encourages its 600-strong student body to participate in all that is on offer. Students from more than 30 different countries work closely and maximize cultural exchanges and international networking opportunities. They can join together in clubs, societies and associations dedicated to a diverse range of sporting, cultural, social and recreational activities. The School also hosts a variety of events to foster connections between students and the business community, including alumni events, Career Centre functions and research seminars.

The School provides funding and an office for the Student Representative Council for Club activities. Clubs supported by the School include MUEC (Melbourne University Entrepreneurial Challenge),  Net Impact Club, L@NG (Latin American Networking Group), Extreme Sports Club, Debating Club, Consulting Club, Sports Club, WAM (Women and Management), ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Club, MBS Investments Management Association, Weary Epicurean (Wine Club), Student Ball Committee, and the Yearbook Committee. MBS students also have access to the University of Melbourne’s Sports Centre where the facilities are excellent and inexpensive. There is a running track, sports ovals, several gymnasiums (for basketball, volleyball, badminton, soccer, gymnastics, weightlifting and other sports) and squash courts. Forty-five sporting clubs offer the opportunity to participate in a range of popular pursuits, as well as more exotic ones such as aikido, fencing, tai chi and water polo.

Melbourne University Entrepreneurial Challenge
MBS sponsors and manages the Melbourne University Entrepreneurial Challenge (MUEC), Australia’s largest annual business plan competition, providing student entrepreneurs with the opportunity to commercialize their innovative business ideas. Teams consult with industry mentors, academics, venture capitalists, management consultants, lawyers, and marketers. The winning teams receive substantial funding to launch their ideas. It has attracted corporate partners such as Hewlett Packard and KPMG as well as the State Government and it provides an opportunity for participants to further develop networks by meeting industry professionals and members of advanced research bodies.

Net Impact Club
This is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to grow strong leaders who can use business to make a positive impact and tangible difference to the world. Net Impact members make up one of the most influential networks of MBAs, graduates, and professionals including current and emerging world leaders in CSR, social entrepreneurship, non-profit management, international development and environmental sustainability. With the support of MBS, the Net Impact Club hosts guest speakers and panels on such topics as community relations between companies and indigenous Australians, and holds an annual fundraising event for the Leukemia Foundation

The Latin American Network Group aims to bring Latin American culture to MBS and does so through events such as movie nights, salsa dancing, the Latin Party and hosting guest speakers

Women and Management
WAM is open to all students and alumni and is an interest group formed to build awareness and address issues relating to women and management. They encourage diversity and social responsibility in management, and aim to educate and to provide opportunities for women. To achieve objectives the group organizes networking functions and events such as dinners, social gatherings, and events.

Thought Leadership Forums
The Thought Leadership Forums take advantage of the research expertise and business acumen of the faculty and draw on the industry expertise of alumni and the MBS community. These are a series of globally relevant forums focusing on the latest thinking & research, and contemporary perspectives on today’s key business challenges. They are led by leading presenters from MBS faculty and the business community as well as visiting scholars from around the world.

The annual Thought Leadership Residential is an exclusive opportunity for MBS alumni to return to Melbourne Business School and gain new insights into the world of business. The Residential is a multi-day, academic program drawing on the latest theories and practices from MBS faculty and leading industry figures to provide greater insight into today’s key managerial challenges. Alumni interested in engaging in thought provoking discussions, sharpening management skills and expanding professional networks will benefit from this program.

Full-time MBA students who commence the program in the September intake may complete an optional internship in their third term of study (May-August). Internships are 12 week paid employment opportunities and give students the opportunity to experience new industries, network within the Australian business community, and secure post-MBA employment. An Internship is awarded by leading Australian or international organisations following student success in a competitive process. Typical organisations in which students may undertake an internship include BHP Billiton, AT Kearney, GE Finance, Johnson & Johnson Medical, and JF Capital Partners. The internship program is facilitated through on and off-campus recruiting, an opportunity web-portal and support from the MBS Career Centre team.


The MBA Tour will be visiting the following cities in 2007. Click here to register for an event,
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U.S. Tour: February 2008

Washington, DC, New York, San Francisco

2008 MBA Events

2008 MBA Events will be listed on The MBA Tour website soon! Please check back.

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