Here is some more raw video from our California business school trip, this time of USC’s Marshall School of Business. Right smack in the middle of Los Angeles. No shortage of water fountains, that’s for sure.
Part-time MBA programs can offer flexibility and value for working professionals. John Mooney, associate dean and professor at Pepperdine’s Academic Programs for Working Professionals, says that the benefits don’t stop there.
What are some of the advantages of part-time MBA programs?
For one thing, it’s a far more immediate learning. Theories of learning have recognized for many years that the quality of learning improves dramatically when you move beyond passively consuming new knowledge and are able to apply it immediately. And that’s the big advantage for working professionals.
The other big issue about MBA programs for learning professionals is the affordability issue. If you’re going to do a full-time MBA program, it means that you have to make a conscious decision to stop working. And that implies a loss of income for the duration of that program.
And with part-time programs, students also get to continue progressing in their career. Many of our students tend to get promoted before they finish, and that’s a clever strategy on the part of employers because as an employer, you don’t want somebody to finish their MBA and then decide they want to go somewhere else.
Another video! This one about some MBA programs in Los Angeles and San Diego. Enjoy!
Check out our first video, a tour of some of the key MBA programs in Northern California!
More info about the schools mentioned in this video:
UC Berkeley Haas
San Francisco State University (SFSU)
University of San Francisco (USF) Masagung
Presidio School of Management
California College of the Arts
Santa Clara University
If you’re interested in “clean tech” or any other emerging sector, it’s important where you go to business school. Second-year MBA student (and now fresh graduate) Naveen Sikka tells why UC Berkeley Haas and the San Francisco Bay Area were perfect stepping stones into the green energy sector.
How did you get interested in clean tech?
I actually come from a very untraditional undergraduate background. I went to Columbia University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in political science and French. At the time, the economy was really hot, so I just moved into consulting. I did that for seven years before coming here.
I got really interested in green tech right before I came to Haas. I did a finance project in energy and really took to it. Clean tech is the confluence of a lot of different forces. You see a lot of people who maybe aren’t energy people coming into this space, because it combines basic technology with policy, geopolitics, climate change, human dimensions. I knew that Berkeley would be a good place to study this, but I didn’t really appreciate fully the magnitude of that decision until I got here.
After ten years working on the East Coast, Michael Ross came out West to push his comfort zone as an MBA student at UCLA Anderson. With his first year almost behind him, we asked him how it’s going.
How did you end up at UCLA? And why Los Angeles?
It’s like the admissions interview all over again. I had about nine years of professional experience before I started. I graduated from UPenn with an undergraduate focus in computer science, and I took a couple of classes at Wharton, as well. I was interested in marrying business to technical applications.
I joined an incubation services and information technology firm backed by Kleiner Perkins called Silicon Valley Internet Partners. I was there for four years. It was 1998, and nascent Internet times. And you had a lot of start-ups with venture backing and large companies that wanted to be entrepreneurial and wanted to understand how to use the Internet.
So I was there for four years. I loved it. I was in a product management role, and I worked across disciplines, with strategists, graphic designers, interface designers, technologists. It was an incredible experience, and left me desiring to have that experience I progressed professionally. Unfortunately, those were anomalous times. I progressed, those experiences became fewer and farther between.
Video games that read your mind. A bike that you run on instead of pedal. Really, what could be more California than Stanford’s annual Cool Product Expo? We spoke with Amanda Kaye Boaz, a second-year MBA student at Stanford GSB and co-organizer of this geek- and green-friendly celebration of innovative products.
First of all, what is the Cool Product Expo?
Last year we had about 800 attendees, including current students, alumni, local professionals, press, etc. It’s open to anybody. It is the largest student-run event on campus, and we are really fortunate because of our location in the Bay Area. There are a lot of start-ups that come out with really cool, innovative products.
We typically get about 50 exhibitors from around the area who are launching products that we think are really innovative and cutting-edge. For instance, this year we are having someone over who found a way to let you play video games with your mind. They have neurosensors that they attach to your head, and with these you can actually move the characters on the video game.
So, I assume most of the “cool” products are high-tech things.
By the nature of where we are located we have a little more technology, but it’s not just technology. We will have clean-tech cars, and Cal Cars that convert Priuses into plug-in electric vehicles. Last year, we had GM come with their electric vehicle. We are hoping to get them to come again this year.
It’s a lot of everything. We have a number of booths for current student projects. We’re having people in the engineering school who made irrigation systems for developing countries, and another student coming who is bringing an extension for people who don’t have use for their hands, so they can actually play golf.
Location, location, location – it also matters for MBA students looking to focus on marketing. We spoke with Dominique Hanssens, who chairs the marketing faculty at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, about what makes a good program, and why the West Coast might have its finger on the pulse of future trends.
What makes a good marketing program? Not all top-ranked business schools necessarily have strong marketing programs, right?
There’s not a one-to-one overlap, that is true. There are many places that have good marketing teaching, but not that many that have a state-of-the-art research program. But the following generalization is true: all of the top programs are world-class in their research, but not all of the world-class research programs are among the top programs at the MBA level. The reason is that there is a certain amount of inertia in reputation development.
Let me give you an example: One of the reasons why the Kellogg School at Northwestern does so well is Professor Philip Kotler. He has written some very important marketing books at a critical time in marketing’s history as a discipline, and is widely recognized for that. A lot of the MBA students from 20 or more years ago have read these books, and many of them are now in senior managerial positions. That established a reputation, a long-term effect that Kellogg is able to capitalize on.
There are some other equally strong marketing research faculties – including Columbia, Stanford and UCLA for example – that don’t have such pioneering book authors. As a result, they haven’t communicated their value proposition as effectively with the MBA audience. That’s the fundamental difference, as I see it.
More business schools are adding design to their curricula, but only a couple programs cater to designers and creatives. We spoke with Nathan Shedroff, chair of the new Design Strategy MBA program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, about what people working in the creative industries can get from doing an MBA.
Where do your students come from?
Around 70 percent of the students have a design background; that might be fashion, graphic design, interaction design, industrial design, or maybe a little architecture. The rest have a non-design background but all have an affinity for design. They might work for companies in non-design capacities but these companies use design strategically or are design-aware.
For someone in your program without a design background, will they learn design as well as business?
They will definitely learn more about design as they go through the program, but we aren’t a design program, and we don’t actually teach design skills in the traditional sense. There’s nothing about color, type, layout, etc. We often talk about those issues in classes, but they aren’t learning those design skills. Instead, they learn strategic design skills: design research, design thinking, managing design, managing companies, etc.
The first year of your MBA program has only just begun, but where do you expect your grads will end up?
We expect they’ll end up in one of three places, depending on what they’re interested and what the economy is like. We expect a small percentage of students will start their own companies, probably based on whatever their thesis is. That’s not for another 16 months, so it’s hard to gauge.
We think the bulk of our students will end up at the design-related consultancies that do strategic design. And they’re crying out for people to bridge the gap between design innovation and business. A big part of it is helping clients understand what the process is, and what needs to be done, and to be comfortable with it. And then there are the skills of managing innovation. Consultancies are searching desperately for these people. Not only is it hard to find people with this experience, but strategic work is much more profitable for them, as well.
Plus, much of the traditional design work is moving over to China at the moment. Graphic design not as much yet, but product design and industrial design is moving over to China rapidly. Interaction design is starting to follow, as well.