I’m a proud graduate of Syracuse University. At the time of this post, Syracuse’s long time assistant basketball coach, Bernie Fine, is embroiled in a sordid set of sexual abuse accusations. As an alum and a devoted fan of Syracuse basketball, it’s been a challenging few weeks. Like the community at Penn State, we’ve craved leadership, direction, clarity, and assurances.
So far this semester I’ve taken classes on Organizational Behavior and Human Resources. We’ve discussed the importance of leadership and effective communication. MBA students tend to have high aspirations and enthusiasm. After all, we all have ability, ambition, and bright futures ahead of us. We talk a lot about what makes people and organizations successful. However, in looking at how the respective institutions and coaches have handled these horrible tragedies, I believe that there is a necessary perspective for MBA students: what happens when things don’t go right? Will we be equipped as leaders to handle adversity? Will we be able to navigate uncharted waters?
As leaders we have a responsibility to be forthright and honest, particularly when problems abound. When it appears bleakest, whether it’s a scandal on campus or poor quarterly earnings, leaders must be transparent. Fans, shareholders, students, and colleagues require and deserve honest discourse about the past, but also a roadmap for the future.
As a future leader, will I have the fortitude to not only make difficult business decisions, but also to fulfill my civic responsibility to the people that will rely on me? While my experience at GW is far from over, I’ve already been provided with a unique lens for which to evaluate non-business related circumstances. Like all people, I hope that the Penn State and Syracuse situations are resolved justly, but these two examples have prompted me to reflect on what it means to be a leader and their responsibilities.
Posted by gwsb on December 6, 2011 | Filed under: GWSB News,MBA Admissions and Experience.
There were a number of elements that I considered when choosing George Washington for my MBA: location, access to business leaders, and the quality of life for my fiancée and me. However, if there was one characteristic that stood out for me most about GW, it was the culture of the program. I was drawn to the small class sizes and the school’s commitment to ethics in the business space. I valued the promise that my experience would be more than academic; it would also be about surrounding myself with people who would contribute to my personal and professional development.
I’m more than halfway through my first semester, and the program has lived up to my expectations and the criteria by which I had originally evaluated it. I’ve made friends, I’ve met really interesting people outside of the program, and my fiancée and I have really enjoyed living in Washington, D.C. However, I keep coming back to the idea of culture, which feels incredibly important, but also difficult to define. How have I fit in? Can I get better here?
Full disclosure time: microeconomics is hard for me. It’s like learning a completely different language and it’s taken longer for me to get the hang of it than I would like. In fact, I took a quiz last week and I didn’t do all that well.
Here’s where the surprise comes in. My professor, a man with 120 students, personal research requirements, and a personal life, emailed me to let me know that my score was not where I would have liked it to be and offered to review the quiz with me one-on-one at my convenience. I was blown away. I never saw a professor take initiative to meet with students as an undergraduate student, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen in graduate school.
I hate to belabor the point, but culture matters. Furthermore, the quality of people in the program matters. The reviews that you read about programs often talk about rankings, percentage of graduates with jobs, and their starting salaries. All of those things matter a lot. Getting your MBA is a big investment. But nowhere in my research did I read, “Professors might email you out of the blue because they care about your learning.” Culture is about ethos, but more important, it’s about people. I have fit in and I can get better here.
By Brian Landau
Posted by gwsb on November 15, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
First year MBA’s, we did it! We completed Module 1. The first seven weeks of our MBA experience are done and in the books: we’ve taken classes on organizational behavior, business ethics, accounting, communication, and international business perspectives. If I had to choose one class that defined my Module 1 experience, it was Judgment, Uncertainty, and Decisions, a quantitative course that focused on probabilities and statistics.
JUD, as it is affectionately known, stressed out most of us for the entire module. For those of us without a quantitative background, the course material was largely alien. For those of us with a quantitative background, the course material was largely alien. Nevetheless, in thinking about my experience thus far in business school, JUD underscores the wide array of emotions and expectations that I had in the process of coming to George Washington, which was a lengthy one rife with moments of self-evaluation and introspection.
Decisions and Uncertainty:
Was going back to school the right decision? What would be the outcome of my experience? Why the MBA program at George Washington? What would living in Washington, D.C., be like? Would I make friends? Like many of my classmates, I left a good job and moved a significant distance to come to GW. My decision to attend business school was a decision that not only impacted me, but also my loved ones.
Once I was settled in D.C. and back at school, there was a whole other set of questions:
Do I ask too many questions in class? Are my emails as funny as I think they are? How come nobody calls me on the weekend?
The first few weeks of graduate school have confirmed several important things:
1) Nobody will ever drink more coffee than I do. Ever.
2) Experiencing something new with strangers can be the ultimate bonding experience.
3) Challenges are always worth it.
4) No, my emails aren’t funny.
Although we don’t have any real time to sit back and celebrate the achievement of completing our first module, I think that it’s very important that we take some time to reflect on this significant milestone in our lives. The next module will have its own set of experiences and challenges. Personally, I will be taking classes like Economics and Finance for the first time. However, if there is one challenge that I am particularly excited for, it’s figuring out how to work the class “Data Models” into a catchy theme for my next blog post.
By Brian Landau
Posted by gwsb on October 19, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
I was in Los Angeles last Sunday as part of The MBA Tour (if you missed us on Sunday, we’ll be back on October 2nd as part of the QS Top MBA Tour). There, I spoke to a woman named Simone who had a sheet full of questions for me. Some of them were general questions, but some were specifically about GW. It’s that time of year where GW and dozens of other MBA programs will be coming to your town as part of MBA recruiting fairs.
Admittedly, not many of the potential applicants I speak with are as prepared as Simone, but there is definitely a difference between the people who are prepared and the people who aren’t. To help you be in the former group, I thought I’d share a little advice from the other side of the table.
Treat It like a Job Fair
That’s what these recruitment fairs are, really. They’re an opportunity for you to learn more about programs you’re interested in and for them to learn more about you. Come dressed in business casual or business professional, and act as you would in a job interview. The person you meet at the table might sit on the admissions committee or be an influential alumnus. This is the first impression you are making with the school, and that impression is hard to correct if you start off on the wrong foot.
Research Target Schools Ahead of Time
If you walk in to the ballroom and know you’re planning to apply to GW or Stern or Kellogg, then you should probably know the average GMAT or GRE scores for those schools ahead of time. It’s better to ask a question about a program, symposium, or study abroad experience that is on the website but provides scant detail. I get a lot of questions about our Consulting Abroad Project, and I love answering those questions because it means the individual has clearly reviewed our website.
Talk to Schools You Hadn’t Considered Before
You should have a list of target schools, but you should also talk to schools that aren’t yet on your list. We all know the powerhouse programs, but the rankings can’t tell you whether a school is the right fit for your personality and goals. The fairs are a great opportunity to talk to admissions reps and maybe an alum or current student from different schools all over the world. This could be the only time a representative from that school is within a day’s drive of your city. And don’t forget that the people at the table can go a long way in telling you about the attitude and culture of the school.
This is the First Step in a Long Process
I was in LA on July 31st, which means I was recruiting for the Global MBA class of 2014 before the GMBA class of 2013 even gets started. The fall recruiting fairs are often the first step, a first interaction. As important that the fair is the first impression the school gets of you, it’s also the first impression you get of the school. It is the start of a conversation—one that you can stop at any time, but one worth having.
I hope these tips are helpful and that they help you get the most out of the fairs. Come prepared. Talk to other schools. Be your professional self. Start a conversation. I’ll see you at the table.
Posted by Kennedy on August 4, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
We are excited to announce our Fall 2011 recruitment tour schedule! The MBA Admissions team will be traveling to 12 international cities and 17 US cities through the beginning of December. We have already participated in two fairs, The MBA Tour in New York City and DC, and we were thrilled to meet a great crop of prospective MBA candidates. View our Around the World calendar for all dates.
Most of our travel will be done in association with Kaplan Road to Business School, The MBA Tour, QS World MBA Tour, and QS World Grad School Tour. These forums are a great opportunity to get an overview of MBA programs and the application process, and admission is either free or a nominal charge. Besides offering a general fair where you can browse programs and talk informally with admissions officers, many of these events also feature panels with admissions directors and presentations by specific schools. Please come to our table and introduce yourself!
In addition to the MBA fairs, we’ll offer a variety of opportunities to meet us in your city. In many cities we will hold intimate group dinners a local hot spot. At these dinners you’ll meet other prospective students and have the chance to ask more in-depth questions about the MBA program. Details about each event will be found on the Around the World Page, and invitations will be sent to prospective students who live in those areas. Additionally, if you’d like to chat with an admissions director one-on-one before or after a fair, please email Carly Schildhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time.
Of course, visiting campus is the ideal way to learn more about GW and get a feel for the culture and community. We’d love to host you and show you around campus. When you visit, we’ll connect you with a current student who shares your interests, and you’ll have lunch and observe a class. Fall on-campus and online information session dates will be posted soon. Or, email us at email@example.com anytime to set up an informal informational interview.
Watch your email these next few months for invitations to events in your area. If you’re not already receiving our newsletters, please sign up here. We look forward to meeting you!
Posted by Ekliever on July 27, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
As classes wind down at the School of Business and our second-year MBA students prepare for life outside Foggy Bottom, I am reminded of the many ways the GW MBA and the School of Business remain a worthwhile investment.
Location, Location, Location. No political or business backdrop rivals Washington, DC. GW is a neighbor to culturally rich organizations such as the World Bank. GW has also on several occasions hosted President Obama, who recently chose our campus for his speech on a reducing the deficit. Several School of Business students were invited to attend President Obama’s address, an event that will certainly be a lasting memory for the community.
Community and Collaboration. Our graduates will remember their involvement in the diverse landscape that is the GW School of Business. Whether they made worthwhile contributions to our growing Net Impact chapter or developed an inaugural business and society conference that welcomed journalists and business leaders from the DC metro area, our students are dedicated to making both a difference and an impact. The event Crossroads: The Interplay of Business, Government, and the Global Economy focused on GWSB’s unique position, led by Dean Doug Guthrie, to lead the business school community in exploring government’s role in global business development. This event was wholly designed and executed by our MBA students. Again, we had the good fortune to receive contributions from professionals at the World Bank as well as Bankers without Borders.
International Immersion. Our international consulting project, a requirement for all Global MBA students, is a signature aspect of our full-time MBA program. Soon, our first-year MBA students will depart DC for locales such as Ghana, Vietnam, and Brazil for two weeks as a capstone to their seven-week consulting assignment. These students will come back to campus recharged and committed to further investment in their development as global business leaders. Our second-year students will leave the School having been academically and culturally fortified by their own experiences in countries such as Turkey, Mexico, Sweden, and India.
GW. The School of Business is privileged to be part of The George Washington University. As the largest research university in Washington, GW offers numerous educational assets that are valuable to our MBA students. The University and the School of Business share an ethos of service and community, and our students regularly participate in service projects born of these values. To take advantage of the resources offered by other GW schools such as the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Elliott School of International Affairs, MBA students can take classes in international affairs and attend lectures by such high-profile politicos as Hillary Clinton.
I would say, and I think our students would agree, that all of these qualities make for an unforgettable MBA experience.
Posted by Judith on April 25, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity. — Michel de Montaigne
Insurance giant Chubb recently published the following on its website:
“Those who perceive diversity as exclusively a moral imperative or societal goal are missing the larger point. Workforce diversity needs to be viewed as a competitive advantage and a business opportunity. That’s why Chubb makes diversity a business priority and strives to achieve a fully inclusive diverse workforce.
“Diversity is about recognizing, respecting and valuing differences based on ethnicity, gender, color, age, race, religion, disability, national origin and sexual orientation. It also includes an infinite range of individual unique characteristics and experience, such as communication style, career path, life experience, educational background, geographic location, income level, marital status, military experience, parental status and other variables that influence personal perspectives. These life experiences and personal perspectives make us react and think differently, approach challenges and solve problems differently, make suggestions and decisions differently, and see different opportunities. Diversity, then, is also about diversity of thought. And superior business performance requires tapping into these unique perspectives.”
At the GW School of Business, we embrace diversity in all of its wonderful permutations. Like Chubb and other Fortune 500 corporations, the School of Business recognizes that as an MBA program we are only strengthened by diversity of thought, orientation, ethnicity, and national origin. With an international population that typically exceeds 30% of each incoming class, we value and seek student points-of -view from culturally rich countries such as Malawi, Mexico, and Kuwait as well as India, Russia, China, and New Zealand. Domestically, we seek to incorporate the diverse experiences of underrepresented US minorities into our cultural mix with the intent of creating vibrant learning opportunities where students can celebrate both their similarities and differences. At the GW School of Business, it is our belief that a classroom is only enriched by courting all voices.
Over the past year, MBA Admissions has worked to expand our access to diverse audiences through partnerships with organizations such as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs as well as the National Black MBA Association. Through introducing our portfolio of MBA programs to these and other organizations and offering scholarships to talented prospective MBA candidates, we hope to increase our pipeline of dynamic prospective MBA students.
From my humble perch as director of MBA admissions at a business school, it appears the business case for diversity is abundantly apparent. The strength of an organization, public or private, business or university, rests on its people resources, something often referred to as human capital. The human equation is eclectic and fluid and capable of great expansion through the force of ideas. And good ideas can, and do, come from every place and all walks of life. At GWSB, we continue to pursue a medley of human experiences, confident that an assortment of voices and views will fortify an MBA program with a global reach.
MBA Admissions and the School of Business will continue the Business Case for Diversity conversation April 1st and 2nd. On the evening of Friday, April 1st, we will host a reception and dinner for prospective and admitted students. On Saturday, April 2nd at Duquès Hall there will be a mock class, a presentation about the F. David Fowler Career Center, panels with current students and young alumni, and a closing dessert reception with partner organizations such as the National Black MBA Association, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Please join us. Click here to register for The Business Case for Diversity, or call MBA Admissions at 202-994-1212 for more information.
Posted by Judith on March 17, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
A good teacher is like a candle—it consumes itself to light the way for others. –Unknown
In February, I had the pleasure of attending the Teach for America (TFA) Summit in Washington, DC. As a partner school with Teach for America, the GW School of Business (GWSB) had the opportunity to speak with prospective MBA students during the three-day summit. Unfortunately, I missed the opening remarks from TFA founder Wendy Kopp who, I was told, set the summit abuzz with her inspiring words of educational advocacy for all children everywhere—no matter their zip code.
For twenty years Ms. Kopp and her band of teachers have been building a movement to end educational inequity in America. Teach for America stands strongly behind the belief that it is possible for children growing up in low-income areas to carve a path to educational achievement and excellence. A key component of the Teach for America ethos is the notion of teaching as leadership.
“Teachers as leaders” is a concept about which Ms. Kopp writes extensively in her latest book, A Chance to Make History. We see this leadership in the many applications GWSB receives from former TFA teachers. Our Teach for America MBA candidates are typically some of the strongest with regard to leadership and social impact. Like many other prospective students, they are attracted to GWSB’s focus on social impact and elements of “servant leadership.” Our message of globalization, leadership, and responsible management pulls from key servant leadership concepts of awareness, growth, and community building. These concepts fit firmly with the teaching as leadership lessons that TFA graduates bring into an MBA, particularly a program with a focus on building responsible leaders for a global marketplace.
As Teach for America expands its business model overseas with Teach for All, I expect that I will see even more TFA MBA candidates ready to increase their global literacy and business acumen as they continue to pour their passion into all aspects of educational reform and management.
This reminds me of an African proverb that has lived with me for most of my days: “Each one, teach one.”
Posted by Judith on March 1, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
This week I had the pleasure of witnessing ethics in action both away and on the home front.
The “away” reference is directed toward Colgate-Palmolive and Ian Cook of New York City. The highly esteemed and unmistakably British Mr. Cook is currently the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive and was invited by the School of Business to visit and deliver a lecture on corporate social responsibility in today’s business marketplace. Mr. Cook provided a rich tapestry of examples of Colgate-Palmolive’s efforts in the United States and locales such as the Philippines and much of Europe where the company employs a corporate philosophy of managing with respect. And how does one multi-billion-dollar entity do that, you may ask?
According to Mr. Cook, managing with respect requires keeping calm under stress, being optimistic and resilient, communicating well, having a sense of humor, and, most importantly, getting outside of one’s self. This means it is imperative that global managers regularly leave their home country and culture in order to best learn how to manage a diversity of people and environments. Mr. Cook noted that in a world where values matter more than ever, it is critical that Colgate-Palmolive remain steadfast in its “living our values” strategy that focuses on people, performance, and planet.
Back on the home front, after the informative and inspiring lecture by Mr. Cook, MBA Admissions invited prospective MBA candidates to a panel discussion on the importance of social impact and how social responsibility and sustainability are incorporated into the GW MBA curriculum. Several current students led a discussion on their involvement with Net Impact and how they were becoming well versed in pertinent issues related to sustainability and social enterprise through coursework in environment, energy, technology, society, and global corporate social responsibility.
No GW School of Business CSR discussion is complete without current students mentioning Dr. Tim Fort, Executive Director of the GW Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility and the GW Peace through Commerce program. GW students emphasized how their views of CSR are being shaped by Dr. Fort’s research on using organizational structures to foster effective ethical sentiments in business. GW students also noted how valuable it is to be at a business school with a robust and thriving Net Impact chapter. The GW School of Business chapter regularly hosts networking events, conferences, and panels with leading industry experts from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The students’ enthusiasm for social enterprise and the GW experience was clearly evident and recognized by the prospective MBA candidates.
Overall the panel discussion was both informal and influential—time well spent for all.
Posted by Judith on February 11, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. —Chinese Proverb
Education enthusiasts promote the benefits of lifelong learning and how the pursuit of knowledge leads to increased personal and professional engagement in life. MBA candidates, a most curious sort to begin with, regularly ponder the merits of earning an MBA and whether or not the education will pay dividends once they are out and about in an uncertain and lively marketplace.
It is my position—one that I regularly share with GW MBA candidates—that the MBA ultimately morphs into the gift that keeps on giving. The insights in books authored by the likes of marketing guru Philip Kotler or corporate strategy mastermind Michael Porter can linger in one’s life and be of service in a multitude of enriching ways beyond the classroom. Cases hotly debated in a classroom full of intellectual vigor and ambition become part of a collection of knowledge that lives with students indefinitely. Classroom experiences leave students with approaches to problem-solving and analysis that expand management capabilities for years, if not decades, post-graduation.
I recently met with a candidate in our Global MBA program who inquired about the utility of the MBA and whether the degree is ultimately worth the investment. Without question, the financial commitment to an MBA program is significant and should be carefully considered. However, the utility cannot be measured just in dollars. A graduate degree should be viewed as a long-term investment in your professional toolbox.
Markets will remain dynamic and the economy volatile, but any investment of an educational nature is apt to grow and multiply. Armed with a graduate business degree and the network and alumni relationships that follow, one can be confident that the experiences and perspectives an MBA afford are life-changing.
Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. —Oliver Wendell Holmes
Learning something new permanently expands your view of the world and the people in it. An MBA from The George Washington School of Business offers an unparalleled worldview. Our ethics-infused programs provide a front-row seat in Washington, DC, where we integrate the internationalism and political debates of our nation’s capital into the MBA experience.
No doubt these experiences remain etched in our students’ consciousness long after they leave GW. No doubt learning from professors such as Timothy Fort and Mark Starik leaves an indelible mark on students’ professional path as they consider and promote the merits of social responsibility and sustainable leadership. No doubt our students will leave their imprint on the School of Business and change the School as much as they will be changed by it. No doubt our lifelong learners will benefit from the MBA program and, in the end, consider their time well spent.
Posted by Judith on January 25, 2011 | Filed under: MBA Admissions and Experience.