Dropbox is perfect for MBA students – drag, drop, and forget – file sharing made easy and it is free.
I am a self-described technology experimenter and early adopter, some may even say junkie. I sometimes try a new software application just because it sounds interesting or because, in reading a review, I identify a solution to a problem that I did not know that I had. Dropbox, on the other hand is a solution to a problem for which I have been searching for several years.
After working with MBA students for over 20 years, I am certain of one thing: MBA students will share files – with faculty, teammates, classmates, and others. Unfortunately, MBA student approaches to file sharing often vary by the number of individuals involved in sharing with the default being email attachments. I have looked for a simple and easy way for MBA students to share files, with each other and especially me.
After using Dropbox for a few months, I know this file sharing application is the one for which I have been searching. I say this because Dropbox:
- Is easy to install and setup
- Requires very little instruction to use
- Tracks file versions
- Automatically takes the latest version of files placed in one or more specified folders and uploads them to a secure Web-based storage location for sharing and backup
- Can automatically keep designated files updated on multiple computers
- Automatically shares files with others you designate
- Provides a high level of security for file storage and transfers
- Works with mobile devices
There are many ways MBA students and MBA student teams can use Dropbox. However, to get started, I suggest the following:
- Select one team member to create a free Dropbox account which results in the automatic creation of a Web based folder on a Dropbox server and a computer desktop folder on the team member’s computer
- Designated team member – create a team folder inside the desktop folder
- Designated team member – log into the Web based folder and using the referral tab invite each team member to register for a Dropbox account which means an increase in the designated team member’s on-line storage capacity of 250 MB for each member added up to an additional 8 GB
- Non Designated team members – accept the invitation and create your own account
- Designated team member – while logged into the Web based team folder, use the “invite to folder tab” to share access to the folder and its contents with the members of your team
- All team members – drag any file you want to share with the team to the shared folder and all team members will have access to the file when they next connect their computer(s) to the internet
Over time, you will discover other Dropbox features that will be of use to you and your MBA team. In addition, you can gain more insight into file synchronizing and sharing by reading Edward Mendelson’s article, written for PCMAG.Com where he awarded Dropbox the Editor’s Choice award. He provides an excellent introduction to file syncing applications and review of three available applications, Dropbox, SugarSync, and Syncplicity.
I think any newly admitted MBA student or currently enrolled MBA student should seriously consider using some type of file syncing/sharing application, if for no other reason than saving time since you will not have to search for files and you will not have to resend files to team members. Some MBA programs provide file syncing/sharing capabilities through the course management systems that faculty use to manage their course content. If so, you may want to experiment to see how the capabilities meet your needs.
Do you use a file syncing/sharing application? Do you have any suggestions regarding file syncing/sharing applications? Share your thoughts by adding to the comments below.
Rodney G. Alsup, D.B.A., CPA, CITP
Founder of MyeEMBA.com
[Image is the Dropbox logo from my desktop]