‘Twofer’ is a slang term that describes an item that is selling two for the price of one. So what is an MBA twofer you ask? An MBA twofer is a phrase that I use to describe a concept whereby an MBA student takes advantage of the opportunity to gain at least one additional benefit from an assignment they must complete for one of their MBA classes. Many MBA class assignments have MBA twofer potential, however exploiting that potential is at the discretion of the individual student. Therefore, exploitation may well be a function of student insight, vision, and motivation. Let me explain.
Imagine if you will, that today is the first day of class and your professor provides you a course syllabus. As you read the syllabus, you find your assignments, their due date, and the grading criteria for each. You note that one assignment involves a case study that requires you to prepare a written case analysis for grading.
At this point, you can regard the assignment as something that:
- Must be done so you can receive a grade and course credit
- Helps you gain a better understanding of the course material
- Helps you master a concept that will benefit you sometime during your career
- Can immediately benefit your employer, a co-worker, client, or customer
It is much easier for you to adopt or accept the first three views because that is what an MBA program is suppose to do. Furthermore, your professor may use them as justification for the course’s content and design. However, for you to adopt the last view, you need insight into your company, the course, and the subject matter of the assignment so you can use the assignment to benefit your employer, a co-worker, client, or customer. Expanding your view is how you achieve twofer status with this assignment. In other words, you have to complete the assignment anyway, so why not figure out a way to use the assignment to the benefit of yourself and others. Leveraging your assignment in this way provides you with an MBA twofer.
Let me suggest one approach for converting some of your MBA assignments into an MBA twofer. My suggestion is primarily for part-time, online, and executive MBA students. Although they do not refer to them as MBA twofers, some full-time MBA programs are establishing ways for students to achieve the same result. To gain MBA twofer status for an assignment, you should:
- Start with a review of your personal learning guide to see how the course assignments support your goals and learning objectives and those of your company
- Review the course syllabus with your immediate supervisor, co-workers, key customers, etc to see if they can help identify any of the assignments that could be of benefit to them. Caution: team assignments are an option, however they can be more difficult to convert to twofers
- Identify and prioritize assignments with twofer potential and select one or two to use to achieve twofer status. Caution: not all twofers are created equal because some can require much more time to execute than others
- Evaluate your options for converting an assignment into a twofer. Possibilities include:
o Create a white paper that you can share with others
o Making a lunch and learn presentation that is part of a professional development program
o Facilitating a discussion group that focuses on the topic
o Leading a group in developing a feasibility study relating to the topic
o Share the article or case study that relates to the assignment with others
I am sure there are other approaches for converting MBA class assignments to twofer status. Perhaps you can make additional suggestions in the comments section below.
Why go to the trouble of converting an assignment to a twofer? I think the main reason is that you get to apply immediately what you learn, which can lead to a deeper understanding and mastery of the topic. Additionally, by sharing your MBA experience and knowledge with others, you contribute to their professional development and their wellbeing. Finally, knowledge sharing will likely differentiate you in the workplace and as a result enhance your own career and social wellbeing.
The twofer concept is not new; however, applying it to MBA assignments may be. Do you think some of your MBA class assignments have twofer potential? Perhaps you have experience leveraging an assignment in this way that you are willing to share with us. You can do so by adding a comment below.
Rodney G. Alsup, D.B.A., CPA, CITP
Founder of MyeEMBA.com