Building a Civilized MBA Program and Surviving One That Isn’t
Stanford University professor Robert I. Sutton starts his New York Times bestseller book, The No Asshole Rule saying, “When I encounter a mean-spirited person, the first thing I think is: ‘Wow, what an asshole!’”
My version of his statement, “When I encounter a mean-spirited and obnoxious MBA student, the first thing I think is: Wow, what an asshole!” Most of the time I did not share this thought with anyone. However, during MBA class periods when a particularly obnoxious MBA student acted like a jerk, you could see by the expressions on faculty members’ and students’ faces there was a consensus that this student was indeed an MBA asshole.
MBA programs have their share of assholes. As hard as they try to filter them out, MBA program recruiters and admission committees do on occasion accept one or two assholes into a class. Furthermore, deans and department chairs will sometimes assign asshole faculty members to teach an MBA class. With this in mind, and staying with the title of Dr. Sutton’s book, I want to ask, “Does your MBA program have a no asshole rule?” If not, should your MBA program adopt a no asshole rule?
Click on the title to read more about developing a “no asshole” rule for MBA programs or classes.
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Many MBA faculty members think that MBA students are lazy. Why do they think this? Well, perhaps it is because some MBA students come to class without completing homework assignments, without reading assigned articles and book chapters, and when in class they are not active participants in discussions. Since most of my experience is with part time MBA students and Executive MBA students, I attributed this type of behavior to work-life balance issues. Now there may be another answer, exhausted self-control.
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A post by Natalie Houston on the ProfHacker Blog reminded me of the MBA students I know that lost digital files during their MBA program. File sharing is common among MBA students. Files are lost because of viruses, hardware failures, or Sues (stupid user errors). No matter the cause, a backup plan can prevent a lot of stress and rework.
Houston’s post describes reasons for not backing up digital files and solutions for backing up those important files. Backing up files can be an important time saver for the busy MBA student.
She identifies several cost effective and easy-to-use backup applications and services. Click on the heading to read more.
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Many MBA students find themselves in a “catch up” mode on day one of their MBA program because they lack the technology skills and applications’ proficiency to do the work expected of them. My experience suggests that when MBA students start their program in a catch up mode, they continue in a catch up mode throughout their entire MBA program. Moreover, when MBA students find themselves in this situation, they usually experience work life balance issues, class performance issues, and MBA peer perception issues.
While MBA program faculty members and administrators recognize that matriculating MBA students may lack basic technology skills, they typically view this type of training as a student responsibility and not the MBA program. Although this view is understandable, it does not help MBA students improve their understanding and use of applications, especially those that support collaboration.
One obvious solution is for the individual student to attend a training program that helps develop the needed skills. Fortunately, there are on-line just-in-time options that are available for the busy MBA student. More importantly, some of these options are low cost and include tutorials that focus on a single application function while taking only a few minutes to complete. While several online options are available, the one with which I am most familiar is Lynda.com. I view Lynda.com tutorials on a regular basis either to refresh existing knowledge or to develop new skills.
Click on the heading to learn how Lynda.com can help you live and work smarter.
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Helping MBA students live and work smarter while earning their MBA degree is the goal of MyeEMBA. The online tool referenced in the title is OpenTable, a leading provider of free, real-time online restaurant reservations for diners. I use this tool on a regular basis to make restaurant reservations. Recently, during a visit to Honolulu, I used OpenTable to make dinner reservations at four restaurants. I selected all four based on the ratings and feedback found in OpenTable. I was not disappointed as all provided exceptional dining experiences. OpenTable is an extremely valuable tool that helps me live and work smarter. Perhaps this free online tool can help MBA students, MBA faculty members, MBA program administrators, and others to live and work smarter as well.
Click on the heading to learn how OpenTable can help you live and work smarter.
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SlideShare, voted one of the world’s top 10 tools for education and elearning is a resource that I highly recommend to MBA students, MBA program directors, and MBA faculty. SlideShare is both a gateway to presentations and a platform for sharing presentations. Given the number of presentations MBA students, faculty, and program directors make each week the benefits of using SlideShare are almost unlimited. Let me introduce SlideShare and outline a few of its uses to illustrate the benefits.
This article introduces MBA students to SlideShare, a gateway to presentations and a platform for sharing presentations. Click on the heading to read more.
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