Ask any group of MBA students and they will tell you that they have too much to read. From their perspective, this may be true. However, from a faculty member’s perspective, there is always room on the syllabus for one more article or book chapter. Having too much to read may be a matter of perspective during the MBA program; however, after graduation, MBA students no longer have a faculty member selecting books and articles for them to read. Therefore, the burden of dealing with the crisis of too much to read becomes an issue for the individual MBA to address. Read the article to learn one approach to dealing with the crisis.
The purposeful action of enrolling in an MBA program can lead to unintended consequences or outcomes. Unintended or not, these outcomes can be a mixed bag – some positive, some negative, and some can even be perverse. Awareness on the part of MBA students can help mitigate the negative or perverse or leverage the positive. My purpose with this article is to increase MBA student awareness so they can better prepare for any unintended consequences of their enrollment in an MBA program.
Newly enrolled MBA students learn very quickly that not all of their MBA peers exhibit the same behaviors. While some differences are expected, others are surprising. It is these differences that make individuals interesting or that give a class its personality. From an individual standpoint, if properly managed, these differences can make you a standout among your classmates. More importantly, when classmates and faculty members view these behavioral differences positively, they become differentiators.
I believe the following behaviors, if properly handled, can become differentiators for most MBA students:
Feedback is the lifeblood of a quality MBA program, the source of which is most often the curriculum’s own students and alumni. As a program improves and its reputation grows, the value of the degree also grows for all degree holders, even for those who graduated years ago. Unfortunately, when MBA students and alumni provide feedback, the quality is lacking, so they do not make as valuable a contribution as they could. Sometimes, quality is lacking because of the timing of the feedback request; or because respondents take too little time to prepare their response; or because respondents fail to recall the details necessary for providing quality feedback. MBA students and alumni can do many things to improve the quality of their feedback. For example, the most important element may be finding ways to improve their recall of events and activities in sufficient detail to be useful for providing feedback.
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When talking with others, we sometimes say, “Now don’t tell anyone I said ….” Such statements are a request for non-attribution. The request is just for the case at hand and incorporated easily into the conversation. On the other hand, group settings, such as MBA classrooms, pose a different problem. Can you imagine an MBA classmate during a class discussion prefacing a comment with, “Now, don’t say I said this but my company …?” That situation is unlikely because when a student with valuable real world experiences to share is concerned about attribution, he or she is usually unwilling to participate in an open discussion. Unfortunately, the result is a missed learning opportunity for the class. One way of addressing the concerns of students regarding attribution is for the MBA class or the MBA program to adopt a non-attribution policy.
A recent MyeEMBA article addressed the issue of Wikipedia being an appropriate resource for MBA students. The article generated a lot of discussion. The consensus appears to be that MBA students can use Wikipedia as a starting point; however, MBA students should not use Wikipedia as the authoritative source. Two recent online articles provide new information regarding Wikipedia practices, which reinforces the conclusion that MBA students should not use Wikipedia as an authoritative source. The articles call into question the quality and objectivity of Wikipedia’s content and provide insight into Wikipedia’s editorial process and the way in which Wikipedia editors manage content changes.