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Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases?

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Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases? [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2008, 12:53
Today we (HBS students) had the CEO and top management team of a big multinational firm in class. They travelled across the Atlantic (as they are based in the UK) just to spend the last 20 minutes of class with us sharing their thoughts and answering to our grilling on a particular case (x3 different time slots, some in room, some via simulcast). Around here it's quite usual to get the case protagonist from time to time (at least every 2 - 3 weeks we'll get someone).

At the same time I met a visitor (a friend's former co-woker) who happened to sit on one such a class and was impressed with that. I had not given it much thought before, my assumption being that all schools would get different protagonists depending on their networks and such, but then someone pointed out to me that it was likely that HBS, given its involvement in writing the cases, was likely to get more such visits. Additionally, since it's one of the few schools which are 100% case based, it's more likely to be so.

The longwinded introduction leads me to the question: do you usually get case protagonists to sit in class? Would you consider that interesting?

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Re: Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases? [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2008, 13:18
I think that would be awesome. While I'm not in the MBA yet, I have taken classes with case study and once we had the executive come in. It's one thing to hear about the results from a professor, it's a completely different thing to hear about it from the person who actually went through it. As we all know, there can a disconnect between what happens in academia vs. business, and I feel that having the actual person there provides a much richer learning experience.
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Re: Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases? [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2008, 16:30
I think you hit the nail on the head, Lepium - it seems being the source of cases increases your likelihood of getting a protagonist. Most if not all of the cases in my mkt intel class were written by the profs, so we had a guy from IBM and a guy from Del Monte. We also did a case based on work that our prof had done for our WEMBA program.

I should say, though, that we do have guest speakers in some of classes - it depends on the class. Some of them are pretty good - the cheif counsel for microsoft, for example. But it doesn't sound like we do it to the same extent you do.
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Re: Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases? [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2008, 16:42
We had people every 3 weeks or so as well during the core part of the program. I guess we have some relation with GE because we had someone from NBC for an MLB case, and I guess last year Jeff Immelt came; we also had a speaker from another GE division for an operations course. Progressive insurance seems to be a partner or something because we had several cases across different classes and representatives who attended and answered questions. Depending on the speaker, we sometimes get a lunchtime Q&A session after classes because it's difficult for a single person to visit each of the different sections because they take place at the same time.

At Darden, about 1/2 the cases we use are HBS, and about 1/2 are Darden (with a couple of random cases from other sources). To tell you the truth, I didn't pay attention to which cases were related to speakers, but I think it's good intuition that speakers will likely visit the people who wrote the cases they are involved in.
Re: Do you frequently get case-related guests for cases?   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2008, 16:42
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