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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Hosts 20th Annual Alternative Investment Conference
Harvard Business School‘s student-run Venture Capital and Private Equity Club will hold its 20th Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference on February 9, 2014. As one of the largest student-run conferences, the event  provides a forum for private equity and venture capital professionals, academics and students to reflect on the evolving landscape of the industry today.

This year introduces several new panel topics, including Investing in Africa, Family Offices, Corporate Venture Capital, and Women in Private Equity. All panels will be comprised of a blend of institutional investment managers, fund general partners, advisors, and intermediaries, each with extensive experience in the private equity and venture capital industries.

“The panels we’ve put together this year address a range of today’s most relevant topics in alternative investments, from growth equity investing and fundraising to geography specific investment opportunities,” says Alex Kleiner, Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2014 and Co-President of the Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference. “We hope to initiate a broad range of debates about the key trends affecting the industry today and into the future.”

This year’s conference will feature the following keynote speakers: David Rubenstein, Founder of The Carlyle Group; Joe Baratta, Global Head of Private Equity for Blackstone; and Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder of Social Capital and Former Vice President of Facebook.

Barbara Rauber, Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2014 and Co-President of the Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference, says, “It is an honor to welcome the leading members of the private equity and venture capital community to our conference once again and we look forward to a conference that will further the discussion on the evolving landscape of the alternative investment industry, where it is today and most importantly where it is going.”

To view the full schedule of events and to register to attend, please visit: http://2014.vcpeconference.com/

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2014, 18:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stanford GSB Continues Pilot MBA Interview Process
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In an effort to offer applicants a definitive answer sooner rather than later,  the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA blog notes that the school will continue its new compressed interview timeline for applicants who submitted for the Round 2 deadline January 8th.

The pilot process comes in response to feedback from applicants who said they would like to know right away if the answer is no, to minimize the constant obsessing and allow them time to refocus on other schools.

With that in mind, invitations to Round 2 applicants will go out from February 3rd through March 4th only—not before or after those dates—and Stanford expects to issue the majority by February 25th.

The waiting period is a painful one, but Stanford MBA admissions hopes that knowing exactly when those coveted interview invites will go out might ease the stress just a little bit.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: B-School Gender Gap
The state of women in business school is a topic that garners frequent attention, and will probably continue to do so until the numbers of female students and professors even out with their male counterparts.

Earlier this week, two schools published articles examining the gender gap. The Yale Daily News reported that women face a murky landscape at the SOM, with women making up just 20 percent of the tenured, tenure-track and full-time lecturer faculty at the school and female students making up 35 percent of the full-time MBA class of 2014.

Several SOM students and faculty members interviewed described the school as an environment that is not exactly hostile, but nevertheless presents unique challenges to women.

Alison Damaskos SOM ’12 said that women were not well-represented as teachers, as guest speakers or even as the protagonists in case studies at the school. Damaskos, who served as the co-head of Women in Management, the largest SOM organization for female students, told the Yale Daily News she was “reminded on a daily basis of the lack of female visibility” during her time as a student.

Yale SOM Dean Edward Snyder has acknowledged the low percentage of women among its tenured faculty, saying, “It is a high priority of mine to increase that percentage and to have a more diverse faculty, and it is important for the SOM community to make progress on this issue.”

The situation appears to be worse at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, where The Daily Tar Heel reports a mere 15 percent of tenured professors are women, and women comprise about 28 percent of MBA students.

“In the classroom, as the minority, we have to work harder at proving our expertise, our credentials and asserting our legitimacy in being in the role of the instructor,” says Sreedhari Desai, an assistant professor of organizational behavior profiled in the article.

“Other female faculty members reported facing similar issues. I am no longer surprised when students report in their evaluation, ‘An older man ought to be teaching this class’,” Desai says.

Though both business schools say that concerted efforts are underway to narrow the gender gap, female faculty and students say instances of gender discrimination persist. I invite you to read more about the situation at each of these schools, and if you’re a female applicant, take a closer look at what efforts of inclusion are happening on campus at your target MBA programs.

You may also be interested in:

Gender or Social Gap: What’s the Real Issue at HBS?

Closing the MBA Gender Gap

Study Examines Male-Female Wage Gap, Post-MBA

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz
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Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. In this edition, Buzz bloggers share application pros and cons, questions for self-reflection, and their contingency plans if things don’t work out this season.

 Back after a brief hiatus—As is often the case, HammO took a respite from MBA blogging once the admissions process was firmly behind him. He’s paid his deposit to Cornell’s Johnson School, and is currently planning his employment exit strategy while working out his expenses for the next two years.

Contingency plansDomotron celebrates the 10,000 views mark of his blog this month and tries to move past the bad news from Chicago Booth and Wharton he received in December.  While Tuck and Kellogg are still on the table, Domotron is prepared to reapply next cycle if an admit this season isn’t in the cards.

No more apps, ever!—Last week, MBA The NonProfit Way celebrated the awesomeness of never having to fill out another b-school application ever again.  Official word is still pending from most of the programs she applied to, but the UCLA Anderson deposit deadline looms. Everything is crazy up in the air right now, she says.

Duke vs HarvardSarah explains what she feels are the pros and cons of the applications of the two schools to which she applied. While at first glance Duke’s straightforward format seemed a better fit, she eventually decided that the new open-ended format at HBS allowed her to paint a richer picture of her candidacy.

Ask yourself these questions—Before you even think of writing that first essay draft, MBA Girl Journey recommends applicants answer four questions to save time, gain focus and clarity, and just maybe a leg up over other candidates.

Do you have an MBA-centric blog? Want it featured in an upcoming B-School Buzz post? If so, email me at buzz@StacyBlackman.com.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2014, 16:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Family Business Gets $10M Boost at Cornell’s Johnson School
Cornell University and its graduate business school made a big difference for John Smith, MBA ’74, whose family’s freight trucking business is among the 10 largest U.S. truckload concerns. Their wish for family businesses of all kinds to be owned and operated by subsequent generations moved the Smiths to make a $10 million gift to the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University to found the John and Dyan Smith Family Business Initiative.

“It is in the best interest of family businesses and the country for these businesses to be carried on for many generations,” said Smith. “With a focus on family businesses at Johnson, good research will be conducted, educational seminars will address the unique needs of family businesses, and prospective students will be drawn to Johnson because of the family business expertise on campus.”

The Smith Family Business Initiative will be housed in Johnson’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, and will fund three key additions to the institute:

[*]The John and Dyan Smith Professorship of Management and Family Business, who will serve as the initiative’s lead faculty member[/*]
[*]The Smith Family Clinical Professorship of Management, who will serve as director of the initiative[/*]
[*]The Smith Family Research, Program, and Faculty Support Fund, which will support a number of activities, including course offerings, student and alumni programming, marketing and outreach, presentations by visiting executive speakers, and faculty recruitment[/*]
[/list]
The Smith’s son Ian, currently earning his MBA at Johnson, is among many students from family businesses, who have joined Johnson over the past several decades—a trend that Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, expects to continue.

“With the Smith’s generous gift, we can now put in place a systematic program to help prepare students for starting, scaling, and managing a family business,” Dutta said. “The Smith Family Business Initiative will have a profound and lasting impact on family business and graduate business education at Johnson and Cornell.”

The Smith Family Business Initiative is likely to be a game-changer for Johnson and for Cornell, both in the U.S. and the world, said Wesley Sine, faculty director of Johnson’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute.

“Family businesses are the most common type of business on the earth, particularly in developing countries,” Sine said. “The greater the extent to which we help family businesses across the globe be more successful, the greater our relevance and the larger our impact.”

Recognizing that family businesses are the foundation of economic growth worldwide, Johnson is moving forward quickly with both research and new and innovative curriculum specific to them. Sine is currently developing the Smith Family Business Initiatives first two programs—a course that will focus on the benefits and challenges that are peculiar to family businesses; and the Smith Family Distinguished Family Business Lecture Series, which will bring executives from the world’s most successful family businesses to the Cornell campus.

Bringing the next generation into the family business was critically important to the Smiths, as it is for most families in business together. Yet there are many obstacles to be overcome. Infightings and misunderstandings can overwhelm a business, the Smiths said. Divisive issues are often emotional rather than business related.

“Who do you go to for help in addressing these problems and proceeding into the future? Where do you go for information on starting a family business and keeping your children in it?” said Dyan Smith. “We hope Cornell will flourish in being the source for family businesses.”

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2014, 08:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The GMAT and Hard Work
Guest post by our friends at Magoosh

President Theodore Roosevelt, a scholar and adventurer, said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”  At least some of the folks pursuing an MBA have something of this vision: a quest to do deeply satisfying hard work in the world.  In one way or another, the MBA is a “prize” for most of the people pursuing it.

For some people at the initial stages, the GMAT stands as a kind of obstacle in the path to this prize.  Perhaps some students even think: “If I could only dispense with this hindrance, then I could move on to the good stuff!”  The GMAT, though, is not an arbitrary barrier.  Instead, the challenges posed by the GMAT are reflections of some of the challenges you will face in the business world.

How hard the GMAT is depends in part on your perspective.  On the GMAT, you have to do math in a relatively tight time frame, if you make a mistake under pressure, you will get the question wrong.  In the business world, there may be moments when you may have to do calculations about budgetary issues, perhaps even under pressure, if you make a mistake there, it could cost the company big money.

On the GMAT, you have to sift through tricky arguments, looking for the words and phrases that make a big difference in the logic.  As an executive, on multiple occasions, you will be presented with potential sales, partnerships, deals, or other opportunities: some will truly be beneficial in a win-win way, but others will be by ruthless people trying to rob you blind, and you will have to discern what is best for your company and its long-term health.

In each of these examples, the ultimate downside for the first is the possibility of bombing this test that, after all, you can take again, whereas the direst negative outcomes in the latter cases can involve tremendous personal, legal, and financial liabilities.   The challenges of the GMAT are small potatoes compared to the potential challenges of the world to which the GMAT gains you access.

Students invest a great deal of importance in GMAT score percentiles, perhaps in part because all grades and assessments carry such existential import for folks.  Think about this chain of connection: elite GMAT scores often lead to one of the best B-schools, which often leads to landing a coveted management position – that is, a position that entails a tremendous amount of both responsibility and risk.

By all means, reach for the most you can achieve, but understand that whatever is challenging about the GMAT typically leads to more significant challenges down the road.

Some folks coming from more academic pursuits have already taken a GRE and understandably might be interested in GRE to GMAT score conversion.  I would caution, though, those students who seek out the GRE because they want something less challenging than the GMAT.

Both tests are hard.  If someone has a particularly large vocabulary, it may be that the GRE would be a slightly more advantageous test for that person, but for most folks, the GMAT is the better test to take for business school, simply because it mirrors more closely what is challenging, what is hard, about business world.

In the movie A League of Their Own, player Dottie Hinson tells her manager that she doesn’t like baseball anymore because it became too hard.  Her manager, Jimmy Dugan, tells her, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”  If that’s your attitude, toward both the GMAT and the business world, then, like Teddy, you can embrace the challenges with relish.

This post was written by Mike McGarry, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Scholarships for Women at LBS
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Research  shows that there is an under-representation of women pursuing post-graduate management education and that a core barrier to participation is the financial resource barrier. To help to address this, Lloyds Banking Group is providing four scholarships of £30,000 each, for four years starting from the 2014/16 cohort, London Business School has announced.

As part of its vision to help Britain prosper, Lloyds Banking Group is keen to encourage more women to study for an MBA and increase the potential for more women to become future business leaders.

The Lloyds Scholars MBA Scholarship for Women is available to female candidates who have been residents of the United Kingdom for three years or more who have successfully applied for a place in the LBS full-time MBA program.

Graham Lindsay, director of responsible business at Lloyds Banking Group, says his company is proud to partner with LBS to further extend its focus on women in leadership.

London Business School’s associate dean of degree programs and career services, Wendy Alexander, says, “Women’s leadership is – at last – coming of age and we believe that they are particularly strong on the team approach, thriving on collaboration and prizing diversity at work. We have made real progress in attracting more women to London Business School but we know there is still much to do.”

“These significant scholarships from Lloyds Banking Group will incentivize an important group – women living in the UK – to take on an MBA in order to further develop themselves as business leaders of the future.”

You may also be interested in:

B-School Gender Gap

MBA as Great Equalizer for Women

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2014, 10:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: UNC Kenan-Flagler Announces New Dean
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The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has named Douglas A. Shackelford, Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation and associate dean of the MBA@UNC Program, as its next dean.

Shackelford succeeds James W. Dean Jr., who served as dean from 2008 until he became provost July 1, 2013. John P. Evans has been serving as interim dean since then.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dean selected Shackelford after an international search and the work of a search committee led by Susan King, dean of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“I had the opportunity to meet with the very talented candidates for this important role at UNC,” Folt says. “Ultimately, Doug became the clear choice to lead UNC Kenan-Flagler and ensure its continued success.”

Folt and Dean will recommend Shackelford as the next dean to the UNC Board of Trustees at their meeting this week, with an effective date of Feb. 1, 2014.

“Doug is uniquely qualified to serve as the next dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler,” Dean says. “He is a seasoned academic leader and an internationally recognized scholar and business educator.  He loves the University and is a passionately engaged member of the UNC Kenan-Flagler community.”

A UNC alumnus and North Carolina native, Shackelford has served on the UNC faculty since 1990. He is an award-winning researcher and teacher whose work focuses on taxes and business strategy.

“There is no greater honor than to guide this great business school, where faculty, staff and alumni care deeply about our preparing our students – the next generation of leaders – and serving our alumni and other members of the business community through our research and outreach,” says Shackelford.

Shackelford has served as associate dean of MBA@UNC, the innovative online MBA program, since 2010. He was senior associate dean for academic affairs from 2003-2007, and associate dean of the Master of Accounting (MAC) Program from 1998-2002. He is also director of the UNC Tax Center, which he founded in 2001.

“When I made the journey from rural North Carolina to Chapel Hill to attend college, I knew I was on the road to a better life, but I couldn’t know then how truly powerful education can be,” Shackelford says. “My Carolina education transformed my life, and I’m deeply committed to making sure that students in North Carolina and around the world receive the same kind of benefit so they can build better lives and contribute to their organizations and their communities.”

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Students Face Real-World Challenges Across the Globe
During their time participating in Harvard Business School‘s Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development program, or FIELD, successful students find they must learn to let go of preconceived ideas and step outside of their comfort zone when they work with partner organizations in emerging markets.

A feature story published this week in the Harvard Gazette takes a look at how this innovative program, now in its third year, offers first-year MBA students an opportunity to test their skills and find out if what they developed conceptually in the fall will actually work in practice during FIELD’s eight-day immersive component in January.

Felix Oberholzer-Gee, the Andreas Andresen Professor of Business Administration, says the idea for the program came about as a countermeasure to research showing that companies often face great difficulties replicating their success when they expand internationally.  The unfamiliar environment and different business etiquette require an adjustment both in expectations and in practice if companies hope to duplicate their local success.

The article notes that about 149 companies in 16 cities participated in the project in South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa, ranging from the almost fully developed Shanghai and Mumbai, India, to the delicate and struggling economies of Accra, Ghana, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While students do a lot of research in the first phase of FIELD, they often arrive overconfident about their ability to make an impact.

“It teaches HBS students something for which they’re not exactly well-known, and that is humility,” says Oberholzer-Gee. “You have to go into these markets, and you have to be quite humble about what works and what doesn’t work and how much of your previous experience is applicable to a particular market.”

This year’s FIELD teams wrapped up their visits last week, and will share their team projects and experiences with their home sections when they return to campus on January 27th. The article describes in detail each of the phases of the FIELD program, and offers a great snapshot of this unique element of the first year experience at Harvard Business School. Check out the original article in the Harvard Gazette for more information.

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Interested in a free 30 minute consultation with the Stacy Blackman Team? Sign up here: http://stacyblackman.com/contact

Stacy Blackman | Stacy Blackman Consulting Inc | http://www.StacyBlackman.com | +1 323.934.3936
MBA blogger, US News and Author, The MBA Application Roadmap

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 14:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Juice Up MBA Recommendations With Alumni, VIPs
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
In addition to essays, letters of recommendation are one of the most influential components of your business school application. These letters give the admissions committee a greater understanding of the person beyond the data points and resume.

There’s a potential drawback, though. Because your recommendations are written by others, you have a lot less control over them. That’s why you need to make the most of your recommendations by choosing your recommenders wisely and preparing them thoroughly.

[Get tips on how to coach your MBA recommenders.]

The key factors in choosing a recommender are selecting someone who is enthusiastic and well acquainted with your work, and who has the time to focus on your recommendation. Typically, you want to choose your immediate supervisor along with someone else who knows you professionally, perhaps from a different angle than that of your immediate supervisor.

If you need to supply a third letter, it’s helpful to select a person who knows you outside of work and can speak to your leadership capacity or unique personal attributes. When your recommenders discuss your qualifications, they should also talk about how well you will fit in with your future students and the school community. A persuasive letter gives the application reader a sense of the potential the recommender sees in you.

While it’s tempting to choose someone with an impressive title, you have to tread carefully with VIPs. If the VIP has a true connection – perhaps a direct line in to a decision-maker at a school – he or she can make a call for you, but that’s the VIP’s relationship to manage. It can be annoying to have too many people bugging the admissions committee, so pay attention to the policies of the school and follow those rules.

[Learn what it takes to sell yourself in MBA admissions.]

Having a bigwig write a formal recommendation for you will backfire if that person doesn’t really know you. It defeats the purpose of the letter because it doesn’t give the schools the observational perspective they’re looking for.

We had one client, Guillaume, who worked with a French investment bank and sought a recommendation from a high-level executive who was also a graduate of a top-tier MBA program, thinking the executive’s impressive title would lend the recommendation weight. What Guillaume had overlooked was that his work was several levels below this executive and their contact was relatively minimal.

When his consultant read the recommendation, she saw a generally positive tone hampered by generic language and a lack of tangible details. This type of letter might tell the reader that Guillaume would be a good hire at a similar company, but it didn’t provide the personal connection needed to catch the attention of the admissions committee.

[Check out three ways to stand out as a b-school applicant.]

On the other hand, if the person who knows you well and is in a position to write a letter on your behalf is an alum, fantastic! In general, alumni recommenders from top schools are well regarded by competitive schools.

Some schools have special email accounts for alums to write letters of recommendation for applicants, so find out if your target MBA program has one. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s unique to have an alumni lobby for you. Many applicants have one these days.

All in all, it can help your application to have these types of letters or calls, but it can also hurt if not managed responsibly – and if there is an overload. If you choose wisely and coach your recommenders successfully, you can feel confident that this part of your MBA application is as strong as possible.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2014, 21:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Tops FT Global MBA Rankings, Again
For the fifth time since 1999, Harvard Business School tops the 2014 Global MBA Ranking published Sunday by the Financial Times. Stanford Graduate School of Business occupies the number-two slot for a second year running,  while Wharton School swapped places with London Business School this time around, and Columbia Business School and INSEAD share the fifth place spot.

In fact, seven of the top ten MBA programs are taught in U.S. business schools, but France’s INSEAD (ranked 5th) and Spain’s IESE Business School (ranked 7th) also make the cut. Financial Times calls Yale School of Management a “notable climber” for rising four places to 10th, noting that this is the SOM’s first appearance in the top 10 in seven years.

The ranking also shows the salary of 2010 graduates of elite MBA programs has doubled over the past five years, despite a sluggish global economy. According to the Financial Times survey, 94% say they had achieved the salary increase they were looking for after business school.

Stanford GSB graduates enjoy the highest salaries, averaging $184,000 annually. The second highest salary earners were Harvard graduates, with $178,000. Wharton graduates aren’t far behind though, with salaries averaging $170,000.

The FT says its ranking is based on two surveys of the business schools and their alumni who graduated in 2010. MBA programs are assessed according to the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation and the diversity of students and faculty. Compensation, however, is the most important factor in the ranking and accounts for 43% of the total weight.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2014, 07:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: MBA Interview Myth-Busting from U. Michigan Ross
In her latest update to the Ross MBA blog, Michigan Ross School of Business admissions director Soojin Kwon makes light of the frigid temps gripping Ann Arbor but assures applicants the b-school is still operating, “with recruiters on campus and the fearless admissions team in the office organizing team exercises and writing blogs.”

With interview slots filling up as soon as they are made available, Kwon uses this post to dispel some persistent beliefs about the MBA interview process at UM Ross. Here, in brief, are some of the common misconceptions Kwon would like applicants to get straight.

Myth #1: Ross only admits students who interview at Ann Arbor.

Truth: Interviews are weighted equally no matter where they take place—on or off campus. In fact, just a third of admitted students interviewed on-campus last year.

Myth #2: In-person interviews with alums are better than Skype interviews with students.

Truth: ALL interviews are weighed equally. What you have to say is more important than the medium or setting you choose.

Myth #3: Ross only admits students with a GMAT score over 700.

Truth: There is a wide range, and many applicants with 750+ GMAT scores weren’t invited to interview. Your score isn’t the most important indicator.

 Myth #4: You’ll be denied admission if you don’t do the team exercise.

Truth: Optional means exactly that. While you should take advantage of every opportunity to show the admissions committee what you’re made of, you can still be admitted without participating in a team exercise if your application and one-on-one interview are strong.

Myth #5: If you don’t get an invitation to interview in  Round 2, all hope is lost.

Truth: No invitation to interview means the admissions committee needs to review your application further to determine if they will invite you in Round 3. You’ll either be waitlisted or not admitted, and this decision will appear in your account on March 14th.

As you can see, the admissions committee really is run by real human beings who want you to prepare well, but relax and show them who you really are. “No matter what the outcome – interview, no interview; team exercise, no team exercise – it will all work out as it should,” writes Kwon.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: HBS Dean Apologizes for School’s Sexist Attitudes
Earlier this week at an alumnae event in Northern California celebrating 50 years of women at Harvard Business School, dean Nitin Nohria used the opportunity to issue an apology to female students and professors past and present for any sexist or offensive behavior they experienced at the revered business school.

Nohria told those in attendance that he knew that female students at Harvard have felt “disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school” at times. “I’m sorry on behalf of the business school,” he told the audience. “The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better.”

One aspect Nohria intends to improve is the number of female protagonists in Harvard case studies from its current 9% to 20% over the next five years. According to John A. Byrne in CNN Money, Harvard-produced case studies make up about 80% of the cases studied at MBA programs around the globe, so this increase, though perhaps viewed as not ambitious enough, would have a considerable ripple effect on the way the majority of graduates view the business world.

Reaction to the apology is mixed, and Slate assistant editor Katy Walden isn’t overly impressed by Nohria’s promises. “This whole mea culpa smacks of gesture and performance: Nohria’s one concrete vow, to teach woman-centered case studies one-fifth of the time, feels underwhelming in a world where we make up one-half of the population,” Walden writes.

Nohria’s remarks may just be a delayed reaction to the New York Times front page story in September on gender equality, or lack thereof, at Harvard Business School. Even so, inclusion measures initiated by the dean with the HBS Class of 2013 have delivered on their promise of improving gender equality. The subject will surely generate future debate, and we’ll be sharing it with our readers here.

You may also be interested in:

Gender or Social Gap: What’s the Real Issue at HBS?

50 Years Later: Gender Gaps Persists at HBS

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: The Basics of Applying to B-School
The Financial Times published an article this week with advice on how to apply for an MBA program, and I contributed a few of my own tips to the piece. For one, I always advise students to apply to a range of schools, some of which you could consider “sure things”, and one or two “reach” schools.

Much of your list can be determined as you progress through the process. As you become more invested in going to business school, and your story solidifies, you made decide to add additional schools. Once you clarify your goals, you may consider schools that you had never looked at in the past. Similarly, this process may cause you to drop schools.

The FT article has a lot of useful insight regarding the essay component of the MBA application, particularly in light of the dramatic shift that has taken place in this area during the current application cycle.

Several top schools slashed the number of required essays and/or word count, and Harvard Business School made huge headlines when it announced it would only have one essay prompt, and it would be optional. Admissions director David Simpson of London Business School says that applicants have fewer chances to impress, so “What they do write has to be absolutely perfect.”

If you’re just getting started in your MBA application journey and would like to know more about how much time you’ll need to devote to the GMAT or GRE, interview techniques, choosing recommenders or what mistakes to avoid, please check out this great overview article.

You may also be interested in:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying to Business School

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2014, 12:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Waitlist Guidelines from Chicago Booth, UCLA Anderson
While the waitlist may not seem like the ideal status for your MBA application, the good news is you’re still in the running while the school looks more closely at your application package in the context of the next round of candidates.

UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Chicago Booth School of Business recently posted advice for Round 1 applicants who have been waitlisted, and since their suggestions are nearly identical, we’re sharing them together in this post.

  • Waitlisted applications are considered in subsequent rounds, so these applications are reviewed side-by-side with those under review from Round 2.
  • Waitlisted applicants will, in most cases, receive an admit or deny decision by the Round 2 notification date. The decision deadline at UCLA Anderson is April 2nd. Final decisions are released on March 27th at Chicago Booth.
  • Some candidates may be invited to remain on the waitlist into Round 3.
  • Both schools offer waitlisted candidates the option of submitting additional information in support of their candidacy.
  • UCLA Anderson would like to hear from you if you’ve improved your GMAT score, received a promotion at work, or had a recent extracurricular accomplishment.
  • Chicago Booth suggests applicants take a closer look at their application to determine any weak points, and reminds waitlisted applicants of the option to submit a short video explaining why you are a fit for Booth.
No matter which school’s waitlist you may land on, make sure every interaction you have with the admissions department adds value to your file. As UCLA Anderson aptly states, quality is more important than quantity. An information overload will likely have a negative effect on your candidacy, so use your good judgement here!

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Kellogg School Names Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads
Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has announced the winners of its 10th annual Super Bowl Advertising Review. Microsoft earned top marks for its “Empowering” ad, but other 2014 top-ranked advertisers include Cheerios, Heinz, Volkswagen, Butterfinger and Budweiser. Less successful were CarMax, SUBWAY and Audi, which all ranked quite poorly.

“Microsoft not only led the ranking, it also embodied the inspirational tone of many of the ads this year,” says Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Kellogg. “This sentiment also was reflected in the Cheerios and Heinz ads, both of which elicited the basic good feelings consumers associate with the brands.”

Click here to view the embedded video.

Audi finished at the bottom of the ranking, mainly because the ad featured a somewhat disturbing dog character that overwhelmed the brand. Other ads that fell flat include CarMax and SUBWAY; the CarMax ad was slightly confusing and the SUBWAY spot didn’t have the creativity required to break through the clutter.

“Many advertisers this year used emotion in the Super Bowl spots,” says Derek D. Rucker, Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing at Kellogg, who also leads the Review. “In some cases, however, the creative idea overshadowed the brand.”

Unlike other popularity-based reviews, the Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review uses a strategic academic framework known as ADPLAN. The acronym, developed by Kellogg School faculty, instructs viewers to grade ads based on Attention, Distinction, Positioning, Linkage, Amplification and Net equity.

“The ad series, such as Wonderful Pistachios and Bud Light, grabbed my attention. I thought it was interesting to see how the ads built off one another to tell a story and reinforce the brand and its message,” adds Christine Fraser, one of the 50 Kellogg MBA students who participated in the Ad Review panel.

A full list of the rankings is available here.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Round 2 Updates from Cornell’s Johnson School
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The Johnson School of Management at Cornell University has some new information for Round 2 candidates, as well as clarifications related to its upcoming third round deadline on February 12th.

Christine Sneva in Johnson MBA admissions says that all Round 2 interview invitations have been issued and scheduled, noting that this round’s interview period is more condensed than usual due to the number of applicants interested in having the full campus visit experience, and classes only resumed two weeks ago.

International applicants can breath easier, knowing that it is now possible for them to apply in Round 3 if they so choose. Sneva says Johnson moved up its deadlines in order to accommodate all applicants, no matter where they hail from. Final decisions in the third round will come in enough time to begin the visa process.

Waitlisted candidates can take advantage of two sessions available to provide insight into how Johnson approaches its waitlist. Adcom member Nichole Grossman will host these sessions, so click on the links to register, as space is limited.

Monday, Feb. 10, 8:00-9:00AM EST

The Johnson School has also eliminated its fourth round in order to align its deadlines with two different matriculation dates for the one-year and two-year programs, Sneva explains.

You may also be interested in:

Family Business Gets $10M Boost at Cornell’s Johnson School

Filling a Gap with Cornell’s New Tech MBA



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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 07 Feb 2014, 11:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Harvard Business School Offers its First MOOC
Harvard Business School has finally revealed the first subject it will offer as a massive open online course, or MOOC, as they are commonly known. More than 10,000 students have already registered for “Innovating in Healthcare,” which begins March 31 on HarvardX, the university’s online learning platform.

This course focuses on creating successful global business innovations in health care that can better meet consumer and societal needs. According to the course description, at its end, students should understand how to evaluate opportunities and the elements of viable business models for different kinds of health care innovations.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports it will be the first HarvardX class taught by a dedicated HBS professor, Regina Herzlinger, who was also the first woman to be tenured and chaired at the business school.

A major hurdle of online education—its solitary nature—is one Herzlinger hopes to overcome by integrating something called Project Lever, a “sort of EHarmony for building businesses” into the edX platform.

Project Lever will match students with the best resources for their research projects, and in Herzlinger’s course, students will use Project Lever to connect with classmates whose skills complement theirs, Businessweek explains. Herzlinger’s online students will have to write a business plan in a team of four to seven people connected through Project Lever.

A second major stumbling block in online learning is the attrition rate. Some studies show 95% of students drop out before completing the course. Herzlinger hopes that team-based learning will combat that issue.  “When students are on teams, they become much more committed to both each other and the class,” she says.

Plans are underway for Harvard Business School to launch HBX, its own online learning channel, this spring.

You may also be interested in:

Weigh Trying a MOOC Before an MBA

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2014, 06:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: Overcome a Low Quant Background in MBA Admissions
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com
The MBA admissions process is a holistic one. If it weren’t, every MBA cohort would be full of finance wizards and accounting gurus – not an especially well-rounded group.

These days, business schools seek a diverse array of students to fill their classes, knowing that the unique life and career experiences they bring will enrich the classroom experience for everyone.

Applicants with undergraduate degrees in the humanities are welcomed at all of the elite business schools, but, unlike their business major peers, will need to prove to the admissions committee that their relatively minimal academic experience in quantitative subjects won’t be a hindrance once they hit those core courses.

[Learn how to sell yourself to MBA admissions committees.]

Your GMAT or GRE score is the first and most obvious piece of the puzzle that indicates your ability to handle MBA-level course work, so allow yourself plenty of time to study for the exam.

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT, the average amount of study needed to achieve a score between 600 and 690 is 92 hours and getting above that brass ring score of 700 is 102 hours.

What can you do if you’ve put in the time, taken the test and still receive a so-so score? Schools look favorably upon taking the GMAT more than once.

In my experience, this dedication to improving your score is often interpreted by the admissions committee as a sign that you’ll do whatever it takes to prove you’re ready for business school. So sign up for that prep course or hire a GMAT tutor to help you bump up your score a few notches.

[Try one of these fixes for a low GMAT score.]

At Harvard Business School, the median GMAT score was 730 out of 800, but the lowest accepted GMAT score for students entering in fall 2014 was 550. If you find your score has settled at the lower end of the spectrum, I would encourage you to find other ways to demonstrate your quantitative competence.

Take a college-level calculus class and score a B-plus or better. Focus on the essays, extracurriculars and working with your recommenders so that they support your quant aptitude in their recommendation letters with real-life examples.

If you have strong quantitative work experience and can show a solid grasp of quantitative subjects, then a weak GMAT score may not be overly problematic. The admissions committee will sometimes give candidates the benefit of the doubt if other aspects of their application are exceptionally compelling.

An MBA Podcaster episode on MBA quantitative skills notes that business schools regularly report that many soon-to-be first-year students lack some basic quantitative skills. To remedy this, several top MBA programs offer so-called math camps for accepted students during the summer as a refresher of critical concepts.

[Look beyond top business schools when applying for an MBA.]

Carolyn Sherry, a first-year student at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business who attended math camp last summer, wrote a blog post in the fall addressing precisely this topic.

“If you’re worried about your quantitative skills, here’s my advice,” she writes. “Most importantly, don’t underestimate yourself. Did you do well in college? Do you have a demanding, complex job where you excel? Can you grasp concepts pretty quickly? … These attributes will see you through a rigorous curriculum!”

Ultimately, the GMAT or GRE is just one component of the application, and a high score doesn’t guarantee success in business school. MBA hopefuls should do all they can to offset a lackluster test performance by demonstrating they can handle the work, highlighting a high GPA from a respected undergraduate school and wowing the admissions panel with their compelling extracurricular and leadership activities.

Convince your target business school why an MBA is the best next step in your career progression, and prove to them that you have what it takes to succeed.

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Re: Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2014, 11:00
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FROM Stacy Blackman Consulting Blog: $10M Gift Funds New Social Impact Center at Georgetown
A $10 million gift from philanthropists Alberto and Olga Maria Beeck will fund the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, the school announced yesterday. The center will foster innovation among students who want to build skills and organizations to solve society’s problems.

Through the new center, students will learn how to design, organize and raise funds for careers in social impact, and meet global leaders who will help with the incubation of their new ideas for small businesses or nonprofits.

The Beeck Center is unique in its university-wide approach, which will bring students, professors and community members together to creatively solve social justice issues. Similar centers at other top universities are housed within their business schools.

“This is unlike other initiatives because it is for undergraduate students and graduate students, it’s cross-disciplinary and it touches on the entire university, rather than just the business school or the School of Foreign Service,” says Alberto Beeck, who is director of Virgin Hotels and the former president of a Peru-based cement company, Cementos Pacasmayo.

Beeck adds that the family’s passion is education and connecting the social sector while also promoting solutions-based government policies.

Georgetown University Provost Robert Groves will serve as the center’s executive vice president, and he tells the Washington Post the school wants to teach research skills by having students actively doing things and also meet the growing demand to support entrepreneurship driven by a passion to solve problems. Social innovation also aligns with the school’s Jesuit values for service, he says.

Sonal Shah, a professor and economist who previously served as director of President Barack Obama’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House, will lead the new center. She also serves as a senior fellow at the Case Foundation and the Center for American Progress.

“I really think that this is going to become an important beacon in Washington, shining a light on the importance of social innovation and putting a focus on the entrepreneurial spirit and approaches in the social sector,” says Jean Case, co-founder and CEO of the Case Foundation and executive-in-residence at the McDonough School’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative.

“[The Beeck Center] will have great value not just to students, but to faculty and global leaders from all sectors.”

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