Saturday, March 24, 2007

Business school wordpress

This is the last post here until the announcement of our new home on a wordpress platform. Blogger is cool, but blogger has limitations which make us look less than we want. So we're moving. The new theme which we found here should make us LOOK the business. Be back soon!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

10 tips for getting onto top MBA course

"The competition to get into the best MBA programs is ferocious, but you can improve your chances of getting accepted by following these expert tips." kicks of this excellent article at CNN Money about getting into the top business schools.

Go to the article for the full list, many of which are pretty obvious. Highlights are:

2. Be yourself.

4. Be ready to discuss any weak spots in your resume

7. Ask one or two people to review your application

10. Start the process as far in advance as you can

All good motivational fun filled stuff.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mini MBA gaining popularity

More MBA news is centring around the availability of a mini-MBA course at various institutions. The mini-MBA seems ideally suited to vocational, very specific needs, short break from work individuals looking to fill knowledge gaps for career development. Often it is the thought of a year out of the company, or 2 to 3 years of an extra 20 hours a week commitment that stops these people making the jump.

The miniMBA gives them an opportunity to study, typically over a 10-15 week period, without taking an extended break from the company.

The term is also being used by many companies to sell books, short courses, and other materials which really shouldn't be thought of as MBAs at all. That said, I'm sure many of them fulfil the needs of those buying.

Some selected coverage:

" On Feb. 26, Rutgers starts its 12-week "Mini-MBA:Business Es sentials" at Newport Centre, lo catedover a PATH train station on the Jersey City side of theHudson River. On the same day, Rutgers begins afive-week, 10-session 'Mini-MBA: FinanceEssentials' at the same location." from Rutgers offers MBA classes in Hudson, The Star Ledger


"The article reports on the outcomes of the Mini-MBA program offered by the UST Center for Business Excellence to physicians in a healthcare organization in South Dakota." (link)

"Few people can lavish the time or the money on a full-blown MBA course. However, that doesn't mean that you have to miss out: the new self-study 'Mini-MBA' offers you a special twelve module concentrated course covering key skills and techniques taught to full time MBA students and it is brought to you in weekly mailed instalments during the twelve-week period of the course." (link)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

MBA course publicity, website extras

A review of school websites turns up a range of approaches to conveying that all important feel for the establishment. London Business School publishes a range of videos across the various aspects of the schools functions to tackle this challenge.

The format of the films is a little bit old school, avoiding streaming flash video and sticking to Windows media player downloads. That said, if all schools did this we'd have a much easier time of assessing a key aspect of the schools.

Watch out for an upcoming directory of business school internal / promotional videos and films.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A-Z of MBA

The Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is traditionally simply a general introduction to business management, however over time it has grown arms and legs and terminology which may confuse and confound. There follows a brief a-z following which you should be able to discuss MBAs with the best of them. A blaggers guide if you will:

Accreditation: The most valuable MBAs will normally have been accredited by an independent body such as the Association of MBAs (AMBA) or the AACSB.

Basics: In addition to specialities all MBAs should cover the basics of business, accounting, forecasting and legal aspects.

Corporate: Apt to follow basics, some MBA programmes are for employees of a single company with some tailoring of content or structure to suit the company's requirements. They should still cover the broad basics. Should.

Distance learning: Every year the number of courses available via distance learning increases. The ease and effectiveness of these courses increases even more quickly. Watch out for a review of available distance learning MBA courses coming soon on BusinessSchoolGuide.

EMBA : The EMBA is targetted at executives, those with some real world experience rather than being fresh from University. The focus of the course can be more motivational than skill building.

Fees: Fees for a typical full-time programme can cost from £10,000 to more than £60,000 on a more prestigious course.

GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test of general skills and abilities that you have acquired over time. A key admission criteria for any MBA course.

Hard work: MBA courses are hard work. The shorter the course, the harder the work is likely to be. Studying part-time whilt staying at work makes the finances easier, and keeps your boss happier - but unless you actually work that 36 hour week finding the extra 15-20 for study can be a stress.

International: The globalisation of business has led the globalisation of MBAs, many now offering multi-campus courses spanning the globe.

Jobs: Most MBA students are aiming to improve their careers, either through promotion or a total gear shift. The spread of potential careers is much broader than in the past.

Kaplan: Several publishers, such as Kaplan and Peterson's, offer practice GMAT tests online and to buy: GMAT Tool Kit

Languages: Some schools prefer students to have a second language. Most schools offer language training, although an MBA and a language will be a tougher year than just an MBA - consider splitting the two.

Modular courses: Students doing a modular MBA alternate study blocks at school with periods of time back with their employer, making life easier for the employer but extending your studies.

Networking: Most MBA students are networkers by nature, but it's still worth checking out your Universit alumni network services first.

Options: The heart of an MBA will cover all the functions involved in managing a business, from accounting, human resources and IT to marketing, operations and sales. At a few schools, this core makes up the whole programme.

Part time: Part-timers can usually take up to five years to complete their studies via classes in the evenings and weekends.

QAA: The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is the UK government agency charged quality assurance in higher-education.

Rankings: The Financial Times, Business Week and Wall Street Journal are just some of the publications that rank business schools and courses. Rankings mean nothing if the course is wrong. But they still rule!

Specialist MBAs: A growing number of schools now offer specialised MBAs which in addition to the core subjects, focus on one specific area such as finance, IT, environment or very niche industry specific topics.

Tests: Embarking on an MBA is an embarkment on a wave of tests. So if you don't test well, get some practice in first, otherwise it could be one expensive year!

University: Some schools make better use of their university links than others. How good is the library. How many bars on campus.

Validation: Some students study for MBAs at teaching institutions not authorised to award their own degrees. In these cases, the programme will be validated by another business school.

Which MBA? As well as Business School Guide, a number of other sources can help you choose. A Critical Guide to the World's Best MBAs by George Bickerstaffe (FT Prentice Hall) has a good reputation.

X: OK, I give up, can't think of an X. Answers in comments!

Youth: The typical graduating age of an MBA student in the US is 28, but 30 in Europe. Students on part-time courses tend to be older for obvious reasons like family committments.

Zzz: The noise remote learning students make during study time if they don't cut down the commitment at work while achieving their MBA. You can't burn both ends guys, well you CAN, but not for long.

So there you have it. Go talk!

Further reading:

AMBA - MBA course ranking overview

Business Week - 2006 Full-Time MBA Program Rankings

The Guardian Unlimited - 'Know the way to an MBA'

Financial Times - Global MBA Rankings 2007

College Journal - MBA Center from the Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More Greening of business has extended coverage of the greening and ethical development of MBA courses around the globe, citing student demand as the key driver of courses such as:

"This month, Sloan is unveiling a course, the Sustainability Laboratory, that examines how current business models have created severe strains on the environment."

Watch this space for an upcoming assessment and list of the most environmentally aware courses and establishments based on a number of criteria such as courses offered, stated policies, and proven practices.


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Using celebrity to attract students

From the Oxford SAID Business School website "The eight finalists in Oxford University's Idea Idol contest will havejust two minutes to impress judges, including Theo Paphitis from theBBC's "Dragon's Den" programme, with their business idea." Personally I find Paphitis to be the funniest of the dragons, so I'm drawn to this as a way of raising the entrepreneurial blood. Oxford follow through with the OBA, Oxford Business Alumni offering a seemingly comprehensive networking service through their website and events. A new website is on it's way we are warned.

A quick Google news search throws up dozens of guest speakers to MBA courses, from the 100% academic through biz-celeb to full on celebrities. Of speakers I've heard recently Rene Carayol was a stand out. Who should be on the A list for MBA guest speakers?

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