Georgina Campbell Flatter, Executive Director at MIT Legatum Center, Senior Lecturer in Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management
From Financial Times.
The developing world holds some of the fastest-growing economies. But some countries still present challenges.
The World Bank estimates that more than 736m people worldwide were living in extreme poverty in 2015, meaning they had no access to basic services such as water and sanitation, food, healthcare and education. To eradicate poverty, people need jobs. But 30m new vacancies are required every year just to keep up with the growth of the global working-age population, according to the UN.
A new generation of MBA graduates is trying to solve such complex problems by developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions that not only make money but also create employment.
The founders of Sanergy — David Auerbach, Ani Vallabhaneni, and Lindsay Stradley — met during an orientation hiking trip at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and set up the Kenya-based venture to make sanitation affordable and accessible.
Maura Herson, Director of the MBA Program at MIT Sloan
From Business Vision
MIT has a worldwide reputation, and international students make up 34-40 percent of the Sloan School of Management’s MBA Programme.
MIT Sloan, based in Boston, values diversity and strives to provide a supportive environment for its global citizens. Its mission is to develop principled and innovative leaders who will improve the world, and enrich the learning experience of all students.
The MBA Programme conducts around 50 “Sloan on the Road” events each year to share admissions information and encourage qualified applicants, and its efforts – combined with MIT’s reputation – continue to pay off.
The US remains a popular destination for international graduate students. In the MBA Class of 2019, 48 percent of international students will be from Asia or the Middle East, 22 percent from South or Central America, 16 percent from Europe, nine percent from Canada and Mexico, three percent from Oceania, and two percent from Africa.
MIT has applications from India, China, Korea, Japan, South-east Asia and Central and South America, all regions where it has active alumni promotion.
Sean Jennings, an Executive MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has gone back to school, decades after dropping out of college. “I don’t need to make any more money; I’m interested in making a difference.”
When people ask me why I—a college drop-out turned tech entrepreneur—decided to go back to school to get my Executive MBA, I tell them about my older brother, Michael. On New Year’s Eve in 1967, Michael and I both came down with a mysterious virus. We were babies at the time—he was two and I was one. No doctor could figure out the cause of it. Ultimately, I got better. But Michael was brain damaged.
I have always known how fortunate I am. I got to grow up and lead a healthy person’s life. Michael, who has the cognitive function of a toddler, spent his teens and twenties in an institution and now lives in a group home.
From a young age, I felt that my purpose was to take care of my brother. When I got older, I realised that would cost a lot of money. My goal was to attend the best college I could and then pursue the highest-paying career I could tolerate. Getting accepted to MIT on an Air Force scholarship was one of the proudest moments of my life. But two years into college, I got injured. The military released me on honourable medical discharge. I couldn’t afford tuition and didn’t want to take on overwhelming debt, so I dropped out. Read More »
Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center
From The Financial Times
There seems to be growing unease with the value we place on leadership. Susan Cain, author of Quiet, a best-selling book about the power of introverts, offers an example in a New York Times piece “Not Leadership Material? Good”. In it, she is specifically focusing on how college admissions favour applicants with leadership credentials.
She worries that too many slots are being offered to high-school seniors who are status and power-seekers. She bristles at the implication that students do not deserve merit scholarships or places at elite schools if they do great work as team players or solo artists.
Ms Cain deplores the fact that people who fall into the latter categories feel pressured to pretend they were born to run things. “If college admissions offices show us whom and what we value,” Cain says, “then we seem to think that the ideal society is composed of Type As.”
Good points, but let us not fall too far into the trap of saying that some people are leadership “types” and others are not. The really damaging thing for a society is to signal to people that “leaders” are different from those who are contributors and team members — rather than the same people at different moments and in different modes.
To understand the point, consider this example. A couple of years ago, a large, diverse group of people on MIT’s campus rallied round a project they all agreed deserved their best efforts: creating a memorial sculpture to honour the life of Sean Collier, a campus police officer who was murdered by terrorists in 2013.
Who led this project?
It is impossible to name one person. Professor J Meejin Yoon, head of MIT’s architecture department, designed the sculpture knowing that to make its massive interlocking granite pieces stand would require a technical feat of engineering.
As Prof Yoon commented, “developing and constructing the memorial requires a coming-together of like-minded, like-spirited people from many different disciplines to create something singular in the world”. She called it a “very MIT project”.
Throughout 2015, different contributors led efforts at key moments when their expertise was most relevant to making progress. Just as readily, they stepped aside when some new aspect of the project came to the fore. Combining those minds and hands did not bog the project down: an effort that should have taken three years was accomplished in one. Read More »
What will it take to get more young women interested in pursuing an MBA? At a time when the dearth of women leaders in corporate America, government, and beyond dominates the national dialogue, it’s a pertinent question.
Women have outnumbered men on college campuses since the 1980s. They’re a majority in most masters degree programs and they comprise roughly half of all law and medical school students.
Nevertheless, business schools are starting to make progress. This year’s incoming class at MIT Sloan, for instance, has a greater percentage of women than ever before. Of the 402 students in the MBA class of 2017, 41% are female. Our peer schools have recently posted similar numbers.