MetroMBA’s Top MBA News Stories of 2013

The year 2013 has brought some fascinating developments in the business school world. From top schools announcing the release of open enrollment online courses to a new program that re-envisions the MBA to the launch of everyone’s favorite metro-focused MBA news site, this year has made many new options available for prospective business school students. On New Year’s Eve, we would like to reflect on the year 2013 by providing you with a list of the top stories we have covered this year.

1. Top business schools offer MBA courses online for free

In September, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced that it would offer four new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) , including Marketing, Corporate Finance, Operations Management, and Financial Accounting. These courses provide most of the core knowledge that students learn in their first year at Wharton. In October, business school news sites hinted that Harvard Business School was developing an initiative to offer online courses. In December, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management followed suit, announcing that they would offer a popular data analytics course for free through MIT’s edX.

The latest MOOC offerings represent a great opportunity for potential business school students. Prospective students can try an MBA class to help determine if business school is right for them, or they can use the online classes to get back into an academic mindset before business school. The courses could also provide useful information for prospective students with weaker backgrounds in particular business school subjects.

2. Business school entrepreneurship centers reach out to more students

Originally, many entrepreneurship centers at business schools focused on helping a few skilled entrepreneurial students develop their talents. Now, some schools are focusing on developing an entrepreneurial culture for the university as a whole. Schools realize that although not everyone will be an entrepreneur, entrepreneurs need support staff who can practice “entrepreneurial thinking” to help develop their ventures. Entrepreneurship centers recognize that entrepreneurial skills can help students in a wide variety of careers inside and outside of the business world.  You can read more about what individual schools are doing to reach out to a wider group of students in our article.

3. Cornell will offer new, tech-centered MBA program at their New York City campus

Traditional MBA programs were developed in the mid-20th century to prepare students for jobs at very specific types of companies. Students were expected to get jobs at big companies like McKinsey, so MBA programs were developed to build data analysis skills to solve business problems. However, Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management decided that its MBA program at Cornell’s New York City tech campus would have a different focus. Cornell consulted extensively with startup companies and tech businesses to create a new MBA curriculum and program that emphasizes skills MBAs would need to work in startups. In fact, MBA students at Cornell University will be required to work in a startup company. For more information about the new program, see our recent article.

4. Business Schools wheel out new programs for the New Year

As times change and business evolves, universities have been looking into to new and exciting programs that will better suit MBA students in the current global economy.  Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business reworked their Executive MBA program to specifically teach students how to tackle problems in the key fields of finance, health care, energy, technology, marketing, the environment, manufacturing, and organizational behavior. Meanwhile, American University’s Kogod School of Business redesigned their Full-Time MBA program with new focus on global-minded business and consulting.

5. MBAs achieved great things and made big differences in 2013

Arguably the most important story of the past year is just how much MBA students have accomplished throughout their studies and hard work. A group of MBAs from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business won the 7th annual Mergers and Acquisitions Competition, capturing the event’s $5,000 first prize. Stella Fayman, Rishi Kumar, Prem Panchal, Itamar Bar-Zakay, Elan Mosbacher, and Tim Jahn of Team Matchist won 2013’s New Venture Challenge at the Booth School of Business after developing a start up that matches top web and mobile developers to businesses looking for specific technical skill sets.  Meanwhile on the West Coast, the MBAs at USC Marshall School of Business’ Program for Professionals and Managers Class of ‘16  raised more than $24,000 for the Junior Achievement of Southern California program, a national non-profit youth organization dedicated to teaching financial literacy to nearly 100,000 K-12 students.

Happy New Year and best of luck in 2014 from all of us at MetroMBA!

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