MIT Breaks Down Starbucks Response to Recent PR Nightmare, and More – Boston News

Starbucks Response

Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.

What Starbucks Got Wrong—and Right—After Philadelphia ArrestsMIT Sloan Newsroom

Following Starbucks’ PR nightmare this past April in which an employee at a Philadelphia Starbucks had two African American patrons arrested after while they waited to conduct a business meeting, Starbucks announced it will host an afternoon of racial bias training for 175,000 employees across 8,000 of its locations.

MIT Sloan senior lecturer Roberta Pittore commended the coffee giant on the sincere response it made following the initial clumsy attempt to address the controversy in a generalized statement.

Regardless of the potential impacts a single afternoon of racial bias training might have on its employees, Pittore believes that “something is better than nothing, more is better than less, and sooner is better than later. I think what it does achieve from Starbucks’ point of view is that it changes the discussion from ‘What did our employee do that was offensive,’ to ‘How can we learn and how can we change?’”

You can read professor Pittore’s entire take on the incident and the Starbucks response here.

Two Northeastern Students Created an App to Revolutionize the School Bus IndustryD’Amore-McKim Blog

The Best Buy-sponsored E-Fest recently awarded $40,000 to BusRight, an app current D’Amore-McKim School of Business students Keith Corso, ’21, and Evan Eddleston, ’22, co-founded to “revolutionize the school bus industry.”

BusRight is designed to “track school bus passengers, current location, calculate optimal travel routes, curb carbon emissions, reduce transportation costs for bus companies, and improve quality of life for passengers, parents, and bus drivers.” According to the article, many school administrators and bus company officials have expressed interest in using the app.

Eddleston writes, “Bus drivers are home earlier, students are home earlier, and parents know where their kids are. It’s a much more efficient system than the one in place today.”

You can read more about BusRight here.

“Be Unreasonable” – Sawyer Business Blog

The keynote speaker at the Sawyer Business School 2018 commencement was Boston Foundation president and CEO Paul S. Grogan who received an honorary doctorate and shared some refreshing words of wisdom drawn from a lifetime of devotion to the betterment of communities.

“Powerful interests conspire to keep things the way they are. They’re fiercely resistant to change because they benefit from the status quo. [There is a] need for courageous public servants who can stand up to pressure and citizen activists who can reshape public opinion in their communities.”

Paul Grogan at the podium

Boston Foundation president and CEO Paul S. Grogan, speaking at this month’s Sawyer Business School commencement / Photo via

Grogan advised graduates to think beyond the material success their prestigious degree will help them attain. “I implore you to volunteer, to vote, to donate to charity … but moreover to be an active citizen and fight for your fellow neighbors who don’t enjoy the full promise of an American life.”

You can read more highlights from Grogan’s lecture here and watch his speech in its entirety below.


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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