Posts by Kelly Vo

Dec 8, 2017 by

NYU Stern Receives $8 Million Alumni Gift to Promote Technology, Business, and Innovation

NYU Stern tech

This week, NYU Stern School of Business announced the development of a new center to serve as a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration and technology innovation. The new Fubon Center for Technology, Business, and Innovation was made possible thanks to an $8 million donation from alumnus Richard Ming-Hsing Tsai (MBA ’81). Tsai is chairman and CEO of Fubon Financial Holding Co., Ltd. and Fubon Life Insurance Co., Ltd. He is also vice chairman of Taiwan Mobile Co., Ltd.

The Fubon Center will support and facilitate collaboration in areas such as fintech, business analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship. It will also serve as a new nexus for continuous innovation at NYU Stern by strengthening industry ties and promoting cutting-edge research. Additionally, the Fubon Center will help to shape future coursework and encourage academic collaboration between NYU Stern and National Taiwan University, Tsai’s undergraduate alma mater.

“Technology demands that companies, regardless of industry, be nimble, adapt, and innovate at an unprecedented rate,” Stern Dean Peter Henry said in a press release.”Thanks to the generosity and inspiration of our alumnus Richard Tsai, we can help transform these challenges into exciting opportunities, staying as relevant to the new economy as we are to Wall Street.”

The new Fubon Center isn’t the only initiative that has been established over the last 18 months at Stern. In 2014, the school delivered one of the first courses on blockchain, which eventually led to the creation of the MBA FinTech specialization in 2016. Then, this past May, Stern launched a new Tech MBA, a one-year specialized MBA program focused on business and technology. It offers experiential learning projects with companies through Stern Solutions Programming. These initiatives and others are all part of Stern’s latest mission to expand its offerings at the intersection of business and technology.

To learn more about what NYU Stern is doing in the technology and business space, visit the school website.

ICYMI–Stern’s advances in technology education and career placement were also featured in this recent Clear Admit story: “More Top Business Schools Training MBA Students for Careers in Tech.”

This article has been edited, updated, and republished on our sister site, Clear Admit.

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Dec 6, 2017 by

Columbia Business School Announces New M.S. in Business Analytics Degree

Columbia Business Analytics Degree

Columbia Business School (CBS), together with Columbia Engineering, yesterday announced a new full-time Master of Science in Business Analytics degree. Distinct from CBS’s MBA degree, the new program features a three-semester curriculum and is really geared toward students who want to learn the modeling techniques and data science tools that help businesses use data to influence decision making. A unique capstone project will serve as a key element of the new program, through which students will work with actual clients and relevant data sets to put the skills they’ve learned to work helping solve those companies’ real-world business problems. The capstone course will extend over the full three semesters of the program.

The program was developed jointly by faculty at both CBS and Columbia Engineering, and the resulting curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to excel in careers both as consulting analysts and associates and as business analysts and data scientists in fields including financial and professional services, technology, advertising and media, and other professions that require both a deep understanding and practical application of data analytics.

“By tapping into the vibrant and diverse business ecosystem that can only be found in New York, Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering are uniquely situated to offer this new Master’s degree,” CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard said in a statement. “We see this as a must-do program for any future business person who wants to have a leg up in using data to make informed business decisions.”

CBS Enters an Already Crowded Field

Columbia is far from the first to announce a new data analytics master’s program—and it likely won’t be the last. It joins a long and growing list of other leading business schools that have sensed demand from both students and recruiters for programs that marry some of the skill sets of the MBA with the deeper study of data science and analytics that engineering faculty can provide.

MIT Sloan School of Management last year launched its own Master of Business Analytics (MBAn) degree, with leadership and support from the MIT Operations Research Center. In just one year, applications to the program have more than doubled—from 300 to 800—making the degree the most competitive at the school, with an admissions rate of less than 4 percent, the school reports. And just last month Sloan unveiled a new Business Analytics Certificate program that will be open to students in all MIT masters-level programs who want more rigorous academic content focused on data science.

Not to be left out, last month the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business announced the launch of a new MBA+MSDS dual-degree program, which grants a Master of Data Science degree from UVA’s Data Science Institute and an MBA from Darden in 24 months (tuition for the MBA+MSDA program is the sum of each individual program’s standalone tuition). The program welcomed a pilot cohort this past summer, and Darden is currently accepting applications for the full program, which will launch in 2018.

NYU Stern, for its part, is now accepting applications for the inaugural class of a new specialized one-year Tech MBA, first announced last spring. And just yesterday Stern shared that an $8 million alumni gift will fund creation of a new center for technology, business, and innovation.


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Harvard Business School (HBS), too, sees where the action’s at and doesn’t intend to sit idly on the sidelines. In August 2017—together with the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—HBS announced a partnership with 2U, Inc. to deliver a new online certificate program in business analytics. Expected to welcome its first cohort of students in March 2018, the Harvard Business Analytics Certificate Program is designed to help business leaders—including MBA grads—keep up with and leverage the explosion of data now available in every industry.

Some Schools Were Out in Front

Of course, amid this recent flurry of activity to enhance academic offerings at the intersection of technology and business, some schools can claim clear first-mover advantage. MBA students at CMU’s Tepper School of Business can opt to pursue a Technology Leadership MBA Track, a joint partnership between the Tepper School and Carnegie Mellon’s top-ranked School of Computer Science—indeed, it is one of the most popular offerings in the MBA program. Tepper also offers a three-year, dual-degree MBA/Master of Software Engineering program, also in partnership with the School of Computer Science.

And Stanford Graduate School of Business has for several years offered its students the opportunity to pursue a dual degree of significant relevance to students interested in careers in tech. Its joint MA in Computer Science/MBA degree links two of the university’s world-class programs and helps students develop a unique skill set ideal for becoming a manager and/or entrepreneur for new technology ventures. Stanford’s program includes a year of courses at each the GSB and in the Computer Science department followed by a third year of elective courses in both programs, enabling students to shave off one to two semesters it would take to complete both degrees separately.


RELATEDBest Business Schools to Jumpstart Your Career in Tech—Or Advance It


It Only Makes Sense

Whether beginning several years ago or just getting off the ground now, that business schools are recognizing and responding to market demand for business fundamentals married with data science know-how makes complete sense.

“The role of analytics has grown increasingly critical for most sectors of the economy,” Columbia Engineering Dean Mary C. Boyce said in a press release. “Our partnership with Columbia Business School combines our strength in data science, optimization, stochastic modeling, and analytics with their strength in data-driven decision-making for business and marketing to create a rigorous new master’s degree program.”

What Sets Columbia’s New Program Apart?

So what sets the newest program announced yesterday by Columbia apart from others in a crowded field? One distinguishing feature of the M.S. in Business Analytics is the capstone project that will put students to work on real-life consulting projects with companies using the companies’ own data, the school argues. “By working on real-world consulting projects, with real-world data, students will use the modeling techniques and data science tools to provide pragmatic solutions to the practical problems that businesses are facing today,” Costis Maglaras, professor and chair of CBS’s Decision, Risk & Operations Division, said in a press release.

Students in the new Columbia Business analytics degree program will also have valuable access to dedicated career placement services, the school notes, starting with completing a required Professional Development and Leadership course. “The M.S. in Business Analytics combines classroom instruction by distinguished Columbia professors with the experience of working on real-world problems via the capstone project course,” Columbia Engineering Professor Garud Iyengar said in the press release. “We expect this program to have 100 percent placement of its graduates as do our very successful M.S. in Management Science and Engineering and M.S. in Financial Engineering programs.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the first cohort of this new M.S. in Business Analytics. Students can choose to complete the program in one year by taking a summer semester or can take three non-contiguous semesters (fall, spring, fall), which would reserve the possibility of a summer internship.

For more information about the new Columbia M.S. in Business Analytics, click here.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from our sister site, Clear Admit.

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Dec 5, 2017 by

Meet Six MBA Scholarship Recipients at Oxford Saïd

Six MBA Scholarship Oxford

At the Oxford University Saïd Business School, outstanding MBA candidates have the opportunity to earn the Pershing Square Foundation scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to future leaders who are in Saïd’s 1+1 MBA program, in which participants combine a specialized master’s degree with the school’s one-year MBA. Recipients of the award receive full tuition, college fees, and living expenses, plus a unique mentoring plan.

Peter Moores, Oxford Saïd dean and a professor of finance, talked about the scholarship in a recent news story calling it a “chance of a lifetime” for the recipients. “The Pershing Square Foundation’s gift will allow exceptional future leaders to gain deep knowledge and action-orientated business skills while being mentored by one of the most illustrious leaders in their fields,” he explained. “This customized, fully funded, two-year path eclipses all others. It’s simply a chance of a lifetime to help shape and develop amazing individuals who can go on to make an outstanding impact on the world.”

The six recipients for the 2017 year:

  • Tim Krupa: Before attending Oxford Saïd, Krupa worked on the policy team for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; he was an advisor on youth sport and disabilities policy. His experience also includes field work in Zambia in 2013, where he researched the determinants of well-being among Zambian children.
  • Vuyane Mhlomi: From Cape Town, South Africa, Mhlomi is a former Rhodes Scholar and medical doctor. He also runs a non-profit organization, the MH Foundation, which uses education to cultivate Africa’s future leaders. Also, he’s the co-founder of the Emergent Healthcare Group (EHCG), a company that commissions affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare centers.
  • Tulsi Parida: Before her MBA, Parida worked for Teach for America in the Bronx. She then joined Newsela, an education tech company, before relocating to India to oversee the growth of a mobile English learning app.
  • Carl Rietschel: Out of Hamburg, Germany, Rietschel is a former Boston Consulting Group employee, where he worked on major government projects and clients within the financial industry.
  • Giorgio Tarraf: Tarraf is the co-founder of Save Beirut Heritage (SBH), which started as a Facebook group and transformed into a large cultural organization with more than 10,000 volunteers. So far SBH has preserved more than 120 landmarks in the Lebanese capital. Tarraf has also joined the United Nations at the office of the under-secretary-general for global communications.
  • Lauren Xie: Xie is a Harvard graduate with experience working for CSIRO Australia on a project focused on improving the incomes of 10,000 small farmers in eastern Indonesia. She has worked on a variety of complex issues including deforestation as well as indigenous peoples’ rights.

To apply for the Pershing Square Scholarship—for the September 2018 intake—the deadline is January 5, 2018. You can apply here.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from our sister site, Clear Admit.

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Dec 1, 2017 by

Top MBA Programs Gain Ground for Gender Parity

MBA Gender Parity

The Forté Foundation today released its annual women’s enrollment report for full-time MBA programs at its member schools, which include many of the top business schools in the United States and abroad. This fall, women’s MBA enrollment climbed to a global average of 37.4 percent, up 4 percent over 2013 figures, when the global average was 33.4 percent women.

In fact, the last five years of enrollment data at Forté member schools reveal steady gains in the percentage of women. For U.S. schools, women’s enrollment reached 37.8 percent this fall, up from 37.1 percent in 2016, and 34 percent in 2013. And for schools outside the United States, the gains have been even greater. In fall 2017, non-U.S. Forté member schools enrolled 36 percent women, up more than 3 percent year over year (from 32.8 percent in 2016) and almost five percent since fall 2013 (from 31.1 percent).

“I’m always heartened anytime I see a 1 percent trend overall,” Forté Executive Director Elissa Sangster told Clear Admit. “Year by year, it’s pretty significant for this group of schools to steadily have that same number increase—because it’s a lot of work to get more women into the pipeline and to matriculate those women,” she continued. “But this year, in particular, seeing those other schools outside the U.S. go up 3.4 percent in one year was very surprising.”

Two Schools Reach 45 Percent Women, Highest on Record

In fact, there were many signs beyond these overall statistics that show continuing progress toward gender parity among MBA programs. For one, 17 Forté member schools this fall enrolled 40 percent or more women—as compared to just two schools that reached this milestone in 2013. A total of 26 schools enrolled more than 35 percent women, more than twice as many as in 2013 (12 schools). Best yet, for the first time ever, two schools reached 45 percent or more women enrolled—the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and George Washington University School of Business. And three more schools—two in the United States and one in the United Kingdom—were close behind at 44 percent.

“The 1 percent [overall year-over-year gain] may seem small, but we’re seeing 17 out of 50 schools hit over the 40 percent mark, and that’s huge,” said Sangster. “To start seeing schools trend that direction makes a big impact because it’s a hard thing to obtain for any school at this point.”

Not only that, the progress demonstrates that gender parity is attainable, Sangster stressed.

“Although women’s enrollment in business school is a slow and steady growth story, at this rate we could reach an average of 40 percent women’s enrollment in top business schools in less than five years and 50 percent by 2030,” she said in a Forté press release. “Why is this significant? There is evidence that an MBA can provide both career advancement and significant pay gains for women, giving them greater economic mobility. And efforts to support women to pursue an MBA can contribute to a more diverse leadership pipeline at companies.”

The Forté Foundation is a non-profit consortium of top business schools, corporations, and the Graduate Management Admission Council, and its efforts to move the needle toward gender parity in the MBA and business more generally are widespread. Launched in 2001 after the results of a landmark research study, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, Forté now has 51 member schools: 39 in the United States, four in Canada, and eight in Europe. It also has numerous initiatives to help close the gender gap.

“Our college efforts are very robust and have been growing over the last five years. We are connecting with women about their career options and bringing the MBA into the conversation early,” explained Sangster. “It’s important for women in their university years to really understand what type of opportunities they have, to have access to role models, and to know the landscape of what’s to come. I think Forté can be a real guide in that. We know that having those conversations with young women is critical.”

A few of Forté’s initiatives include

  • The annual Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference, which brings together hundreds of women MBA students and top companies each year to help attendees explore career paths, meet recruiters and mentors, and hear from influential businesswomen;
  • The Forté College to Business Leadership Conference, a similar event designed to introduce undergraduate women to career opportunities and summer internships at top companies;
  • The “Rising Star” pilot initiative, launched in September 2015, which helps undergraduate women become well-informed about their many career options, and
  • MBALaunch, a hands-on, 10-month program that provides guidance, resources, and ongoing feedback about the business school application process through monthly webinars, peer group meetings, and feedback from experienced advisors.

“MBALaunch allows us to give women unprecedented access to business schools, alumnae, admissions representatives, and admissions experts—and also to give them a cohort of like-minded women who can support them and encourage them through the business school application process,” Sangster said. In the past, many women went through the application process alone, she continued. “MBALaunch allows us to present the best version of those women candidates to business schools. That’s what makes a critical difference in terms of admission into your stretch business school.”

The Forté Foundation also awards a variety of scholarships through its Forté Fellows program. The program has exploded from just 33 inaugural scholarships awarded in 2003 to 1,300 scholarships awarded to the incoming Class of 2017 and another 1,100 scholarships awarded to second-year students in the Class of 2016. Overall, since 2003, Forté schools have awarded a staggering $142 million in scholarships to Forté Fellows.

It Takes an Entire Community Effort

To augment Forté’s initiatives, top business schools can continue to make progress on their own by keeping a steady eye on gender parity and getting the entire school involved in the process, said Sangster.

“The schools that are doing a great job at consistently keeping their numbers high have an entire community effort focused on the goal of gender parity,” Sangster said. “It’s not just the admissions team reviewing applications and making decisions. It’s the students enrolled in the school being actively involved in recruiting and matriculating those students. It’s the alums making phone calls and participating in local coffees or teas to talk about their own story and to reduce concerns about the investment that women will be making.”

“It’s not just one small group of people; it’s a team effort, a community effort,” she continued. “The schools that are maintaining their numbers and seeing a steady climb have a full-court press.”

So which schools are leading the way? The following 17 Forté member business schools have 40 percent or higher women’s enrollment:

  • Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Columbia Business School
  • Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business)
  • George Washington University School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • Imperial College Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan School of Management)
  • Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management)
  • University of California Berkeley (Haas School of Business)
  • The University of Chicago (Booth School of Business)
  • University of Michigan (Ross School of Business)
  • University of Oxford (Saïd Business School)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
  • The University of Texas at Austin (McCombs School of Business)
  • University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management)
  • Yale School of Management
  • York University (Schulich School of Business

And the following nine schools have 35 percent or greater women’s enrollment:

  • Arizona State University (W. P. Carey School of Business)
  • HEC-Paris
  • London Business School
  • New York University (Stern School of Business)
  • University of California – Los Angeles (Anderson School of Management)
  • University of Cambridge (Judge Business School)
  • University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign (Gies College of Business)
  • University of Virginia (Darden School of Business)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (Olin Business School)

To access the full Forté report, click here.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

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Nov 29, 2017 by

Inside the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab

Toronto Creative Destruction Lab

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business is a seed-stage program created exclusively for scalable science-based companies. Launched in 2012, this program employs objectives-based mentoring to help maximize equity value creation for its ventures. The lab is best suited for early-stage companies, particularly those with links to university research labs.

The Creative Destruction Lab Program

The CDL is a nine-month program that employs a coaching process to help business founders commercialize their advances in science and technology. There are four main elements of the program:

  • Mentorship: The founders work alongside select entrepreneurs and angel investors in intensive full-day sessions to assess their business progress and to set short-term objectives.
  • Investment Opportunities: Founders have the chance to raise capital in meetings with entrepreneurs, angel investors, and partners from leading venture capital firms.
  • Technical Feedback: The founders receive advice on their technical road maps and objectives from world-renowned experts at leading academic institutions.
  • Business Development Support: Finally, the founders are able to work with MBA students to develop their financial models, evaluate potential markets, and fine-tune their strategies for scaling.

“The breadth and depth of insight that we were given access to was phenomenal,” said participant Karl Martin, founder of Nymi, a wearable technology firm in the healthcare space.

CDL Locations

Unlike many seed-stage programs, CDL has centers in five locations across Canada. Each location focuses on a specific stream of ventures and offers specific resources.

  • Calgary: Working with the Haskayne School of Business, the Calgary location focuses on a few key research pillars including energy innovations, human dynamics, engineering solutions for health, new earth-space technologies, and other areas.
  • Halifax: The Halifax location leverages the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University and fosters “blue-green” technology—focused on agri-tech, bioproducts, and environmental technology—and “prime” technology, including startups tackling problems in healthcare, finance, energy, chemical, media, transportation, and agriculture.
  • Montreal: In partnership with HEC Montréal, the Montreal location focuses on startups using artificial intelligence and data analysis technologies.
  • Toronto: The main location in Toronto, run alongside the Rotman School of Management, focuses on three types of startups. The first is “Prime” startups tackling problems in healthcare, finance, energy, chemical, media, transportation, and agriculture. Meanwhile, Quantum Machine Learning startups are grounded in physics, math, statistics, machine learning, electrical engineering, and/or quantum computing. Finally, massively scalable Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning startups focus exclusively on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • VancouverLocated in Vancouver, this location operates in partnership with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. It focuses on startups in the “Prime” stream as well as those in BioMedTech, including chemical, biological, and medical ventures.

Partnership with NYU Stern to Expand CDL to New York

And, beginning on September 1, 2018, the Creative Destructive Lab will partner with the NYU Stern School of Business to establish its first lab outside of Canada. The newest location will bring Stern faculty and MBA students alongside angel investors, serial entrepreneurs, and founders of pre-seed stage startups in science and technology. CDL New York will begin accepting applications in January 2018 and expects to admit around 25 ventures the first year.

“Our model for developing massively scalable science-based ventures has proved successful in Canada. And we anticipate it will be similarly successful for our partners at NYU,” said Ajay Agrawal, a Rotman entrepreneurship professor and the founder and academic director of the lab, in a recent news release about the expansion.

New Program Executive Director

In other news, Rotman chose Sonia Sennik to be the inaugural executive director of the Creative Destruction Lab and its national network of programs. Sennik will be responsible for the lab’s oversight and coordination as well as its strategic operational and programmatic leadership.

As a recent graduate of Rotman’s Executive MBA program, Sennik is uniquely positioned for her new role. She was the inaugural recipient of the Rotman Social Impact Award and excelled in leadership during her time in the program. She’s also held senior project and engineering management roles at HATCH, a global engineering consultancy.

Of Sennik’s appointment, Agrawal said in a news release: “The Creative Destruction Lab is expanding rapidly, both geographically and programmatically. Sonia will provide leadership, vision, and energy to help ensure the success of the Lab and its ventures in the coming years.”

Graduates of CDL

Over the years, the Creative Destructive Lab has had many graduates, including:

  • Thalmic Labs (Waterloo): Thalmic Labs develops revolutionary wearable technologies that explore the future of human-computer interaction.
  • Atomwise (San Francisco): Atomwise is a Deep Learning technology designed for novel small molecule discovery to help develop better medicines faster.
  • Deep Genomics (Toronto): Deep Genomics creates life-saving genetic therapies including a biologically accurate data- and AI-driven platform that supports geneticists, molecular biologists, and chemists.
  • Kyndi (Palo Alto): Kyndi incorporates advanced artificial intelligence and symbolic natural language understanding to help knowledge workers process and consume vast amounts of information in order to better make critical decisions.
  • Heuritech (Paris): Heuritech bridges the gap between social media and commerce with cutting-edge deep learning technology that detects emerging product buzzes online.

To learn more about the Creative Destructive Lab, including information about applying, visit the main CDL website.

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

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Nov 16, 2017 by

Amazon Talks About Its Success and Recruiting at London Business School

Amazon london business school

It’s not that surprising to hear about Seattle-based Amazon recruiting from top U.S. MBA programs such as the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where it was the number-one recruiter in 2016, hiring 31 of the school’s MBA grads. What might be more surprising is the fact that Amazon is also a big recruiter at London Business School (LBS), where it snapped up 13 Class of 2016 MBA graduates, right behind BCG, McKinsey, and Bain. When speaking to students and alumni at an LBS event, Doug Gurr, Amazon’s U.K. country manager, said, “The U.K. is an amazing location to recruit great talent, and LBS is somewhere we find the talent we need.”

Currently, the United Kingdom is a prime location for Amazon, with more than 24,000 employees and 373,000 U.K. businesses as part of its marketplace, web, and publications services. This makes recruiting in the United Kingdom easily fit into Amazon’s founding principles, which include customer obsession, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. As Gurr admitted, “The biggest constraint on our growth is finding the right leaders to join us,” and LBS is known for producing quality MBA graduates and business leaders.

However, hiring in the United Kingdom isn’t the only key to Amazon’s success. Gurr explained that the company is also focused on unmet customer needs. For example, that’s how the Kindle came about. “The Kindle didn’t exist so we built it,” said Gurr. “We’d never built anything before, but we had passion and conviction about the quality of the idea. That was the genesis of our move into manufacturing hardware devices.”

Other inventions from Amazon include Alexa, its cloud-based voice service, as well as flying autonomous drones, and hundreds of other small improvements. To Gurr, it’s all these small things that make Amazon faster, simpler, and better than its competitors.

The thing to note according to Julian Birkinshaw, a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at LBS, is that this slow growth can also mean slow profits. “In 2016, you generated US$136 billion (£102 billion) in revenues and a net income of US$2.4 billion (£1.8 billion), which is less than 2 percent,” Birkinshaw said. “That’s small, but that has always been the story.”

But, according to Gurr, that growth trajectory is exactly what the company wants. “We optimize free cash flow over the long term,” he explained. “The simple answer is that we’re willing to make deep, long-term investments—we don’t need an instant payback. We do what’s right for the customer and what’s right for the business.”

To read more about Amazon’s MBA graduate recruiting efforts, read the Financial Times article, “Amazon’s Shopping Spree at Business Schools.”

This article has been edited and republished with permissions from Clear Admit.

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