The focus of the LGO program has broadened since its inception, in response to economic and market realities. “Our mission is similar but has shifted slightly to become really operations- and manufacturing-focused and to deal with global operations issues,” Deutsch says. “As the world has become smaller over these 25 years, all of the companies that we work with are global operations and they have global issues to deal with.”
TOP MBA PROGRAMS COMBINE FORCES WITH HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL
Sloan, along with Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Harvard Business School, offers a joint-degree program with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, arming graduates with an MBA and a master’s in public policy, public administration or public administration/international development. Sloan students must be admitted separately into Sloan and HKS, then study for a year at each before splitting the third year into a semester at each. Between eight and 20 Sloan students are typically enrolled in the joint program at any given time, paying tuition amounting to 75% of each program, combined, because each runs three semesters instead of four, for a total of about $162,000.
Many of the Sloan/HKS students come from a government background or have interests in public policy. Upon graduation, “a lot of them still do wind up in the private sector at least at first, partially because of the student loans,” says Maura Herson, Sloan’s director of MBA programs, adding that after 10 or 15 years, some of those graduates move into the public sector and “have an impact.”
Sloan candidates Aleem Ahmed and Caroline Mauldin aren’t planning to wait so long to make an impact. While the two are in the joint program with HKS, they’re building up Love Grain, their gluten-free food products company that uses a grain called teff bought from small-scale Ethiopian farmers.
For Ahmed, the public administration side of his studies teaches him “how to focus your venture to create the change you want to see” and “catalyze growth in other countries” while the MBA side equips him with entrepreneurial skills and business methodologies such as writing business plans and effectively obtaining customer feedback.
Over the past 10 months, Love Grain has shipped about 1,500 packages of its “breakfast mix” for making waffles, pancakes, muffins, and scones, selling the product through 10 Boston-area retailers and online. Ahmed and Mauldin have a protein bar under development, and are pondering the creation of a teff-based chip, Ahmed says. To continue building Love Grain, the two Sloan students must do market education in the U.S., where few people know of teff, and secure more processing capacity in Ethiopia, because that country’s government doesn’t allow exports of the grain unless it’s processed to add value, Ahmed says.
At Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where 13.5% of the latest incoming class are in joint degree programs, administrators and faculty got together about five years ago for a “deep dive” into the curriculum, and ended up transforming one of the school’s three joint degrees, the MBA/Master in Engineering Management, says Kate Smith, the school’s assistant dean of admissions. “They identified an evolution that we wanted to bring to the program in and around design-centered thinking,” Smith says. The two-year MMM program, providing an MBA plus an MS in Design Innovation, was born. About 60 students enroll annually in the MMM program, which costs $143,630 in total tuition.