Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Classic Candidate
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Cambridge Judge Business School | Mr. Social Scientist
GRE 330, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Federal Consultant
GMAT 780, GPA 3.26
INSEAD | Mr. Consulting Fin
GMAT 730, GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Darden | Mr. Leading Petty Officer
GRE (MCAT) 501, GPA 4.0
Columbia | Mr. NYC Native
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8

Executives-In-Residence: Filling A Business School Education Gap

Booth MBA student Kati Karottki

Booth MBA student Kati Karottki with peers

Ten years ago, the late USC Marshall School professor Warren Bennis and James O’Toole, now a senior fellow in business ethics at Marshall, tore a strip off U.S. business schools for their heavy focus on faculty research. Bennis and O’Toole didn’t mince words.

Employers are noticing that freshly minted MBAs, even those from the best schools—in some cases, especially those from the best schools—lack skills their organizations need,” they wrote in the Harvard Business Review. “At first, employers were confused about the source of this problem, but they seem to be realizing that the people who taught their new hires had spent little time in organizations as managers or consultants and that younger faculty members may not even know many businesspeople.

“At many schools, the road to tenure does not run through field work in businesses.  Today it is possible to find tenured professors of management who have never set foot inside a real business, except as customers.”

Clearly, buying a Chinese-made wading pool at Wal-Mart while on a break from a serious research initiative does not qualify a person to teach supply chain management in an MBA program. Yet, at business schools, research is vital, both for building collective knowledge in the business world, and for advancing business education by contributing new knowledge and ideas.

BRINGING IN THE RINGERS

Columbia Business School professor and former Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg

Columbia Business School professor and former Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg

So what’s a B-school to do when many teachers lack real-world experience in business? Increasingly, they’re bringing in ringers: experienced professionals – often alumni – who can provide to students what many professors cannot. This executives-in-residence solution is not new. Columbia Business School was among the first to create such a program, some 40 years ago – and this year brought on former Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg to run it, and expand it. “Business school in particular is trying to connect theory with practice, and more and more the students are seeking that out and wanting to have that kind of practical experience,” Salzberg says. “One of the advantages of the executives-in-residence program is that it accomplishes that pretty directly.”

The University of Chicago Booth School launched an execs-in-residence program in 2009. Northwestern’s Kellogg School unveiled one in 2012.

Such programs vary in format. Some are based on small-group sessions. In others, execs deliver most of their knowledge via one-on-one coaching. Some execs-in-residence give lectures, seminars, or workshops. What unites all such programs is their purpose of filling a gap by putting successful businesspeople, and not just academics, in front of students.