One of the more revealing aspects of my visits to campus is to witness first hand the dedication of a school’s administrative staffers and faculty to their students. It’s one thing to be told that they are committed to their students; it’s another to see and experience it for real. Few schools boast a more devoted group of professors and staffers than the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
During a two-day visit, we interviewed faculty, staff and MBA candidates about their experience at Carlson, explored how the school uses the Twin Cities as a laboratory of learning for its students, and sat down with Dean Sri Zaheer to speak about the special qualities of the institution she heads.
Dean Zaheer is an undisputed star in gaining a deep level of commitment from her people. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Dean Zaheer not only on her own campus, but also in London and San Francisco. She is one of the most thoughtful and charismatic leaders in the business school space. “For folks who really want to do something that engages them very strongly with business, I think this is the place,” she tells us. “You have to work hard. Nothing is handed to you on a plater. But it’s a place where you can really change who you are.”
At the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon, the MBA experience is organized around four center of excellence: sports management, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and finance and securities analysis. We explore what that really means with students, faculty and Assistant Dean Monica Bray at a highly collaborative and intimate MBA program with an intake of under 60 students a year.
Nike, of course, was founded in Eugene and Lundquist is one of the first MBA programs to have sports management as a focus. The finance center boasts a student-managed fund where MBAs get to test their investment chops. The entrepreneurship center of excellence, the second most popular focus at the school, has spawned many startups over the years. And sustainability is just a core part of the DNA of the school that Oregon and Lundquist are an ideal place to launch a career in that growing field.
See if you can spot the wandering dog in the video!
My last name of Byrne makes me feel especially close to Ireland. So when Dean Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh of UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School dropped by our studios in Oakland, California, for a one-on-one video interview it was a special treat. The dean makes the case for getting an MBA in Dublin.
Smurfit has done an exceptional job crafting a series of business degrees in areas where Ireland excels, ranging from digital marketing to aviation finance. Two-thirds of the students in its 12-month MBA program are from overseas, with roughly 20% from North America.
Dean Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh couldn’t be a better advocate for the school. In our interview, he eloquently makes the case for going to Dublin for an MBA or one of the school’s specialized master’s programs–all in a wonderful lilting Irish accent that I with I could duplicate as a Byrne.
To celebrate the publication of You Should Totally Get An MBA, we decided to do a series of videos with author and comedian Paul Ollinger. A Dartmouth Tuck MBA, Paul wrote a highly novel book about the MBA experience, from deciding whether an MBA is worth it to what it is actually like to go to campus as a twenty-something for two years.
This is one of several we filmed of Paul on UC-Berekley’s Haas School of Business campus on a brilliantly sunny day in the spring of this year. If for nothing more than pure entertainment value, these videos are worth a watch–and a laugh or two. This segment answers the question everyone asks at the beginning of the MBA journey: Should I really do it?
Paul’s answer? Absolutely. As he points out in the video, “having or being an MBA will improve your life in ways you haven’t even considered. Young people will find you captivating. Auto mechanics will take you more seriously. Flight attendants will seat you early and give you extra peanuts and unlimited Diet Sprite. You will play Liar’s Pokers with the smartest guys in the room and you will never fear the Barbarians at the Gate.”