Finding An MBA Program For VC Careers

Finding A Program In Operations Management

If you’re looking to get into fields like management and consulting, you might want to consider specializing in operations management as an MBA.

Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently spoke to some experts on why operations management is crucial and how applicants can identify a strong operations management program.

Why Operations Management is Critical

Operations management, according to Investopedia, is “the administration of business practices to create the highest level of efficiency possible within an organization.”

In other words, it’s about taking materials and labor and converting them into goods and services that can delivered as efficiently as possible with maximum profit.

And it’s a job that’s critical to nearly every company.

“Operations are critical to ensure firms’ ability to deliver value, thus lying at the core of all firms’ strategies,” Soo-Haeng Cho, an associate professor of operations management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, tells US News.

For MBA students, skills in production-oriented operations management can be highly marketable to large firms.

“No organization can survive in the long term if it cannot supply its customers effectively,” Mehmet AKARCA, a production section manager at TEMSA—one of Turkey’s leading automotive companies—says in a LinkedIn article. “And this is essentially what operations management is about – designing, producing and delivering products and services that satisfy market requirements. For any business, it is a vitally important activity.”

Find A Program That Teaches How To Manage

When it comes to finding a program in operations management, it’s important to seek out ones that teach you how to manage people and not just how to crunch numbers, experts say.

“Many people might think that you’re just dealing with things and machines, but really it’s all about the people,” Elliott N. Weiss, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, tells US News.

According to Thomas Roemer, executive director of the Leaders for Global Operations program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, operations management is all about “effectively advocating for a product or process improvement ideas.”

To do that, operations managers need to learn how to “create buy-in with both senior management and labor,” Roemer tells US News.

In that way, it’s especially important that students seek out programs offering project-based learning opportunities with real companies to get hands-on experiences.

Data Is Everything Now

Another important quality of an operations management program is a curriculum that teaches artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business analytics.

With companies, like Apple and Google, rolling out new technology in industries like automated driving, it’s crucial for operations managers to have a solid understanding of artificial intelligence.

“Everything is measured all the time, and there is a wealth of data there that we need to start exploring,” Roemer tells US News.

Knowledge of Intellectual Property

Experts say a strong program in operations management will include some discussion of intellectual property issues too.

Intellectual property can be especially helpful in protecting aspects such as trade secrets or business ideas as an operations manager, Bill Elkington, the chair and president of the Licensing Executives Society, says.

“It’s important to realize that 80 percent of the equity value of a publicly traded company today is in intellectual capital,” Elkington tells US News.

Sources: US News, Investopedia, LinkedIn



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