News from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management
“If there is one thing Landon Foster has always been sure of, it is his identity as an athlete. The Nashville native (now in Vanderbilt’s master of science in finance program) has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember and took up football in high school. His father, a former safety for the University of Tennessee, instilled a love of SEC football in his son.
“’When I wasn’t on the field playing soccer every Saturday … I would be at a sports bar watching college football, and so it was always a dream (to play in the SEC),’ Foster said. ‘I put that on a pedestal — playing in front of 100,000 people — it’s tough to get a better experience in college than that.’
“In full pursuit of his goals, Foster attended boot camps across the nation the summer before his senior year in hopes of being recruited as a punter/kicker. He ultimately accepted an offer to play for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, accomplishing his dream of playing SEC football. However, off the field, Foster was beginning to grapple with another part of his identity, and it took a national chain of events during his college years for him to discover exactly what that was.”
Texas McCombs Introduces New Blockchain/FinTech Track to Master’s in Technology Commercialization
News from University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
“The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin has added a new Blockchain and FinTech track to its 10-month Master of Science in Information Technology and Management program. The new 12-credit-hour track allows students interested in blockchain to take coursework that emphasizes the application of the technology in financial services, including the development of smart contracts and applications in supply chains. With blockchain’s potential to solve many age-old business problems, this track will give MSITM students significant hands-on experience in developing the business solutions and analyzing the strategic implications that this transformational new technology makes possible.
“‘Technology has become a core competency in the financial sector,’ says Associate Professor of Finance Cesare Fracassi, director of the McCombs Blockchain Initiative, who will be teaching a FinTech class in the program. ‘Understanding how blockchain, machine learning, and IoT impact financial service products will give students a competitive advantage to jumpstart their career.’”
When Crowdfunding Met Crypto
News from London Business School
“The technology sector bubbles with activity. Scarcely a week goes by without a clutch of takeovers being announced. Start-ups are gobbled up by their larger peers. Companies that have already proved their worth merge or are acquired.
“The high-profile, big ticket examples are well known: in a handful of cases, seriously large sums are paid for tech companies that the largest players want to dovetail with their existing operations. Think of YouTube, launched in 2005 and bought the following year by Google for $1.65bn; Instagram, launched in 2010 and swept up by Facebook for $1bn in 2012; WhatsApp, launched in 2009 and bought by Facebook in 2014 for $19.3bn.”
Organizational Change Is Often A Tough Sell, But Encouraging Peer Interactions Can Help
News from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
“Most of us can recall learning math by memorizing multiplication tables. The same goes for today’s math teachers, who likely learned like this. Yet many of those teachers are now being asked to teach math in a very different way. This new method focuses on concepts and principles in addition to computation, using drawings or blocks, say, to get the ideas across.
“But getting teachers to adopt this new curriculum and reform-oriented way of thinking and teaching is no small feat. And it is a challenge that likely sounds familiar to anyone who has tried to bring about a change in thinking and practice inside a large organization.”
Tuck Rolls Out New Courses On Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Investing
News from Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business
“For the past few years, clinical professor Curt Welling D’71, T’77 has been teaching a popular course at Tuck called Business and Society.
“Behind that rather simple name is a tectonic shift in the business landscape that is causing firms of all sizes to ask existential questions about the impact of their operations on people and the environment. Should soft drink companies, for example, bear some responsibility for increased rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes? Should manufacturers be expected to ensure their products don’t end up in a landfill? Should firms pay for the greenhouse gasses they emit into the atmosphere? More broadly, the course explores how companies’ implicit license to operate is under scrutiny in this changing social dynamic. ‘I teach that course twice a year and it’s always well subscribed,’ says Welling, who, prior to returning to Tuck, was a managing director at Credit Suisse and Bear Sterns, and the president and CEO of the AmeriCares Foundation. ‘We’ve seen a steady increase in the interest of students to study these issues.’”