MATTHEW SLAUGHTER, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
For 2019, I resolve to spend more time envisioning.
Many of the world’s premier athletes and musicians invest the time to envision a sterling performance before actually delivering it: a podium following a Nordic ski race thanks to a refined double-poling technique, or a stirring rendition of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” thanks to a fresh interpretation of its summer storms.
The same is true of premier leaders, in business and more broadly. They envision a tomorrow that is different from today, and then invite others to help bring to life that vision.
We at Tuck did a lot of reflecting in 2018, a precursor to envisioning. Perhaps the most exciting result of reflecting and then envisioning: Just before the winter break, our faculty voted unanimously in favor of broad-scale changes to Tuck’s foundational first-year core curriculum. These changes include an expanded orientation program to ensure students have an even richer and more vibrant start to their Tuck MBA experience; adjusted term lengths and new courses for Fall A and Fall B; a restructured winter term to allow for concentrated recruiting; and increased optionality with elective courses. While these refinements take full effect in the fall, I am excited that our current Tuck students, who proved vital to our reflection and review process, will be able to participate in and benefit from an array of curricular innovations being piloted this winter and spring.
These broadscale changes sprang from Tuck faculty, students, and recruiters envisioning a learning environment that is even more timely and more connected to the world’s biggest challenges and opportunities. Our new pilots and innovations will rely on more such imagination and creativity. I am so excited to see how all of this takes shape.
And I am similarly excited to envision a silkier putting stroke for me in 2019 to card more birdies — or at least fewer bogeys!
M. ERIC JOHNSON, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY OWEN GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
“Spend less time in the office.” I think this resolution holds equally well for students as deans. MBA students are presented with an amazing opportunity of time and access — making the most of that is part of the value of a great business program. Now, don’t get me wrong — by saying “less time in the office,” I don’t mean working less or skipping class, but rather getting out of your comfort zone and connecting with people who can change your perspective. For me, that means visiting alumni and partner companies, and hearing from prospective students.
That could mean everything from trekking through Asia, speaking at a CentreCourt event, or visiting a Nashville company. I plan to take my own advice the first week of January by trekking with a student group in the Bay Area to visit tech firms.
For students, spending less time in the office means capturing the many opportunities outside the classroom. One mistake I see many MBA students make is waiting to develop their networks. Top B-schools offer an amazing (and sometime overwhelming) set of opportunities to network. Students should never miss a chance to travel on a trek or share coffee with a visiting executive. Even after a long day of classes, stopping by for an evening reception can be career-changing.
MARK NELSON, CORNELL JOHNSON GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
My resolution for 2019 is that we continue to build on our two-campus, one community model, leveraging new facilities, faculty, and innovative programming on both the Cornell Tech campus in New York City and the Cornell campus in Ithaca for the benefit of all of our students. In a time where there seems to be growing division in the world, we want Johnson students to continue their evolution as leaders and appreciate how interdisciplinary studies and collaborative thinking leads to greater purpose and stronger outcomes.
Johnson students will continue to benefit from the innovative courses and experiential learning opportunities that we offer, and as they leave school they are prepared to be leaders who play a positive role in society. 2019 will be a very exciting year for Johnson.