The Most Interesting New MBA Courses At B-Schools This Year

MIT Sloan has four new courses this year, including Design for 3D Printing, an entrepreneurship class taught by Mac Cameron. File photo

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Tuck’s faculty “is constantly engaging and blending the worlds of academia and business” — a fact evident in their research, which is widely recognized for its “rigor and relevance,” according to a school news story. “But it might be even more visible in the classroom, where they guide students through theory and practice and challenge them to envision themselves as decisive business leaders operating at the highest levels of organizations.”

New Course: Five Memos for the Modern Leader

Instructors: Sydney Finkelstein and Giovanni Gavetti

“Leaders get memos from their lieutenants. In this unique course, the students are the leaders and the professors are the lieutenants, offering their insights from research and practice. The memos cover purpose, expertise, integrity, persuasion and creativity.”

New Course: Reconceiving Representation: Gender Equity in Management and Society

Instructor: Ella Bell Smith

“According to CNBC, in 2018 there were only 24 women CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. In 2019, the number grew to 33. This course works to deeply explore ways men and women can advance in the workplace and how the roles of both men and women must evolve in order to do so.”

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Michigan has several new courses this year that relate back to the school’s mission to use business to make a positive difference in the world. They include the new +Impact Studio course and new International Investment Fund, which the school says is the first curriculum-based, student-run international investment fund.

Impact Studio: Translating Research into Practice

Instructor: Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

“The +Impact Studio teaches interdisciplinary student teams (e.g., MBAs, MSWs, MPH, MEng) how to use scholarly intellectual capital, business acumen, and design methodologies to begin to address a wicked problem. Wicked problems are issues with societal import, that are difficult to understand, and are embedded within complex systems; for example, how might the financially precarious or the unbanked accomplish necessary financial transactions in society; how might citizens living with failing infrastructure be better served by their municipality? To begin to address such an issue, teams will be seeded with novel, university-generated intellectual capital (e.g., new insights on FinTech or a machine learning algorithm from marketing research) that may provide a critical piece of the puzzle to making a sustainable, scalable positive impact. … Thus, this course serves as a nexus between this intellectual capital, a wicked problem and design.”

International Investment Fund

Instructor: Gautam Kaul

This curriculum-based, student-run international investment fund is believed to be the first of its kind at a U.S. university. “The fund, called the International Investment Fund (IIF), will target small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India. Graduate students enrolled at Ross and in joint-degree programs with other University of Michigan schools and colleges will be responsible for investing, managing, and growing the investment portfolio as part of a course at Ross.”

Harvard Business School

Crafting Your Life: the Tactics and Practices of the First 10 Years Post-MBA

Instructor: Leslie Perlow

“Crafting Your Life is a new Elective Curriculum course offered by HBS — for the first time in school history, this is a class created primarily by EC students, for EC students. In many of their own words, this is the course that they designed because they ‘wish it had been available to them’ as EC students. In our ‘always-on’ culture in which personal and professional fulfillment grow ever-more elusive, many students are inspired each year to ask themselves how they can approach their inevitably busy lives after HBS with more intention. … Fundamentally, Crafting Your Life is a tactical course about You. It is about discovering what really matters to you. It is about how you can stay true to yourself as you navigate not only your career, but also the breadth of your lives, from your connections with others to your impact on the world. It is about preparing and equipping you to better handle the choices, surprises, and tradeoffs you will inevitably face in your early years post-MBA.”

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