The Strong Technological Front of Top Business Schools

In order to create and promote the appropriate image of being “Techno-Savvy”, B-schools have recognized the importance of stimulating the appropriate environment for the future Entrepreneurs and Tech Gurus. B-schools sponsor a wide array of events and competitions, such as Business Plan Contests that pay out over $50,000 to the winner, such as the MIT Entrepreneurship Competition. Preparing a winning business plan and then defending it before a panel of venture capitalists is sometimes tantamount to carrying an extra course. Keep in mind that since a “Techno MBA” itself does not guarantee a job without prior experience, the projects and competitions sponsored by the B-schools are an excellent way of obtaining this needed experience. B-schools can also support graduates who don’t have enough funding by providing them seed capital for start-ups or linking them with area technology incubators or entrepreneurship associations.

Harvard Business School, despite the fact that it neither offers an e-commerce concentration nor a dual degree in engineering, probably has one of the most widely respected “New Economy” MBA programs. The key has been the speed and persistence of turning theory into practice. HBS Business Plan Contest produced Chemdex Corporation, now one of the leading B2B marketplaces. Moreover, HBS has produced over 60 case studies on e-commerce by leveraging resources at its Silicon Valley research centre, additionally coordinating the “WesTrek” recruiting field trip to California. Therefore, sponsoring a High Tech & New Media club; and hosting the HBS Entrepreneurship Conference.

Likewise, B-schools located close to a high-tech hub attempt to partner with local entities in order to provide “value-added” services to their students. London Business School runs e-business incubators for start-ups which are low on cash and resources; MIT Sloan provides full access to its Laboratory for Computer Science and Media Lab, and the University of Texas-Austin, in addition to affiliating with the IC2 Institute and the Austin Technology Incubator, sponsors the Moot Corp. Competition. Lastly, far-sighted business schools such as HBS, Duke Fuqua and Wharton have embraced technology partners, such as Pensare (giving it access to HBS Publishing’s “expert content”),

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Conclusively, precepts of the New Economy (for example, “Intellectual Capital is more important than Fixed Assets”) have infiltrated into the B-school experience. Advantages accrue to those programs located in the high-tech hotbeds – such as Austin, Boston, and Silicon Valley – as well as to those partnered with a strong information technology or engineering curriculum within a different department of the University. Indian candidates graduating from one of these tech-savvy MBA programs stand to profit from increased job opportunities in the West. Prior to rushing to enrol in an e-commerce or information technology program, recognize that B-schools are in the business of providing top management education which can respond to the needs of the New Economy, and not necessarily in keeping students updated of the latest technology. Only focusing on practical technical aspects at the expense of business theory means risking becoming obsolete within 24 months instead of becoming a long-term strategic manager. Indian candidates who maintain a balance between both business theory and hands-on technological know-how can leverage both the reputation of the Indian scientific-technical establishment and the lustre of a Western MBA.

 

– Team Leverage

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