Saturday, July 31, 2010

Symbiosis B-school scouts for global tie-ups

The Pune-based Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) is in talks with around seven international institutes to be the content provider and course designer for their courses. The institute has a working tie-up with the Khimji Training Institute LLC, in Muscat and Steinbeis University, Berlin.

“We are in talks with close to seven more such institutes in places like Frankfurt. There is a five-week study India programme for the Seidman School of Business and the Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Also, there is a 24-month executive MBA for IBM Germany in collaboration with Steinbeis University, Berlin. On the local front, we run the SIBM Pune weekend Diploma in Finance for executives. We also have a tie-up with the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management,” said Vivek Sane, director, SIBM.
Ranked among the top five B-schools in the country, SIBM is looking to grow its brand further to gain international recognition. “We believe in one step at a time. Currently, we may not feature in Europe, USA and the like but in May 2010, SIBM received Asia’s best B-school award, presented by CMO Asia and titled the ‘Business School with Best Industry Interface Award’,” added Sane.

The institute is also running a lot of initiatives for the benefit of students. Last year, it spent close to Rs 1 crore on student welfare activities. The institute also conducts a series of guest lectures and panel discussions called Alpaviram, wherein industry biggies come in and share their knowledge with students. “We have a collaboration with Yashaswi Abhiyaan wherein women entrepreneurs come over to share their experiences. Our latest initiative includes a training programme we run with the State Election Board to train elected candidates for leadership communication and the like in their own languages,” added Sane.

Last year, SIBM also started a value added lecture series involving lectures on latest industry trends in the subjects chosen by students.

The institute also offers customised executive diplomas in business management for corporate for which it has tie ups with companies like Godrej, WNS, Avaya, Zensar, Wipro. “We deliver lectures on their grounds for the same. We have even innovated a diploma in business management for our engineering students,” said Sane. For this academic year, SIBM is laying emphasis on bringing the industry’s best practices to the classroom.

Knowledge Academy launches Power MBA programme

Knowledge Academy, an initiative of Lalbhai group in the private education space, has launched a programme on Power MBA at its campus here. With an initial batch of 60 students, Power MBA combines MBA degree from UGC recognized University and professional qualification of certified financial planner.

The two year Power MBA Course will be offered for a fee of Rs 1.5 lakh per annum, while a degree of Karnataka State Open University will be conferred to the students.
"The program assures the student the best of both worlds; MBA degree plus global certification in the fastest growing profession of financial planning. In today's competitive world the general qualification like an MBA is not going to be a great differentiator when competing for career opportunities with thousands of other MBA graduates. In such a situation specialised knowledge and skills for which there is growing demand from the industry is going to enhance students' employment opportunities. As there is shortage of skilled professionals in the field of financial planning, a Power MBA program offered by Knowledge Academy appears to be superior to a generic MBA pursued by so many students," said Milan Shah, director, Knowledge Academy.

Quoting an Ernst & Young report, Shah said that there is a shortage of around 80 per cent of wealth managers in India. "Moreover, at least one lakh financial planners are required while only 1,500 financial planners pass out every year. In these cases, programmes like Power MBA is what will equip aspirants to stand out in the field of financial planning," he added.

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Sanjay Lalbhai, mentor of Knowledge Academy said, "Different growth phases of economy create the requirement of newer skill sets. Unfortunately the traditional education system is not nimble enough to meet with such emerging requirement in quick time. In this scenario Knowledge Academy seeks to create alternative education model, a model which does not focus only on awarding degree but is also committed to building career of the students."

According to Lalbhai, currently, there is manpower requirement of 100,000 each in sectors like banking and mutual funds, and another 150,000 in insurance.

Meanwhile, explaining the course curriculum of Power MBA program, Sandeep Shroff, chief operating officer, Knowledge Academy said admission for the two year full time post graduate programme will be based on score or grades at graduate level, performance in Knowledge Academy's Online Aptitude Assessment Test and personal counseling

Virtual window to B-school life

‘Another Batch passes out... Adieu PGP12’... or ‘Fresh blood on campus | All PGP1s have reached campus and registered themselves’. For most laypersons, these words may appear gibberish. B-school students, however, hang on to these words since they reveal the happenings on campuses and much more.

From blogging to micro-blogging sites like Twitter, social media has become an integral part of business schools (B-schools) as they attempt to pass on a sense of being part of a community to incoming students.
Take, for instance, the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode ((IIM-K) which believes in pioneering technology applications into its domain and connect with a wider community. “For us, Twitter does not replace blogs. Micro-blogging is about sharing quick and short messages which may lead interested audiences to detailed blogs. Also, we believe in keeping pace with the audience — if aspiring students, busy executives and alumni want short updates on the activities of the institute, we must address that need. Twitter is one such tool to connect with the community,” says Keyoor Purani, Associate Professor- Marketing Area at IIM-K.

The institute shares student activities, placements, academic events, conferences, seminars, faculty achievements, research reports — just about everything it thinks would interest its stakeholders. Apart from tweeting, students also blog on their portal — IIMKlive. Public forums are also popular among students who update developments. The alumni community prefers to keep in touch with their alma mater through Yahoo or Google groups. Facebook and Orkut are also widely used for related discussions and event updates.

“In light of activities that unfold every other day, social networking tools which help share quick information such as Twitter become inevitable to keep the interest groups abreast of all the action at the campus. Having a Twitter account is part of the hi-tech, hi-touch value that is part of our DNA. This is a students’ initiative supported by the institute,” adds Purani.

Similarly, IIM Lucknow (IIM-L) shares details about the visits by eminent leaders from the industry and major events happening on campus. “Twitter being a microblogging website helps people outside IIM-L follow the latest happenings on the campus. The idea was to provide a window for IIM-L to the alumni, prospective and current students, media and industry people. While Twitter cannot describe the event in detail, it can be used in coordination with a blog to provide a window into life at IIM-L,” says Anshul Aggarwal, spokesperson, Media Relations Committee at IIM-L.

It has been over a year since Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon, too, is on Twitter. The institute has two Twitter accounts — one for reporting formal events and media links for the current students and other B-schools and another to interact with alumni and internal stakeholders.

“We tweet about all big events and interact with other business schools on our formal account, which is MDI Gurgaon account and the other — Mandevians is followed by alumni and other internal stake holders. Social media helps students be updated about everything happening at their own and other business schools. We know whatever is happening at other B-schools through their tweets, for instance, the recent blood donation camp at IIM-A or knowing about what ISB did today,” says Piyush Jain from the corporate communication cell at MDI Gurgaon.

The B-school is also present on Facebook and plans to link it to the Twitter account. “We are also planning to have a YouTube channel soon where we will put up videos. We are also on LinkedIn and manage a Wikipedia,” Jain adds.

For B-schools, Twitter also serves the purpose of broadcasting social messages such as “So and so at IIM-A donates blood for the 100th time” or even posting official releases on the social networking website.

The IIM-A twitter account is run by the students’ Media Cell at IIM-A. It was started last year to give out information regarding the events/activities which take place at campus. Over the year, information about cultural events, academic activities, CAT result, etc have been posted.

“We also have our own blog — www.insideiima. But not all activities/events can be blogged about. The advantage with twitter is that tweets are short messages which can be typed out quickly and sent. This makes it much easier to connect to the outside world,” says Glen D’Silva, Secretary, Media Cell 2010-11, Member, Students’ Affairs Council at IIM-A. The B-school also put up tweets about everyday life at IIM-A. Currently the IIM-A twitter account has approx 2,500 followers.

IIT-Bhubaneswar seeks industry link

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bhubaneswar (IIT-BBS), currently operating out of a makeshift campus in the city, is banking on partnerships with industry houses to set up four specialised schools which would act as centres of excellence.

The schools proposed to be set up by the fledgling IIT include the School of Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering; School of Ocean and Environmental Sciences & Climate Change; School of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and the School of Design and Creative Arts. An academic advisory committee has already been constituted and it will soon submit a detailed project report to the Union ministry of human resource development on the establishment of such schools.
“These specialised schools, which will run with corporate partnerships with our strong focus on climate change research, are what we feel will differentiate IIT-Bhubaneswar from the other IITs in the country,” says Madhusudhan Chakraborty, director of IIT-BBS. He adds that the time-frame for setting up these schools and the expenditure involved would be known only after the submission of the detailed project report.

IIT-BBS is in talks with some corporate houses with the objective of running the proposed schools in sync with industry requirements. It has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MGM Group for the establishment of a Chair Professor of eminence at the School of Metallurgical and Minerals Engineering. MGM Group is operating iron ore mines in Sundergarh district and plans to come up with an integrated steel plant in Dhenkanal district. The group will sponsor Rs 1.5 crore for the Chair Professorship and allied research activities over a duration of five years.

Meanwhile, IIT-BBS has started PhD programmes from the academic session 2009-10 with the focus areas for research being climate change, alternative energy, manufacturing and mineral development.

It is offering a seed funding of Rs 5 lakh to each of the faculty members to boost research. “The seed funding is expected to give a big boost to research at IIT-Bhubaneswar. The institute has also started consultancy in a small way”, says Chakraborty.

IIT-BBS, mentored by IIT-Kharagpur, has a student intake of 138 in three undergraduate engineering disciplines — mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. It has 45 full-time faculty members besides visiting faculty. The campus, which is being set up on 936 acres of land at Jatni, is expected to be operational in the next three-four years.

Chakraborty hopes to have a pool of 2,500 students and 250 faculty members. In the next 15 years, he expects a student intake of 10,000 and faculty strength of 1,000. IIT-BBS also expects to receive a funding of Rs 60 crore from the Government in the current financial year

SC Upholds 27 Per Cent For OBCs In IITs, IIMs

SC Clears 27 Per Cent OBC quota, excludes 'creamy layer'

Giving a big push to reservation policy, the Supreme Court today upheld the controversial law providing 27 per cent quota for other backward classes (OBCs) in IITs, IIMs and other Central educational institutions but excluded the "creamy layer" from its ambit.

With the court clearing the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 the IITs, IIMs and other Central educational institutions will have to provide 27 per cent quota for OBCs for the 2008-09 academic session.

The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan unanimously held that "creamy layer" must be excluded from the socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs) and there should be a periodic review after five years on continuing with the quota.

The Bench upheld the validity of the Constitution (93rd Amendment) Act 2005 empowering the Centre to come out with the special law for OBC reservation in educational institutions of higher learning.

The members of the Bench, which delivered four separate judgements, were unanimous that the 93rd amendment and the 2006 legislation providing for the quota were "not violative of the basic structure of the Constitution".

The only divergent view was relating to the constitutional validity of the 93rd amendment in relation with private unaided institutions, with four judges leaving the issue open since none of those institutions had approached the court.

However, Justice Dalveer Bhandari held that "imposing reservation on unaided institution violates the basic structure by stripping citizens of their fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) (g) to carry on an occupation".

Justifying the quota policy, the Chief Justice observed that "reservation is one of the many tools that are used to preserve and promote the essence of equality so that disadvantaged groups can be brought to the forefront of civil life"... The plea of the petitioner that the legislation itself was intended to please a section of the community as part of the vote catching mechanism is not a legally acceptable plea and it is only to be rejected," Justice Balakrishnan said.

The Bench rejected the contention of the anti-quota petitioners contending that identification of SEBCs for reservation on the basis of castes was not allowed in the Constitution which seeks to achieve casteless and classless society.

"Identification of backward class is not done solely based on caste. Other parameters are followed in identifying the backward class. Therefore the Act is not invalid for this reason," the Chief Justice said.

"Determination of backward class cannot be exclusively based on caste. Poverty, social backwardness, economic backwardness, all are criteria for determination of backwardness," Justice Balakrishnan said and his view was shared by Justice R. V. Raveendran.

On the same issue Justices Arijit Pasayat and C. K. Thakker said that determination of backward class can be done by excluding the creamy layer for which necessary data must be obtained by the Centre and the State government.

"So far as determination of backward classes is concerned, a notification should be issued by the Centre. Such notification is open to challenge on the ground of wrongful exclusion and inclusion," Justice Pasayat said.

Emphasising that proper identification of OBCs was required, Justice Pasayat said the Commission set up pursuant to the directions of this court in Indra Sawhney case (Mandal case) has to work more effectively and not merely decide applications for inclusions or exclusions of castes in quota list. The Bench, which was unanimous that quantum of 27 per cent reservation for OBC under the Act was valid, said for applying the parameter for identification of SEBC, the creamy layer has to be excluded as per the office memorandum of September 8, 1993 which included wards of persons holding Constitutional posts, government officials under various categories.

Justice Bhandari urged the government to exclude the children of former and present MPs and MLAs from taking the benefit of OBC reservation by amending the office memorandum.

The judges were clear that the "creamy layer" concept was not applicable in the case of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe.

The apex court held that the delegation of power to the Centre to determine OBCs was valid and rejected the contention of the anti-quota petitioners that legislature and not the executive should lay down the guidelines for determining backward class.

Justices Pasayat and Thakker agreed with the Chief Justice on the issue and said "it is not an excessive delegation".

The Bench held that the exclusion of minority educational institutions from the ambit of the Act was not violative of the Constitution as "they are a separate class and their rights are protected by other constitutional provisions".

"We hold that the exclusion of minority educational institutions from Article 15 (5) is not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution".

Friday, July 30, 2010

UPA-2's negligence of higher education

It might have been a good idea to avoid political subservience of higher education and to ensure its autonomy, but recent experiences demand immediate reforms.
The provincial universities have already been lost at the hands of unscrupulous politicians, the central universities are fast moving towards deep degeneration, writes a disillusioned academic.

On completing a year in the second stint of the United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] made public the assessment of his government. But both the media and the prime minister glossed over one pertinent aspect of Indian life -- the state of higher education and its administration.

A very high functionary at the University Grants Commission, the chief of the All India [ Images ] Council for Technical Education, the chief of the Medical Council of India, the functioning of the National Council for Teachers Education have all been found steeped in corruption, and irregularities.

There have been allegations leveled against the vice-chancellors of historic central universities like the Vishwabharti Shantineketan, Aligarh Muslim University and North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. The vice-chancellor of Allahabad University (now a central university, and once called 'the Oxford of the East'), is alleged to have indulged in recruitment-related irregularities. A parliamentarian raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, but the government remains as nonchalant about it as ever.

The UGC and the Central Vigilance Commission have also taken note of all such irregularities, but these bodies do not have the teeth to do anything.

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library is a most prestigious institution for researchers, directly administered by the Union department of culture (currently under the prime minister). Its director, a reputed historian, has been found to be indulging in irregularities, but angry protests from a cross section of academicians have fallen on deaf ears.

In short, the administrative health of higher education is extremely worrying.

Is the UPA-2 government really sincere about addressing these issues? Going by the official pronouncements, it is really addressing these issues. The National Knowledge Commission, abolition of the UGC and few other such regulatory and funding bodies to merge them in one body of higher education and research, and the draft proposal of the Foreign University Bill are a few steps in the government's efforts towards reforming higher education.

The ground realities are, however, far from satisfactory. Valid questions are being raised whether mere re-creation of the regulatory/funding bodies can really serve the purpose.

There was talk of creating a special tribunal to adjudicate litigation pertaining to higher education, there are also proposals to have all-India competitive recruitment tests for non-teaching officers of universities, but the government is willfully allowing vested interests to keep such proposals confined merely to the level of ideas.

Ironically, such undesirable things prevail when the prime minister happens to have been a professor in one of the most reputed institutions of higher education, and the minister concerned happens to be a noted lawyer.

Their apathy for reforms in higher education and their neglect in nailing vice-chancellors and other high functionaries of the universities can be gauged easily by looking into the bizarre developments that have recently taken place in some of the above-mentioned universities.

The vice-chancellor of NEHU has been taken as an advisor to the National Advisory Council. Most disconcerting is the matter concerning the AMU vice-chancellor. It is necessary to note that these two universities are supposed to be essentially taking care of the alienation felt by some weaker identities of Indian population groups.

Despite the sensitivities attached with these universities, the irregularities are being either ignored or downplayed.

Bureaucrats at the Union human resources ministry overlooked the current AMU vice- chancellor's academic and administrative credentials and approved his appointment in 2007.

The Principal Accountant General (vide AB(C) 09-10/ 249 dated 17-11-2009 to HRD ministry) indicted the VC, the registrar and the finance officer for gross financial embezzlement and other irregularities. It says, 'There is a complete collapse of financial management in the university and the VC and the registrar instead of stopping this frequent financial irregularity themselves became a part of this'.

Insiders keep crying for appropriate punitive action. A judicial inquiry has been instituted reluctantly by the government. It has avoided sending these functionaries on leave.

Almost every entrance tests to various prestigious professional courses, conducted by the AMU, sees one or the other kind of irregularities, exposed through the Right to Information Act and the courts, but no deterrent punishment is being given to any of the high functionaries. Irregularities in academic recruitments are more like a routine.

Infosys [ Get Quote ] co-founder Nandan Nilekani in his popular and influential book, Imagining India, has rightly pointed out that most undemocratic exercise in democratic India is academic recruitments, to which it should be added, only surviving autocratic medieval monarchs in the Indian democracy are vice-chancellors of central universities.

While there are Constitutional provisions to impeach the President and Chief Justice of India, there is no such provision to remove a vice-chancellor of a central university.

It might have been a good idea to avoid political subservience of higher education and to ensure its autonomy, but recent experience demands immediate reforms. The provincial universities have already been lost at the hands of unscrupulous politicians, the central universities are fast moving towards deep degeneration with an increasingly large number of pliant vice-chancellors. The teachers' 'movements' are concerned only about their pay and perks; they hardly bother about academic improvements.

Obsequious obedience and slavish allegiance to the vice-chancellors, with most outrageous forms of sycophancy and flattery for self-promotion are the order of the day at universities. In fact, they are the only way of going higher in academics.

Even the best academicians are alleged to be involved in favouritism and nepotism, not to talk of petty victimisation of those who dare to disagree with them. Fearless violation of rules, statutes, and ordinances are increasingly becoming the norm of the day.

When academics cynically use political opportunism and self-promotion, then one can easily imagine what impact it will have on the prospects of higher education in India! This degeneration is manifesting at a time when India is hopeful of emerging as a knowledge economy.

Nilekani warns us, 'Reforms in higher education can not be bargained away -- they form the bedrock for a vibrant economy, the place from where we can, given the chance, build powerful and sustainable new ideas for our future.'

The point is: Do Dr Singh and his vocal HRD Minister Kapil Sibal [ Images ] care about all these issues?

The columnist is a professor at AMU who wishes to remain anonymous.

MAT to continue with online, paper-pencil formats

Chandigarh: The Centre for Management Services (CMS), which conducts the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) across India, is in no mood to completely switch over to the online version and will continue with both paper-pencil and online formats of the exam.

"Keeping various factors in mind, we have decided to continue MAT in both paper-pencil and online formats. We have observed that majority of students prefer to sit for the paper-pencil format," CMS director V.S. Bejoy told reporters here on Tuesday.

"We introduced the online format in September 2009 and since then we have tried it three times (September 2009, December 2009, February 2010). But only 10 percent of the 200,000 students opted for the online test whereas the remaining appeared only through the paper-pencil format," he said.

Bejoy was here to participate in a seminar on 'Management education in India - Challenges and Opportunities' organised by Punjab-based Aryans School of Management (ASM).

The New Delhi-based All India Management Association (AIMA) is the apex body of CMS that conducts the MAT exam four times in a year. Over 500 colleges in India and abroad use the MAT score for admissions in various courses.

Talking about the highly competitive Common Admission Test (CAT), which went online for the first time last year, Bejoy said, "The aftermath of online format was before everyone as the CAT exam was hit by technical problems and poor management across the country."

"It's strange that despite so many glitches they are again firm to continue with the online format. It would certainly affect the prospects of so many genuine students," he added.

Software for the CAT exam was developed by the US firm Prometric whereas AIMA availed the services of the Bangalore-based company Eduquity.

AIMA has also appealed to the Punjab government to consider the MAT score before admitting students in the state management colleges.

"In a recent development, Haryana and Uttrakhand governments have scrapped their state level MBA entrance exam and are considering MAT scores for admissions to their affiliated colleges. We have also appealed to the Punjab government and submitted a memorandum in this regard," stated Bejoy.

"The MAT exam gives more flexibility to the students to appear at any of the four times in a year. We have seen a good surge of students especially from Bihar who appear in MAT exam every year," he pointed out. IANS

Punjab B-school gets approval to use GMAT scores

Chandigarh: Punjab-based Aryans Business School (ABS) has become the first private B-school in the region to get approval from the US-based Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to use Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) score for admitting students.

"We are the first in this region and 31st in the country to get nod from GMAC to become part of one of this biggest MBA entrance exam around the world. In fact, we are probably the first private B-school in the country to get this approval," ABS chairman Anshu Kataria told reporters here on Sunday evening.

He added, "This recognition is very important for us in the wake of the fact that GMAC has started showing keen interest in India. Recently, they have announced their plans to set up an office in India, its third in the world after the US and the UK."

According to official records, over 1,900 institutions in 81 countries, use the GMAT score as part of the selection criteria for various management programmes.

Kataria said that now students from this part of the country would not require to move to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad in search of GMAT-affiliated management school.

He said that world famous Harvard, Boston and Kellogg and India's top B-schools including Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, also consider GMAT score for admissions.

"There has been a steady rise in the number of Indian MBA aspirants taking this test. More than 265,000 management aspirants appeared for GMAT across the world in 2009 and over eight per cent of them were from India," he noted.

The ABS is located in Nepra village of Punjab, about 25 km from Chandigarh. IANS

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aston Grad Sets Up Book Charity

School stories > Business School News
Business School News: Aston Grad Sets Up Book Charity
MBA brings much-needed business books back to Nigeria

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MBA Graduate Ayo Ajayi with Paul Hebron, Aston University's Alumni Relations Officer

Aston Business School is set to send books to universities throughout Nigeria to help a new charity, set up by a recent Nigerian MBA graduate, to provide better educational opportunities to the locals.
Promoting his charity, the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation, Ayo Ajayi, will see between 200 and 1,000 books being shipped to his native country. Aston Business School has also committed a further five shipments planned in the next twelve months.
The books in subjects of Business & Management, Engineering, Modern Languages, Teaching, Life & Health Sciences, Social Sciences, IT, Teaching and English language will be donated from the university’s library.
“Before I left to go back to Nigeria, decided I needed to develop a programme which would enable me to give back to the community I come from,” said Ajayi.
“Education is crucial for development, but with the limited investment in education in Nigeria, this seems to be a perfect way of making a difference and contributing towards empowering people, particularly youth.
“This kind of collaborative project will significantly compliment to improve the standard of education in Nigeria, build capacity and will hopefully meet the aspiration of the Nigerian students for access to up-to-date and relevant educational material.”
How to Build a Business School?
It took Yash Gupta, dean of Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, three years to find out the ups and downs of starting a b-school from scratch.
In 2006, the world-renowned research university received $50 million from real estate mogul William Polk Carey. After three years in the process of curriculum design, fund-raising, faculty recruiting and accreditation searching, the first class for Hopkins’ new global MBA program is set to arrive in August.

Ten Highest Paying Jobs In Business

1. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) earn $160,440 as an average yearly salary in a multitude of business fields. CEOs are responsible for overseeing operations of many businesses. CEOs are the highest ranking individuals within a company, corporation, organization or agency. CEOs handle the better part of decision making within companies, though frequently CEOs report to a board of directors. CEOs manage the delegation of responsibility within a business as well as internal and external operations, marketing, strategy, financing, human resource issues, hiring and termination of employees, compliance with safety regulations, sales, and public relations.
2. Marketing Managers earn a base salary of $118,160 yearly, depending upon the field of business. Customer analysis, company analysis, and competitor analysis are the three C’s of a marketing manager’s job responsibilities. Marketing managers plan, estimate, organize and promote businesses depending upon the company’s size, corporate makeup, and industry. Marketing managers meet customers advertising needs relating to level, timing, and composition of demand for a business’ product. Marketing managers also work in sales, product development, and pricing strategies to increase business profits, investments, and shares.

3. Agents and Business Managers of Performers, Artists, and Athletes have the potential to earn at least $101,220 per year on average. Agents and Business Managers of Performers, Artists, and/or Athletes represent clients and market them to possible employers. Agents and managers promote artists, performers, and athletes handle contract negotiation while collecting fees, commissions, and payment to represent clients within business matters. Agents and managers schedule performances, promotional events, auditions, interviews, and issues pertaining travel. Agents and managers work closely with clients, strategically planning career goals, following industrial trends, and assisting with financial planning.

4. Personal Financial Advisors have the potential to earn $92,970 as a base yearly salary. Personal financial advisors assist in short and long term money management on behalf of a many of clients. Personal financial advisors direct people in terms of debt management, investments, pension or retirement planning, insurance coverage and financial objectives. Personal financial advisors must possess strong communication skills and extensive knowledge of tax, as well as investment, markets. International economists assert that job growth in this field is faster than all others, expecting the trend to continue well through 2018.

5. Management Analysts earn a base salary of $82,920 yearly. Management analysts are the problem solvers of the business world. A management analyst’s key responsibilities include researching, proposing, and predicting the best course of action to enhance a company’s structure, efficiency, and/or profits. The duties of a management analyst or management consultant vary significantly depending upon the field of specialization.

6. Financial Examiners earn an annual salary of $78,180. A financial examiner enforces a company or organization’s compliance with laws and regulations related financial, investment, and real estate transactions. Financial examiners determine the authenticity of records as well as verify correctness, ensure legality of transactions, operations, and financial solvency, and uphold new, proposed, or revised business laws, policies, and procedures. Coordinating, supervising, managing, and training others are financial examiners primary duties. Financial examiners review the work of subordinates, manage internal and external audits, and oversees management within an organization.

7. Logisticians earn a yearly salary of $68,600 depending upon the field of employment. Logisticians primarily analyze and coordinate the procurement, maintenance, and transportation of material, facilities, and personnel within an organization, business, or firm. Logisticians oversea company resources, acquisitions, distributions, internal allocations and deliveries. Logisticians are responsible for the entire life cycle of products, services, and persons within a business.

8. Business Operations Specialists generally earn a base pay of $64,990 yearly. Business operations specialists coordinate the operations of companies, organizations, and institutions within the public and private sector. Business operations specialists oversee day to day activities of an organization. Business operations specialists closely monitor the use of materials and human resources while planning, directing, and coordinating company policies. Job responsibilities of business operations specialists vary greatly depending upon the field of employment.

9. Cost Estimators earn a base pay of $60,320 yearly. Cost estimators are the business industry’s forecasters. Cost estimators’ job responsibilities vary within the specific field of specialization. Cost estimators generally focus on the cost, size, and duration of future business projects and endeavors. Cost estimators forecase the profitability of new projects, products, or purchases, while ascertaining material, labor, location, and machinery (including computer) projections. Cost estimators gather information for proposals, products, and other aspects of business to determine the most cost effective strategy to maximize profits in business dealings.

10. Human Resources, Training and Labor Relation Specialists typically earn a base salary of $58,230 yearly. Human Resources, training, and labor relation specialists are responsible for attracting, motivating, teaching, and retaining qualified employees. Human resource, training and labor relation specialists recruit, interview, and hire new staff while adhering to an organizations established policies. Human resource, training, and labor relation specialists are often involved in strategic planning, as well as issues pertaining to the improvement of morale, productivity, work environment, and development. Human resource, training and labor relation specialists also handle employee benefits, incentive programs, and attendance.

Consider advancing your career in business with a high-quality business degree.

The Benefits of a Business Major: Employment and Compensation

In today’s economy, students with a major in business from an accredited school can be in high demand. Within today’s business colleges, students can chose from a wide variety of majors ranging form the traditional business administration and general business to more specialized degrees such as human resources, supply chain logistics and information technology. Modern corporations are complex organizations and seek a wide range of specialists to help them manage operations.

For undergraduate business majors with a bachelor’s degree, starting salaries can range anywhere between $35,000 to $50,000, depending on the chosen specialty within the major as well as the geographic location of the job. Within business colleges, the most common majors are generally administration, finance, marketing, accounting and economics. Since most colleges require a “core” set of courses for all majors, there are a number of jobs for which nearly all business majors can quality. In general, job opportunities in financial services, health care and information technology provide the greatest compensation out of school, whereas sales and retail management jobs tend to pay less. A growing number of manufacturing firms also seek recent graduates to help manage plant operations; manufacturing management can be a lucrative career choice under the right conditions. Accounting majors who earn a CPA accreditation have among the most stable job markets, as annual demand for certified accountants almost always exceeds the supply.

Students who opt for an initial associates degree in business will find the best job prospects in technology related fields, as companies have a growing demand for information technology specialists. Training in areas such as databases (Oracle, Microsoft, mySQL) and computer security can help improve both your career and compensation prospects. Employers report a demand for graduates with strong analytical and quantitative skills, in additional to general qualities. Associates degree holders can earn starting salaries ranging from $25,000 to $40,000, depending on the sub-field.

For students who pursue a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), both starting salaries and job opportunities increase, especially for those from top tier schools. Starting salaries for qualified MBA candidates generally start in the $60,000 range and head into 6-figures for the most highly qualified candidates. Within MBA specialties, average starting salaries at accredited schools are roughly $80,000 with students in finance and IT graduate majors earning above the mean. For experienced professionals, the starting salary with an executive MBA is nearly $100,000, although this reflects pre-existing experience levels. Importantly, there is a wide variance in starting salaries by state, with jobs in New York and California paying significantly more, which reflects a concentration of competitive companies, as well as an adjustment for the higher cost of living. Just as undergraduate and associates IT majors are in high demand, MBA candidates with a focus in IT tend to earn significantly above the average starting salary, as do the top financial MBA students who can enter executive level finance positions.

Today’s employment market provides a wide variety of opportunity for business majors, although students who chose to focus on highly demanded areas will find a higher degree of interest in the job market. In particular, business majors with a strong quantitative background, along with requisite IT and management experience will be able to meet an increasing number of opportunities in the work force.

For those looking to get a business major, I’d recommend checking out our list of the best business schools.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Relevant is Your Degree?

When you are ready to commit a significant portion of your time and money to getting an MBA, you want to make sure you’re getting an education that’s going to transform your talent and ambition into a solid set of skills that deem you irresistible to the best employers. Business schools are competing to make their MBAs the most relevant to your success.

This month the MBA Roundtable released the results of its 2009 MBA Curricular Innovation Study indicating that 69% of MBA programs have significantly revised the curriculum in the past four years to improve the relevancy of the degree in response to criticism that they are not preparing graduates for today’s business challenges.

What Is Relevance?
Among the 69% of MBA programs making significant revisions to their curriculum, the most common change was the addition of ‘applied content’, or project-based courses. In addition to giving students more opportunities to take their learning out of the comfortable lecture hall and into the demanding real-world business simulations, respondents also reported that integration across topics and disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary content were popular changes.

MBA Programs That Get Into Details
MBA programs have traditionally focused on equipping students with big picture concepts, eschewing fine details of specific industries for personal leadership and decision making skills. Apparently that’s changing. The MBA Roundtable data reveals that 25% of MBA degree programs have added an industry specialization in the past three years. Common emphasis areas are healthcare, biotech, medicine, and entrepreneurship. Another change: about half the programs reported that they had added a focus on leadership development (as in, developing others) and global perspectives to their offerings.

Change is Good
And the changes just keep coming. 89% of all MBA programs surveyed are planning additional curricular changes.

“I think this is very promising news,” said Rodney Alsup, president of the MBA Roundtable. “It shows that there has been a concentrated effort among MBA programs to innovate and make changes that increase their relevance to both students and employers. Furthermore, this has been done in an educational environment that can be resistant to change, or, at the very least, has approval processes that make it difficult to make changes in a timely manner. Some schools need approval from their state boards of education prior to revising their curricula, for example.”

The motivation for these changes comes from both internal and external sources, according to the study. The most common motivator by far was internal quality improvement initiatives, with 64% of participants selecting it as one of their motivators. Among external motivators, “competitor schools” was the most commonly chosen answer, with 34% of respondents choosing it as one of their motivators.

Best Colleges: 7 Informative Rankings For Business Students

It’s the time of year when prospective students, especially high school juniors and seniors, are taking a serious look at colleges. While a wealth of educational resources is a good thing for students, the choices can be overwhelming. Fortunately there are several tools available to help students and their parents find the right college or university.

US News and World Report 2010 Best Colleges
US News and World Report recently updated its annual Best Colleges ranking and research tool The 2010 Best Colleges interactive search tool allows students to search a database to find the best colleges based on the following criteria:

campus setting
tuition and fees
basis for financial aid awards
test scores
acceptance rates
student to faculty ratios by major
student population stats by gender and ethnicity
student activities
Click here to access the US News and World Report 2010 Best Colleges ranking.

Forbes America’s Best Colleges
Like the US News and World Reports list, Forbes America’s Best Colleges resource provides an overall best colleges ranking based on many of the same factors. The August 2009 list of best colleges provides an at-a-glance listing of some of the best higher learning in the country.

Click here to access the Forbes America’s Best Colleges ranking.

Top Community Colleges
University’s have their place, but community colleges are also a valuable resource for many students. Washington Monthly’s Top Community Colleges ranking looks beyond the typical mainstream college guide to help students shop for a community college just as they would a larger school. Community colleges represent a significant portion of overall higher, with 43 percent of college freshmen beginning their education at two-year institutions.

Click here to access the Washington Monthly’s Top Community Colleges ranking.

Princton Review’s Best Value Colleges 2009
Few things most of us purchase will be as costly as our college educations. The Princeton Review Best Value Collegesranking helps students find the best school at the best price. The Princeton Review selects schools based on 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs and financial aid. Tuition, room and board, and required fees, as well as book costs and other factors, are included in the financial measurement.

Click here to access the Princeton Review Best Value Colleges ranking.

Best Engineering Colleges
Because so many business students come from the engineering department, it seemed appropriate to include’s Best Engineering Colleges ranking here. Their focus on how much you’ll make after graduation sealed the decision. Their list of best engineering schools is ranked by post-graduate salary potential.

Click here to access the Best Engineering Colleges ranking.

Top Online Colleges
Online colleges are prevalent now and for good reason. Best Online Colleges ranks the Top Online Collegesto help you decipher all the choices. Completing a degree online is possibly the most convenient and expeditious way to further your education while maintaining full time employment. Online degree programs offer flexibility and are quickly being adopted by more and more students who want a learning environment that fits their needs.

Click here to access the Best Online Colleges ranking.

Hottest Student Bodies
College is very serious business, but it’s supposed to be fun as well. That’s what you’ll find with PopCrunch’s 2009 Hottest Student Bodies ranking. Check out this list if your choice of institution is in part or in whole informed by the quality of girls on campus. (I looked for a similar list of hot guys and couldn’t find it. If you know of one, please speak up!)

Top 10 Accredited Online Business Programs

The Best Degrees have unveiled their 2010 rankings for the top ten accredited online business degree programs. The list consists of six undergraduate programs and four graduate programs (MBA). While we don’t thinking rankings are the be all, end all of choosing a school, we do think they are important, especially when choosing an online school because there are so many sub-par programs out there. If you’re going to go the online route, it’s very important to choose a regionally accredited business degree program – not just a nationally accredited program. While “national” might sound better than “regional” it turns out that regional accreditation is much more difficult to attain and says a lot more about the quality of education that you will receive.

Here are the top 10 online accredited business degree programs according to TBD:

Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Southern New Hampshire University)
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (University of Nebraska at Kearney)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Management (UMassOnline)
Bachelor of Science in Marketing (Grand Canyon University)
Bachelor of Science in Business – Human Resource Management (University of Phoenix)
Bachelor of Business Administration – Organizational Management (Tiffin University)
MBA (The University of Scranton)
MBA (Sacred Heart University)
MBA (Quinnipiac University)
MBA (Arizona State University)

Do You Need a Business School Admissions Consultant?

Applying for business school can be an agonizing process. How do you differentiate yourself from all the other highly qualified candidates? GMAT preparation courses have been around for a long time to help you get the highest GMAT score, but as the competition grows more fierce, you need to set yourself apart in other ways. It may be time to consider hiring a business school admissions consultant.

Do You Really Need an Admissions Consultant?

According to Stacy Blackman, most applicants to top business schools are qualified to attend. That doesn’t mean everyone gets in. The role of consultants like Blackman is to make sure your application stands out. Blackman and others offer personalized services that are also customized to the schools the student is applying to.

Consultants can help with everything from developing a strategy to assisting with essay writing and interview coaching. Premium services can include planning campus visits, coordinating school communications, and access to online resources to make your application as good as it can be.

If you’re thinking these services don’t come cheap, you’re right. That’s where the competition can help.

Beat the GMAT Competition

Qualified prospective MBA candidates can bow compete for scholarship packages that include GMAT preparation courses as well as expert consultation by a business school admissions consultant. The fourth annual 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Competition is open for submissions. Applications will be accepted until May 8th.

Applicants must have completed college or be in their final year of college, and plan to attend business school within two years. 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Competition is open to U.S. and international candidates.

“In these difficult economic times, there is a surge in business school applications, making it increasingly competitive to get into business school. We aim to support deserving candidates with this scholarship program,” said Stacy Blackman, President of Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Stacy Blackman Consulting and her team of professionals have hands on admissions experience, MBA’s from top schools, and strong writing and marketing skills. They’ve helped prospective students gain admission to every top business school in the world and they’re partnering with Manhattan GMAT to offer the prizes for the competition.

Enter to Win Free Services

The Beat the GMAT competition provides potential business school students with financial help assistance to help them achieve their educational goals by awarding the following prizes:

First prize ($5,490 value): $500 cash, one full Manhattan GMAT course, 1 school comprehensive package with Stacy Blackman (business school admissions consultant).
Second prize ($2,310 value): $500 cash, one full Manhattan GMAT course, 2,500-word editing service with Stacy Blackman.
Third prize ($2,210 value): $500 cash; one full Manhattan GMAT course; 1,000-word editing service with Stacy Blackman.
Fourth prize ($2,020 value): $500 cash, one full Manhattan GMAT course; copy of the MBA APPLICATION ROADMAP book by Stacy Blackman.
Fifth prize ($2,020 value): $500, one full Manhattan GMAT course.
So how do you enter? This link takes you directly to the 2009 Beat The GMAT Scholarship Competition site.

Applying is as simple as writing an essay. And if you find a consultant for that, let us know!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ICICI Venture invests in Hyderabad school chain

In its first investment in the education sector, ICICI Venture is using its Mezzanine Fund to put in money in the country’s largest international baccalaureate chain, based in Hyderabad.

The Mezzanine Fund managed by ICICI Venture is understood to be investing Rs 20 crore in redeemable debentures of People Combine Avenues of Hyderabad, which runs India’s largest International baccalaureate (IB) school — Oakridge International School — in Hyderabad.

When contacted, an ICICI Venture spokesperson declined to comment.

The company, formerly known as Vikas Education Institutions Limited, was promoted by first generation entrepreneurs, T Naga Prasad and Raja Shekhar Babu. The company and its associate societies run and manage seven K-12 institutions in Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad, including Oakridge I and Oakridge II in Hyderabad, Vikas Schools and Junior College (CBSE), Nalanda Talent School (SSC) and Westwood International (IGCSE/ CBSE) in Vishakhapatnam. Over the last 16 years, the group grew from a modest start in Vizag and today it caters to almost 6,000 students in these two cities.

Mezzanine funds could either be a hybrid of debt and equity or only debt and offer promoters the flexibility to grow without diluting too much of their equity, which could otherwise lead to a loss in control.

Harvard, Stanford, Yale to accept PTE scores

Ivy League institutions like Harvard and Yale along with other renowned varsities like Stanford, INSEAD and the Indian School of Business and organisations such as the UK Border Agency will now be accepting Pearson’s PTE Academic scores.

PTE Academic — the English language test developed by Pearson Education — was launched eight months ago and is in the process of being recognised by more than 1500 programmes worldwide. It is endorsed by the Graduate Management Admission Council GMAC, the owners of the Graduate Management Admission test GMAT.
“We have a 10-year plan for the test and are targeting 3 per cent of the academic English market in India which is currently 200,000 students. For us, the testing parameters are listening, reading, writing and speaking and all these four modules can be tested in three hours,” said John K Philip, Regional Director (SAARC Countries), Pearson Language Tests.

The computer-based test is delivered on a ‘choose and book’ basis rather than on fixed dates and test takers can schedule their appointment just 24 hours before their test and results are delivered in two business days, according to Pearson.

Pearson is in talks with both Indian and foreign universities that accept international students and where English is the preferred language of teaching.

Moreover, Pearson has also tied up with almost 100 test preparation centres across the country and also offers online tests for students. The unscored practice tests are for free while the scored ones cost $20 (Rs 950) each.

Students bypass Australia

Indian students are giving a pass to the former hot study destination, Australia, in favour of evergreen destinations like the UK, US and Canada.

Changes in visa laws, coupled with a host of ‘racially-motivated’ acts of violence, appear to be the main concern for Indian students going to Australia. “In the last academic year itself, we saw an overall decline of more than 60 per cent in Indian students going to Australia. The market is going through a correction mode as there was an unrealistic and unsustainable increase in the number of students that went to countries such as Australia and New Zealand because of the permanent residence (PR) options available. Students keen on getting the PR only may change their plans,” says Naresh Gulati, CEO, Oceanic Consultants.

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Pranjal Kalita, Asst Manager-Marketing at IDP Education, concurs there are two kinds of students going abroad — those who are serious about education and those who prefer foreign countries for their livelihood and immigration purposes. While there has been an overall decline of 50 per cent in the students going to Australia this year due to its new skilled occupation list, “there has not been much decline in the number of students sincere about pursuing only education in that country”.

Gulati points out that unscrupulous students are prepared to do anything to go overseas including using fraudulent means. They generally opt for courses and institutions that have a lower course fee and do not demand serious studies. With visa offices for almost all countries becoming vary of this segment, student visas are increasingly being denied. Thus, the fall in numbers.

Amit Menghani, president, Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA), agrees that the estimated enrollment of Indian students in Australia has dropped by 45 per cent this year. “Indian students are reluctant to consider Australia for private education after many fake colleges closed in Australia. In fact, many students are now planning to go back after the changes in the immigration and other policies,” he says.He, however, adds that “Indian students may choose other countries this year but opportunities might rise again in Australia depending upon the requirement of the students.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s pain is US’ gain. For instance, according to Open Doors 2009 survey, the total number of Indian students studying in the US increased by nine per cent in 2008-2009 — from 94,563 to 103,260. This is the highest number ever for students from a foreign country studying in the US, with the number only set to rise this year.

Indian students spend around $4 billion on higher studies abroad every year. They contributed around Rs 12,500 crore ($2.75 billion) to the US economy as tuition and living expenses and every sixth international student enrolled in US higher education institutions is from India. Opportunities in

M Phil programmes offered by the US and Canadian universities, for instance, are considered better than those offered by any other university in the world, say education consultants. Moreover, the post-graduate course is of two years against the one year offered by the UK. One-year degree programmes are not popular with many employers back in India.The UK and US, meanwhile, continue to be a favourite with Indian students for the better infrastructure and technology they offer, in spite of tightened security restrictions and visa stringent regulations, according to an official from Visa Zone, an Ahmedabad-based overseas education consultancy. However, Canada’s popularity has taken a minor hit since the announcement that only 20,000 visa applications will be accepted.

Meanwhile, students have also turned to fresh pastures like Germany and Sweden for the free education these countries offer. These countries levy no fee on foreign students enrolling in universities. Education consultants have seen a 50 per cent rise in the number of students going to Germany and even France this year for courses in pharmacy and engineering.

However, language barrier may be the reason why more Indians are discouraged to go to these countries, the official noted.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Case study: Chinese University of Hong Kong

As one of the world’s leading financial centres, it is hardly surprising that Hong Kong is full of financial training courses.

While all the city’s nine universities offer a wide range of business education programmes, potential students can also choose from dozens of other classes provided by local institutes and overseas universities. As a result, competition is keen.

With that in mind, the faculty of business administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the city’s second-oldest university with a picturesque campus in the north of the territory, is trying to attract students by being “practical”.

“Most people who study for a master’s degree do not plan to go for a [Doctor of Philosophy]. They want better career prospects. Our job is to train our students to be more employable,” says Chak Wong, director of the school’s master of finance programme and associate director of MBA programmes.

Having worked at leading investment banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Barclays Capital, Mr Wong knows firsthand what it takes to become a successful banker.

He also understands what a good master in finance programme should teach and what his students ought to learn to excel in the financial world.

Based on his experience, Mr Wong has structured the master in finance programme to train students to “think on their feet” on graduation.

“The most important thing is to train our students to be able to solve new problems based on fundamental knowledge,” he says.

To do that, he has invited people from the financial industry to teach and supervise at the master programme. The specialists – including bankers, hedge fund managers, corporate treasurers and lawyers – are responsible for about a third of the courses, while the rest are taught by the school’s own faculty members.

Having industry participants teaching is a big difference between the master in finance programme offered by CUHK and other courses in the territory, according to Mr Wong.

“[The industry specialists] make a big difference to our programme. They can share with our students what the real world is like,” he says.

In fact, collaborating with others is something CUHK’s business school has been doing over the years to build its reputation.

In 2002, CUHK’s accountancy school, Hong Kong’s oldest with 30 years of history, set up a master of accountancy programme with the Shanghai National Accounting Institute, which is backed by the State Council and the Ministry of Finance, to train senior accounting professionals to meet China’s growing demand for accountants.

It was the first master-level accountancy course offered in China and quickly became highly sought-after among middle level managers. Today, students are mostly chief financial officers or senior partners at accounting firms, with 15 years of working experience on average.

The programme has not only been successful in attracting applicants – but also copycats.

According to Oliver Rui, director of the executive master of professional accountancy programme, 34 universities in China, under the direction of the Ministry of Education, now offer a similar programme.

To stand out, CUHK added “executive” to the name five years ago and plans to raise tuition fees in 2011: “We want people to know that it is not a regular master degree. It is ‘executive’. We want to differentiate ourselves from them,” says Mr Rui.

But a change in the name is not enough: “I have been told that the ministry of education is going to copy us again and put an ‘e’ in their programme names. We are going to face another round of competition,” he adds.

In response, CUHK is going to resort to what it does best – collaboration. The accountancy school plans to ask an international university to teach some classes. It is currently in talks with University of California, Berkeley, The University of Texas at Austin and the University of British Columbia about being a partner.

“Competition is not always bad. It pushes us to advance our content, approach and the curriculum,” says Mr Rui.
.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Entrepreneurship and IIMA

I must write on a topic that is buzzing on the campus - entrepreneurship.
My chain of thoughts was triggered by a comment in class that more than 50 per cent of Indians are self-employed. India is a land of entrepreneurs, big and small!

I have hardly come across anyone who has not had an entrepreneurial thought sometime or other, even if it is just a teeny-weeny idea. But only a few manage to actually take the plunge, the rest are held back by fear of the unknown. It is not so easy to step out of our comfort zone, is it?

In April 2010, we had an introductory session by Sunil Handa, an IIMA alumni from the batch of 1979, who teaches a course entitled Laboratory in Entrepreneurial Motivation (LEM). As anyone who has attended his classes will confirm, Mr Handa’s classes are filled with energy and you’ll come out of the session with a sense of euphoria. (Just run a Google search for ‘Sunil Handa LEM’ and you’ll find plenty of blogs talking about the LEM experience.)

What makes Mr Handa unique is that he has actually ‘been there, done that’. Starting from next to nothing, he built up a series of businesses with various degrees of success, each enterprise adding to his wealth of experience.

Some of his most significant ventures are Core Parenterals, which was one of India’s largest manufacturer & exporter of IV fluids and his latest venture called Eklavya Education Foundation; which runs a successful school in Ahmedabad. Mr Handa has also been encouraging students and their spouses to work at the school for a period, to get hands-on experience of the various aspects of establishing and running an educational institution.

Continuing on the same topic, the IIMA Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE) is associated with the Economic Times ‘Power of Ideas’ programme, which is in its second iteration this year.

The objectives of the initiative are to encourage anyone with an idea to realise their entrepreneurial dream. Ideas will be nurtured and entrepreneurs offered personalised guidance from mentors before being incubated at IIMA and presented to investors. They will also receive seed funding from the Government’s Department of Science and Technology. The deadline for entries to the 2010 edition of the programme is July 14th, so anyone with an idea, better hurry up!

Although the actual number of participants who reach the final stage may be quite small, compared with the total number of applicants, the process does allow participants to have their ideas vetted by experts for viability and have a different perspective on it.

A few of my PGPX batchmates are interested in using this platform to test their plans, hopefully some of their best ideas will get translated into reality once we graduate from IIMA.

Signing off for now, I need to go shopping for an umbrella. Looks like the monsoon has reached Ahmedabad, we saw some heavy showers last evening and it’s been quite cloudy all day today. Looking forward to good rains and cooler temperatures.

Tags: Entrepreneurship, Ideas, IIMA, Incubation, PGPX

US schools see their power begin to wane

Last month, I gave several presentations to business schools in the US about the Financial Times’s global MBA rankings and what they reveal about the US market. Of course, these data are not new – they are published each year and my colleague Michael Jacobs has written about it on several occasions.

But what surprised me was the reaction of the US business schools to the trends we had identified.

The first of these trends is a straightforward one: when the FT began ranking MBA programmes in 1999, 20 of the top 25 schools were from the US, with the remaining five from Europe; however, in 2010 there are just 11 US schools in the top 25, a further 11 are in Europe and three business schools are in Asia.

The second trend highlights a fall in the return on investment – in terms of the increase in salary five years after starting the programme – from studying an MBA in the US.

In the FT rankings published between 2000 and 2003, for example, alumni from 20 of the top 25 schools enjoyed, on average, salary increases of at least 150 per cent over that five-year period.

Today, no alumnus from a US school in the FT rankings enjoys a salary increase of more than 131 per cent (Yale).

The reasons for this are twofold. The students currently entering the top US MBA programmes are of the same professional standing as their predecessors – they hold the same qualifications and job titles.

And, as you would expect, the salaries reported by each cohort on entering their MBA have increased year-on-year by a few percentage points. However, salaries reported three years after graduation have not increased at the same rate and, in some cases, have even declined.

For example, in the FT 2003 rankings, those US students who reported US dollar salaries before and after graduation earned on average nearly $125,000 three years after graduation. Seven years later, their peer group who responded for the 2010 rankings earned salaries of $121,532.

Of course, the problem is compounded for US schools because many of them have increased their fees by 4 or 5 per cent each year over that period, squeezing the value for money they offer and resulting in graduates having anything between $50,000 and $100,000 of debt on graduation.

Money is not the only reason why the US schools are slipping down the FT rankings. As well as looking at the career progress of business school alumni, the FT also evaluates the ideas creation and academic credentials of the school and the international experience that the students receive.

The reason for this is that when the FT rankings were first established more than a decade ago, American business schools were struggling to be more than just US-centric schools and European schools were trying to match the academic credentials of their US counterparts.

What the rankings in 2010 show is that while European and Asian business schools have managed to penetrate the top echelons of the research community – three of the top 11 schools are from Europe or Asia – no US school has been able to penetrate the stranglehold that European schools in particular have on international students and faculty.

Furthermore, graduates from US schools do not enjoy the sort of international course experience or demonstrate the range of international mobility of their peers elsewhere. Indeed, only one US school in the rankings, Thunderbird School of Global Management, reports that more than half its students are from outside the US (53 per cent) and only Columbia Business School has more than 50 per cent international faculty.

So, what was the reaction of US business schools? Opinions were clearly divided – some individuals were visibly concerned by the data. Others shrugged it off.

As one professor put it: “It’s nice to have an alternative view of the market.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Getting an MBA Degree Through Distance Learning

The concept of distance learning has been around for ages in the history of mankind. However, in recent times as we move in the information age, it has become the more accepted norm in society. Making the best use of various means and tools like the internet and audio-video conferencing, has helped students correspond with tutors or teachers more effectively. Definitely with numerous tools available for individuals, distance learning programs have gained immense popularity in the past few years. The growth in the ratio of MBAs awarded in recent years is definitely one of the few examples that show the impact of the increase in online learning programs.

Today there are number of institutes offering multiple online education courses through different universities. Among all these distance learning courses, the MBA is the most popular and in coming years expected to gain more recognition. This learning course degree has managed to grab the highest number students as compared to other courses. For those who still think the MBA through distance learning is mediocre to a regular MBA course, then they must change their perception.

If you are one of those who are looking for higher career achievement can now select to boost your career by opting for online MBA program. These days most of the distance learning MBA courses is available online and so as an individual you have no reason to delay pursuing your MBA just because you are busy with your work. Besides this, talking about the major benefit of distance learning MBA degree course is – you do not require completing your course in a water-tight study schedule. You can easily study at your own speed and appear the exams when you think you are ready.

You can apply for am MBA degree by following either of the two approaches-one can be by applying for a part time distance learning course and the other by applying full time learning course. While in the previous one you require to attend weekend classes but in latter one there are no such requirements. However, when you are planning to choose your MBA program, it is important that you select an MBA program from an accredited university or institute/school with a good track evidence and reputation. This small step and alertness can help you in avoiding any trap by degree mills or degree scams who want to defraud your money without giving you the degree that actually have any significance. Besides this, you must select the school that offers you a tuition rate you can afford, fit your style of learning best and give you the most flexible scheduling options.

Today MBA online degree have become increasingly popular and very acceptable to many employers. In fact many companies have started providing support in term of scholarships for their potential employees in order to enhance their management skills through online learning MBA program. The career opportunities open to MBA graduates are very genuine and should be taken into serious thought as you make decision regarding your future.

Admission to Executive MBAs in India

Admission to Executive MBAs in India
Here is a FAQ about executive MBAs. Its my personal opinion after completing one such course. In any case, consult multiple people before taking any decision.

1. Which are the leading institutions providing executive MBA courses (full time) ?
Almost all leading IIMs -A,B,C,L,Indore- along with ISB, are providing 1 year executive MBA courses in India.

2. Admission criteria?
a) GMAT score b) Interviews c) Overall profile

3. What is a good GMAT score?
It varies based on one’s profile. Someone working in manufacturing industry could get in with a score of 600. But considering the fact that most candidates belong to the IT crowd, one should target at least 700

4. What is a good profile?
a) Good academics (from good institutions is a bonus), b) coprorate experience with reputed organizations, c) awards/achievements from work place, d) Entrepreneurship experience, e)Achivement in terms of innovation (ideas, processes etc..) in work place f) Social service/Extra curriculars (if applicable)

5. What is the best experience level where one can make optimum use of MBA (in terms of placement?)
I would say 7-8 years of experience with more than 1 year of management experience. Sales/Presales exp also advantageous.

6. What is evaluated in interview?
a) Clarity of thoughts and communication b) Clarity about why you want to do MBA? c) Evaluation of the candidates quality of experience and possibility of boosting that career based on MBA d) Awareness of society in general, world economy, national level issues and economy, awareness about ones own industry, company as well as clear thoughts on areas/ways of imporvement in the above.

7. ISB, IIMA, B, C – which one to choose?
Apply everywhere! However,
- ISB prefers less than 4 yr experience;
- Choose anyone based on your convenience. Wont make much difference for experienced candidates like you.

8. How is it is for ladies to get admission?
There is a shortage of ladies in all these courses. Its pretty easy for ladies to get admission !

9. How much salary hike I can expect after doing the course?
It depends on your current salary ! If you are already getting very high salary, MBA cant help you too much (in getting higher salary)

10.Is academic grades/marks important in final placements?
Not at this level (avg exp of 10 years) . Your fitment with the companies requirement and your quality of experience will decide your placement.

Why an EMBA

It’s one of the more prestigious degrees around, but you have to admit that the MBA has become too pedestrian for its own good. Too many institutions offer this graduate program in business administration, so much so that an MBA graduate is now worth only a dime a dozen. So if you want to distinguish yourself and stand out from the crowd, you must choose a program that is offered at an institute whose reputation precedes itself, or you could go in for an EMBA.

An Executive Master of Business Administration degree is specially designed for the working executive, someone with enough experience under their belt in the business world. An EMBA degree is often offered part time so that busy professionals are able to find time to balance both work and education, and schedules vary from university to university.

The one drawback of the EMBA is that the fees are usually on the high side, but then, for working professionals who seek higher education options in the hope that it will help them climb further up the career ladder, money is often no objective. Also, when the cost is high, the clientele is exclusive. So only the best students who can really afford this degree get in, and this helps EMBA retain an edge over the more common MBA.

If you are hoping to gain admission to this course, you need to have enough experience and financial wherewithal to be accepted at a school that offers one. You have to also take the GMAT, be proficient in certain extra-curricular activities and have the right references. Some schools also accord importance to community service. It’s wise to get your employer to sponsor your education, but if you’re looking for a new job and hoping to use the EMBA to secure one, it’s better to do it on your own steam.

The duration of the degree varies from school to school – there are one, two and three year programs available. While most colleges require you to have at least 5 years of experience for their one and two year EMBA degrees, you must be a top level executive to qualify for the three year program which is very exclusive and reserved for the highest tier of working professionals in the business world.

Before beginning an EMBA program, you should know that the schedules are demanding and the coursework grueling. So enroll yourself only if you are serious about finishing the course and are willing to make a few sacrifices to give it your best shot. If not, the pursuit of a little knowledge could leave your wallet a whole lot lighter with nothing to show in return.

Q+A With Doug Guthrie, Dean of the George Washington University School of Business

There's a new Dean in town. Dr. Doug Guthrie, who has a background in sociology, is soon to take the helm at the Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University School of Business.

In one of his first interviews as Dean of the School, Guthrie talks about why he prefers business students over sociology students, how responsible firms can make more money, why no one can compete with US-educated Chinese grads and his love of Indigo Girls.

The youthful Dean earned his first degree, an A.B. in East Asian languages and civilizations, from the University of Chicago in 1992.

He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at Harvard, Insead and Stanford. Most recently he was a professor of management at NYU Stern School of Business.

His books include China and Globalization: The Social, Economic, and Political Transformation of Chinese Society, published in 2006 and Dragon in a Three-Piece Suit: The Emergence of Capitalism in China, published in 1999.

You were originally a sociology professor. What perspective does sociology give you on business?
Sociology gives a much wider perspective on how markets work.

The problem with a purely economic and financial approach is that you get just one piece of the puzzle. We also need to look at political, social and cultural systems.

For so many years, business schools have trained sophisticated technical people think about markets as purely economic and financial systems.

But those systems are embedded in complex social and political environments.

Why did you move into teaching business?
I started out as a China specialist and a sociology professor. I’ve always had a passion for particular subjects: the complexities of market power, inequality within markets.

Business students challenge me and they don’t agree. My thinking is completely foreign to them. Sociology students self-select: they agree with you and that’s why they chose the discipline. When I teach MBA students who are going on to work on Wall Street I feel like I’m doing something.

Corporate Social Responsibility is one of your research interests. A lot of people are cynical about it. What are the opportunities in this area now?
There’s a trend that goes back to the 1950s of tycoon philanthropy – a way for corporations to carry one with business as usual while justifying their existence on the basis of a social agenda. I’m uninterested in that definition.

I’m interested in issues of sustainability and how corporations can strategically think about the places where they have greatest risk, and the systemic possibilities. How can we train business leaders to avoid events like Shell in Nigeria in 1994 and Nike in 1997?

I’d like to train business leaders to think creatively about how to save money and maximize shareholder value by mitigating these risks. Ultimately it’s in the interests of their companies.

There are people talking about risk management and corporate citizenship from that perspective. The global director of New York branding agency Landor, Scott Osman, has developed an exciting practice around companies who want to evolve business models that converge the interests of people with economics.

We have a responsibility to train business leaders who will think about how fortunate they are and what their role is in society as members of these powerful organizations. Only nation states are more powerful in today’s global economy.

It seems like every week there are new business degrees on offer. Do we really need this many business graduates?
I think the issue is not how many business degrees are on offer but how focused the degrees are. Whether at undergrad, master or executive level, technical knowledge needs to be balanced with broader thinking that includes philosophy, ethics and social sciences.

Who’s more unethical? An MBA who makes millions selling mortgage-backed securities or an accounting professor who neglects to teach the systemic risks associated with off-balance-sheet liabilities?
Probably the accounting professor. There’s nothing inherently wrong with mortgage-backed securities: there are serious problems if you don’t think about the systemic risks that arise when you package bad assets into tranches and sell them on. I think there’s something wrong in failing to train business leaders in how markets can unfold in negative ways.

More business schools are opening in Chinese universities. What are the challenges for business grads in the US versus grads in China? We hear a lot about the shrinking skills base in the West, but also the lack of jobs for grads in China.
The bigger problem for the US is that in most schools we don’t have as clear enough understanding of how to embrace globalization. A lot of schools do study tours and use international cases, but few school know how to teach about, say, the BRIC economies in a deep and effective way.

I’ve taught classes on the multinational corporation in China, and students have come to me saying: “I really want to work in China. What should I do?” US students are at such a disadvantage. The answer is: you need to have embraced the language, you need a deep knowledge of the market; you’re competing against Chinese students who want to return home… We’re not training students who can compete in that world.

Within China, most business schools (with a few exceptions like CEIBS and Tsinghua) have a distance to go to catch up with US and UK schools. They aren’t yet producing a graduate population with higher level skills in finance, leadership, marketing and accounting.

Both US and Chinese business grads will find it tough to compete with the people who have the best of both worlds: Chinese students, educated in the US, we go back to take up high-skilled jobs in China.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
One summer during my undergrad when I was a bike messenger in Chicago (anyone who has been to Chicago will understand this).

What’s your favorite business book?
Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, about the financial crisis. He was in the industry so he has access to people. He’s good at showing how personalities were in large part responsible for what happened.

Tell us what’s great about the GW School of Business in one sentence
I believe we’re the business school that’s taking advantage of being at the intersection of business and politics. We’ve embraced the concept of internationalism – we’re one of the few business schools that have an international business department.

Tell us something your students don’t know about you
I play the guitar and my favorite music to play is folk rock. Ani DiFranco and The Indigo Girls

Business School News: Aston Grad Sets Up Book Charity

School stories > Business School News
Business School News: Aston Grad Sets Up Book Charity
MBA brings much-needed business books back to Nigeria

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MBA Graduate Ayo Ajayi with Paul Hebron, Aston University's Alumni Relations Officer

Aston Business School is set to send books to universities throughout Nigeria to help a new charity, set up by a recent Nigerian MBA graduate, to provide better educational opportunities to the locals.
Promoting his charity, the Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation, Ayo Ajayi, will see between 200 and 1,000 books being shipped to his native country. Aston Business School has also committed a further five shipments planned in the next twelve months.
The books in subjects of Business & Management, Engineering, Modern Languages, Teaching, Life & Health Sciences, Social Sciences, IT, Teaching and English language will be donated from the university’s library.
“Before I left to go back to Nigeria, decided I needed to develop a programme which would enable me to give back to the community I come from,” said Ajayi.
“Education is crucial for development, but with the limited investment in education in Nigeria, this seems to be a perfect way of making a difference and contributing towards empowering people, particularly youth.
“This kind of collaborative project will significantly compliment to improve the standard of education in Nigeria, build capacity and will hopefully meet the aspiration of the Nigerian students for access to up-to-date and relevant educational material.”
How to Build a Business School?
It took Yash Gupta, dean of Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, three years to find out the ups and downs of starting a b-school from scratch.
In 2006, the world-renowned research university received $50 million from real estate mogul William Polk Carey. After three years in the process of curriculum design, fund-raising, faculty recruiting and accreditation searching, the first class for Hopkins’ new global MBA program is set to arrive in August.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Admissions Q&A: Georgia Tech

At the Georgia Tech College of Management (Georgia Tech Full-Time MBA Profile), the job search starts even before students are admitted. The director of MBA career services plays a big role in the admissions process, and students whose job prospects look poor might not get in, says MBA Admissions Director Paula Wilson. "This is a big investment for the student, and an investment for us as well," she explains.

This emphasis on employment means that Georgia Tech MBAs have fared better in the job market than many of their peers, despite the down economy. By three months after graduation, 85 percent of the Class of 2009 had jobs, with the average starting salary topping $85,000. Fully 100 percent of the Class of 2010 had summer internships.

Wilson recently spoke with Bloomberg Businessweek's Zachary Tracer about how Georgia Tech evaluates applicants and offered some tips on getting in. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

Could you tell me about any big changes you've made to the application process for the coming year?

We haven't made any major changes, [but] since 2004, we have included the director of MBA career services in our full-time interviews for admissions, and he is on the admissions committee. To be admitted to the full-time program, you have to interview with me as well as with the director of MBA career services. We want to make sure that not only can we help the students succeed academically, but that we can help them in achieving their career goals as well. [The director of MBA career services] is almost doing the first interview for the corporate recruiters, to make sure that [students] are going to be competitive in corporate recruiting interviews.

What are you looking for in the interview and also in the application process? What are you evaluating people on as candidates for the program?

Our students tend to be very bright, and they're competitive in the sense that they tend to push each other to do well. They have that very much Georgia Tech mentality of being great problem-solvers and rolling their sleeves up and getting the job done. We do not have a minimum work experience requirement, but we strongly recommend two to three years.

What makes someone a good fit for a Georgia Tech MBA, as opposed to any of the other MBA programs in the country?

We are really looking for people who have the reputation of being down to earth and collaborative. We always say there's not really a GMAT score high enough to overcome arrogance.

What are some of the common mistakes you see in the interview?

I think that the most common mistake is not being prepared for the interview. This is really a pet peeve of ours. Applicants really need to treat this process just like they would a job interview and research the school, come in in a suit, and be prepared.

And how about in the application, are there any mistakes you see that are common?

I would say with the application the most common mistakes are maybe not reading the essay questions. Usually these students are applying to a number of MBA programs, and I think they try to make their essay response fit into each one. While a lot of the questions are similar, each school has some nuances and paying attention to that is important.

Can you offer any tips for students working on your essays?

You want to spend time on them and get them right, but I think sometimes students tend to overthink and spend too much time on the essays making sure that they're perfect.
You have an essay question that asks student who they would invite to a dinner. How should applicants tackle that?

That essay, where there's never a right or wrong answer, it gives us the opportunity to get to know them a little better as a person. It gives them an opportunity to be creative and hopefully have a little fun in the process. One of my favorites was a young man who had invited four superheroes and kind of tied it back to a business organization.

How important are GMAT scores when you are reviewing an application?

As we are going through applications and trying to select people to bring in and interview, having a strong GMAT score is going to help you make that first cut. A high GMAT score certainly doesn't guarantee anything. We always say there's not one part of the application that's a dealmaker. But there certainly can be deal-breakers.

What makes a good reference for a student?

I would recommend a professional or an academic reference, someone who knows the student well. The thing for them to keep in mind is to stay away from personal references or even references from people that they think may impress the committee. So, for example, they wouldn't want to use the president of their company if they've just met this person at a company picnic.

One thing that stands out about Georgia Tech is that many of your students are engineers. What proportion of the students are engineers and how does that affect the academic experience for everybody?

About half of our students come from engineering or computer science backgrounds. They're great in the classroom because they're great problem-solvers [and] our corporate recruiters love them for the same reason. They really help the people who are not engineers to be able to see the details and to be great problem-solvers.

But really, is Georgia Tech just a business school for engineers?

Our program is not more technical or quantitative than most of our peer schools. Certainly I think a lot of the things we're known for with corporate recruiters are things like operations management and IT and technology commercialization, but we have a number of students who go into corporate finance, to marketing, to leadership development programs, strategic management consulting.

I see that international applicants make up about 40 percent of the pool of applicants, but only 16 percent of the class of 2010. Do you have any advice for international applicants?

That was actually a conscious decision on our part, in terms of reducing the number of international students. It really came back to career services being a part of the admissions process. Many of the international students want to stay and get some experience in the U.S. and we just haven't found that there are a lot of corporate recruiters willing to interview international students. I think with the unemployment rate in the U.S. being around 10 percent, it's just hard to justify hiring an international when there's a lot of U.S. talent out there.

Has Georgia Tech made any effort to recruit women or minorities into the program? The business school was only 15 percent female last year.

One hallmark this year for us is that our class coming in is around 30 percent women and 32 percent minorities. All that we've done is made a concerted effort to provide a more personal experience for these students. I think we have to put students, especially women or minorities or people who come from non-engineering backgrounds, in touch with people who have similar backgrounds.

Are there any changes to the curriculum recently or upcoming that students should be aware of?

We are starting to offer more courses in sustainability, especially through our operations management area. We've also beefed up our real estate offerings.

Can you tell me about some of the dual-degree programs that you have and how those benefit students?

We actually have a dual-degree program with any other graduate program at Tech. Most of the students we get are from engineering, but we've had students from architecture, from international affairs, industrial design, other departments across Georgia Tech.

One thing that comes up a lot when you think of the Georgia Tech College of Management is that it's a small program. What are some of the pluses and minuses of having a small MBA program?

I think that our students really enjoy being in one cohort and getting to know each other. The traditional minuses that you think of with small classes really haven't been a problem for us. For example, limited electives. Our administration has been very responsive to student need, and if there is sufficient demand for a particular class, it generally hasn't been a problem to offer that course. I think another minus that people think of is the difficulty of getting corporate recruiters to recruit on campus. But as you can see from our job numbers the last few years, this hasn't been a problem.

Have you had to adjust your career services during the downturn? How have you helped students find jobs?

Our career services staff has worked very hard and our students have as well. The small class size is a big plus here, because our career service advisers only advise about 20 students per class, and students work with the same career adviser for two years, so they really get to know each other very well. I would say our faculty, our alums, our College of Management advisory board have also been tremendous resources in providing contacts and leads.

Atlanta is a pretty big business center. How does that play into the job search for students and also the opportunities that the school can offer students throughout the year?

Certainly I think we work very closely with the companies here in Atlanta but [we] encourage the students to think nationally in terms of their job search. In terms of classes, it's been amazing. Being here in Atlanta certainly gives us access to a lot of companies and a lot of business leaders who can come right down the street and speak in classes.

You said you'd like for students to have a national job search, but has the school been able to encourage national recruiters to come and recruit students?

We've had to reach out to companies around the country to come in and recruit. While we do have some of the Atlanta companies coming in, we don't rely on those companies to be the primary source of jobs for our students.