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Entrepreneurship Roundup: Good Books and More

June 10, 2011

The intrepid staff over at Brazen Careerist recently named a bunch of great entrepreneurship books recommended by Bill Murphy Jr., author of The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship.

I won’t spoil the list other than to say that it involves Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, which I’ve heard is a terrific read in general.

For additional stimulating thoughts on entrepreneurship, check out the following past posts of ours covering advice from an entrepreneur, the best career-change blogs, and starting self-employment for the right reasons:

See school in your working future? Learn more about career-focused entrepreneurship degrees and other related business, management and finance degrees.

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Category: Career, MBA

New MBA Job Outlook

May 18, 2011

MBA graduates, your day is looking brighter. According to a U.S. News article from early this month, the employment picture for MBA grads was better in 2010 than 2009, and several sources predicted improvements in 2011. Ann Nowak, the director of recruiting for professional programs at Liberty Mutual, noted that recruitment of MBA grads for its corporate development program was expected to reach “pre-recession levels” in 2011 after being down 20% in 2009-2010. Dave Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, revealed:


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Category: Career, MBA

Failing in Vogue

April 20, 2011

Maybe it’s post-recession blues. Maybe it’s never-ending political budget crises. Maybe it’s the Fukushima disaster. Even I caught the fever in the last week, writing about emergent strategy and a theoretical physicist’s argument for the scientific importance of failure. This was before I even saw that there is a whole special issue of the Harvard Business Review (subscription required) this month dedicated to the very subject. Entrepreneurs, MBA students, and other future business professionals, take note: whatever the cause, the business case for failure seems to be in vogue.

As Adrian Wooldridge, author of the Economist’s Schumpeter column, also points out, failure is all the rage these days, at least in business literature circles. One of his best observations, as relayed in the April 18 “Money Talks” podcast (iTunes link):

I think some of the biggest disasters in corporate history have come from groupthink, from yes-men, from people being unwilling to raise their hand and say, ‘Actually, things are going badly here.’

Indeed. Here’s to critical thinking: not just nice to get you through some school exercises, but a vital, coveted business skill.

Advice on Business Strategy for MBA Students and Everyone Else

April 15, 2011

Two big-time B-school academics (Micheal Porter, Henry Mintzberg). Two conflicting strategies in the world of business.

One McGill professor, Karl Moore, breaks down the implications of each strategy in a recent “Rethinking Leadership” column.

Deliberate vs. emergent strategy
Essentially, use the past to predict the future (deliberate), or learn from a constantly changing present as it changes (emergent). Moore argues strongly for the latter’s greater relevance, explaining that organizations in today’s world need to learn “what works in practice” over time. In other words, figure out the best ways to adjust to an ever-changing reality as it changes. In a globalized information economy where industrial boundaries blur increasingly every day, being in tune to emergent strategy makes sense:

“It is precisely because we cannot, try as we may, control the variables that factor into business decisions that Mintzberg’s emergent strategy is so useful.”


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Category: MBA

Grad Students Are a Stressed-Out Bunch | Not News

March 31, 2011

Graduate schools are stress factories. I’ve never actually attended one, but I’ve heard they’re awful. My lady is in grad school. She’ll tell you—she tells me all the time—it sucks.


Get Paid $50K for Your Great Management Idea

January 11, 2011

How do we invent “management 2.0?”

This is the question posed by Gary Hamel, research director of the Management Lab (MLab) at London Business School, and the HCL MBA M-Prize (courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek). If you have the answer to this question, apply to the competition today … or any time before February 28, 2011. Eligibility is open to business school students enrolled in masters or doctoral programs.

The competition makes clear what it doesn’t want: intellectual fantasy. To the contrary, it wants theories that can be put to the test for originality, impact and popularity. Indeed, the the panel states it is looking for ambitious management hacks that:

  • distribute power
  • unleash human capability
  • foster renewal

A final round will narrow the field to 10-15 by April 15, with the winners to be announced here on May 1, 2011.

You can read full details about the contest—including additional cash prizes and global recognition—at the M-Prize web site.


Related reading: Check out our other MBA-themed posts, including a look at The Economist‘s 2010 MBA Rankings, CEIBS’ part-time executive MBA program in Ghana, and how MBAs can help entrepreneurs.

What a Chinese Business School in Ghana Can Teach Prospective American MBA Students

October 18, 2010

Last week, The Economist published an article on the China Europe International Business School’s (CEIBS) part-time executive MBA program in Ghana. The Shanghai-based school opened its satellite in Accra, capital of Ghana, in 2009.

Independence Arch: Accra, Ghana

The magazine also interviewed Kwaku Atuahene-Gima (iTunes format here), the program’s executive director and Ghanaian-born professor of marketing and innovation.


The iPad ClassÂť: Project Management at Notre Dame

October 4, 2010

On this blog, we’ve named the top ten iPad apps for students and explored the iPad’s viability in higher education. We’ve also looked at an iPhone app class. This time, the select class is for the iPad and is a special course in project management, as reported in My College Guide. At the University of Notre Dame, students  in a project management course are swapping textbooks for eReaders on iPads in special projects that span seven weeks.

Project management is offered as a core requirement for an IT management major and is part of both the MBA and undergraduate management courses at Notre Dame.

Additionally, 40 students there are participating in a year-long study of iPads as e-readers.

While Notre Dame appears to be making good use of technology, traditional schools aren’t the only places that blend learning with technology or offer degrees in project management. Learn more on our site about career-focused project management degrees that can be taken online or on campus.

Economist 2010 MBA Rankings and Distance-learning Supplement

September 20, 2010

“Just having an MBA now isn’t really a differentiating factor … You need to sort of trade the prestige of the school against what is going to be the best fit for you.”

–Bill Ridgers, business education editor, The Economist

The Economist’s 9th annual MBA rankings guide—“Which MBA?”, or its “swimsuit edition” (see another write-up)—is out this month. Only full-time programs are included in these student-centered rankings, and after 22 years of surveying, the magazine knows what goals tend to be most important to students:


Entrepreneurs, You Should Go to School to Stay in Business | M.B.A.

July 27, 2010

“Entrepreneurs are risk-takers by definition,” writes Chad Troutwine in a recent WSJ article.

They’d have to be. Below is a graph, showing the percentage of failed start-up businesses over a ten-year period:

It’s a tough world out there for the small-business owner. According to the statistics found at, 25% of startup businesses go under during their first year. Half are gone in four years, and after ten years, only 29% remain in business.

Anyone interested in starting a business should know what it entails, and according to Troutwine’s article, a master’s in business administration gives you the best chance of making it to that ten-year mark.

A commonly held belief among small business owners is that M.B.A. programs are “a waste of time and money—resources that they could better apply to a business venture, rather than a university.” But programs have changed over the years. Graduate business schools have come a long way to accommodate the interests of entrepreneurs:

Recently, however, a new perspective has emerged . . . Whether it is the relevant M.B.A. coursework, enviable networking opportunities, real-world laboratory conditions or the lure of business-plan competitions, aspiring entrepreneurs are gambling that the time they spend in an M.B.A. classroom is time well spent.

An M.B.A. degree should be considered an investment, just like your first store or office. The up-front cost may be high, but the knowledge you gain while earning your degree could be what propels your business to that slim 29%.


Category: Career, MBA

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