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MBA News You Need: MBAs Benefit from Business Plan Competitions, Yale SOM Gets Gold LEED Certification, Cornell Hosts Big Red Bash, and More

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Each week we collect all the MBA news that’s fit to print and provide a quick overview of the latest trending topics from top schools around the world.

Here’s your quick MBA News You Need digest for the week of May 24, 2018.

Business Plan Competitions Benefit MBA Student Participants in Ever-Increasing Ways

With each passing year, business plan competitions offer more and more lucrative rewards to MBA students. Not only have the cash prizes escalated—Chicago Booth’s Social New Venture Challenge delivered $75,000 to the top winner, for instance—but so have the associated perks. And for many MBA students, the most valuable rewards of any competition are found in the wisdom gleaned from judges and fellow competitors.

Students are increasingly willing to compete in business plan competitions because the stakes are so high. There are many opportunities to get in front of investors, gain credibility, and get feedback on ideas. Michael Martin, a Harvard MBA student, told the Financial Times, “The competition was more than a way to make a name for myself. It gave me access to top venture capitalists, which would be very hard to do otherwise because I didn’t have credibility.”

To read the whole story about the expanding value of business competitions read, “What does it take to win a business plan competition?” on the FT website.

Three HBS Students Take Home Dean’s Award for Service

Harvard Business School announces its annual Dean’s Award recipients to highlight the extraordinary achievements of graduates. HBS recognized three individuals from the class of 2018: Frances Dixon (MBA), Shannon O’Connell (MBA), and Cheng Gao (Strategy PhD). They each received this prestigious award in acknowledgment of the impact their exceptional leadership has had on Harvard and the surrounding community.

Dixon and O’Connell were both recognized for their work with individuals who have experienced sexual assault and harassment. Together they have altered how HBS responds to allegations of sexual misconduct. There is now a new plan in place that integrates HBS’s internal community values investigations with fact-finding by the Office for Dispute Resolutions (ODR).

Gao was labeled a “triple threat.” Not only is he an outstanding student and scholar, but he’s also a highly regarded teacher and mentor, as well as a role model for other HBS doctoral students.

This year, Dixon, O’Connell, and Gao will be formally recognized as Dean’s Award winners during Commencement Week. (HBS News)

Yale SOM’s Evans Hall Received LEED Gold Certification

Edward P. Evans Hall

Once again, Yale SOM has demonstrated its commitment to “going green.” Yale’s latest building, Edward P. Evans Hall, received a Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. This is the second-highest rating available and demonstrates the building’s focus on improving energy efficiency, water efficiency, quality of materials, and environmental impact (or lack thereof).

Some examples of what Evans Hall has done to earn the Gold certification include:

  • Heating and cooling via convective air flow that employs chilled beams, radiant floor systems, and variable-speed-drive fans;
  • The use of low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC);
  • 50 percent of the wood used was harvested, processed, and manufactured using sustainable forestry practices, and
  • Reduced water consumption. (Yale SOM News)

MBA Graduates Should Prepare for Next Job Even as They Begin Current Job

It’s not uncommon for freshly-designated MBAs who have secured their dream jobs to sit back and start to get comfy. But he harsh reality is most MBAs leave their first job within a few years of graduation, which makes UVA Darden Assistant Professor Kimberly A. Whitler’s recent Forbes article a must-read. It drives home why and how MBAs should be preparing for their next position even as they start their first one.

She offered three simple steps to help prepare recently graduated MBAs for the next steps in their career:

  1. Create relationships with five or more executive recruiters because these will be the individuals who will be of the most help in progressing your career.
  2. Get your resume ready by making sure it looks like an “executive” resume and not a “school” resume.
  3. Cultivate your network of at least 10 people who you want to stay in contact with.

To explore Whitler’s advice in greater depth, read the complete Forbes article.

Cornell Johnson Hosts Big Red Bash to Honor Exceptional Alumni

Each year, representatives from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management head from Ithaca to New York City to host the Big Red Bash. The event brings together Johnson alumni and current students to honor four exceptional members of the Johnson community. This year, at Guastavino’s Restaurant, the school recognized the Johnson Club of the Bay area led by President Richa Sood (MBA ’12), Jamey Edwards (MBA ’03), Hirschel B. Abelson (MBA ’56), and Anne Estabrook (MBA ’66).

Inside the Big Red Bash

Each alumnus honored at the event has made a unique contribution to the Cornell Johnson community. During the acceptance speeches, the award recipients each spoke candidly about how the community impacted them. Perhaps Edwards’ speech best summarizes the tone of the evening:

“For me, six years in Ithaca may not have been enough. Giving back to Cornell has become my main philanthropy. It keeps me connected to a part of my history and to Cornell’s future.”

To learn more about all the alumni honored at the Big Red Bash, head on over to the Cornell Johnson BusinessFeed.

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.