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MBA News You Need: HBS Admissions Events, Michigan Ross MBA Team at INNOVATEChina, MIT Sloan Hackathon Winner, and More from Yale SOM and Chicago Booth

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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 updates from top business schools around the world.

Here’s your MBA News You Need digest for the week of May 20, 2019.

HBS MBA Admissions Events

Harvard Business School is coming to a city near you. This time of year, HBS hosts dozens of events in cities around the world to field admissions-related questions. At each information session, attendees will learn about the application process, connect with local alumni and current students, and hear more about the transformational Harvard MBA experience.

Attendees will have an opportunity to to get to know current HBS students.

HBS Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid Chad Losee explains, “When I was in your shoes, I remember feeling a bit intimidated about applying to HBS. Meeting HBS alumni helped me get over the hump as I realized how down-to-earth the students and alumni are.”

These HBS outreach events are a great way to learn more about Harvard and the MBA program and Losee advised keeping an eye on the events calendar.

Learn more about the upcoming HBS admissions events here.

Michigan Ross MBA Team Makes Finals at the INNOVATEChina 2019 Competition

Five Michigan Ross first-year MBA students represented the only U.S. team to make it to the finals of INNOVATEChina 2019, one of the largest and most influential business innovation contests.

The Michigan Ross team beat out dozens of other business schools in CEIBS’s annual MBA challenge, walking away with third place and $1,000 in prize money.

Each year, the CEIBS INNOVATEChina contest challenges MBA students from around the world to create a business plan around a current global business issue. This year’s theme was “Transcending Entrepreneurship” and required students to explore one of three topics:

  • Remodeling traditional industries
  • Tackling current problems
  • Shaping the future (through new technologies)

The Michigan Ross team—composed of Jackie Jiao, Tim Chay, Catherine Bruns, Ziwei Wang, and Yi Chen—created Kai, a STEM-focused toy-kit for girls ages three to six. They shared their idea as part of a 60-second elevator pitch, 15-minute presentation, and 15-minute Q&A session.

Read the Michigan Ross MBA team’s reflections here.

MIT Sloan Hackathon Targets Business Challenge of Food Sustainability

This year’s MIT Sloan Enterprise Management Lab hackathon, held March 18-21, assembled students into teams to develop business solutions to address food sustainability.  For one team, this meant finding a way to help smallholder farmers, who were losing out to large farms and wholesalers that could meet the demand of grocery chains.  Based on food sustainability issues including soil sustainability and food waste, as well as market knowledge and local tech, the winning MBA students developed the idea of SokoShare, a digital marketplace that uses an app and text messaging to connect small farmers in Kenya to supermarkets.

“When you have to solve a problem in the agricultural value chain using technology, people think of sensors or advanced technology, but when you’re dealing with developing economies, you’re not going to get adoption with people who are making a dollar a day,” SokoShare member Winston Esposito (MBA ’20) wrote in the MIT Sloan blog.

This was the seventh year of the hackathon and past ones had challenged MBA students to address the opioid crisis, smart cities, and blockchain.

Read the full report here.

Yale SOM Announces Teaching Excellence Award Winners

Professors Kyle Jensen and Lorenzo Caliendo

Every year, Yale SOM recognizes outstanding teachers for their Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards. This year, professor of economics Lorenzo Caliendo and associate dean, Director of Entrepreneurship, and senior lecturer Kyle Jenson each took home the prize.

Elected by first-year students, Caliendo won the award for core curriculum teaching. Second-year MBA, Master of Advanced Management, and Master of Management Studies students elected Jenson for the elective teaching prize.

“I thank my colleagues and my teaching assistants, but most of all, I am grateful to the students,” said Caliendo. “It was your engagement, energy, deep questioning, and continuous feedback that made me a better teacher.”

“I’m grateful to the graduating classes for this honor,” Jensen said. “I’m also grateful to many of my faculty colleagues for teaching me how to teach.”

Learn more about the two repeat winners here.

Chicago Booth Course on Managerial Behavior with Focus on Ethics

One of the most popular MBA courses taught at Chicago Booth is Designing a Good Life by Professor Nicholas Epley. According to MBA student Monisha Shivakumar, the course offers a deep dive into management and behavioral science with an ethical lens.

To gather more insight into the popularity of the course, Shivakumar sat down for an intimate conversation with Professor Epley. Here are a few highlights:

Professor Nicholas Epley
  • Course Motivation: The goal of the course is to get students to think about ethics in a constructive way.
  • Booth Curriculum: “This is very much a leadership class that is oriented towards helping folks lead and manage other people,” said Epley. It’s a course designed for personal development, helping students create the kind of life they want for themselves.
  • Best Experience: One of the most interesting aspects of the course is an activity focused on self-reflection. According to Epley, the goal of this exercise is to get students talking about times they were particularly ethical, which allows participants to emphasize courage and compassion.
  • Three Main Takeaways: There are three main takeaways from the course:
    • People’s behavior is a function of the type of situation they are in and much less about the type of person they are.
    • The importance of altering the type of situations that people find themselves in.
    • Doing good feels surprisingly good.

You can read the full, in-depth interview here.

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.