Yale School of Management MBA Students Gain International Exposure Through Study Abroad
School Makes International Experience Required Part of New Curriculum
New Haven, Conn., December 18, 2006—First-year students from the Yale School of Management will study abroad during the first two weeks of January 2007 as part of the school’s first International Experience, a mandatory component of the school’s new MBA curriculum that was launched in September, 2006. Yale SOM is the first major MBA program to require students to study abroad.
Groups of students will travel to one of eight destinations around the world—Argentina, China, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Singapore, a combined trip to England and Poland, and another combined trip to South Africa and Tanzania—where they will engage in intensive study, meet with business, government, and nonprofit organization leaders, complete a trip project, and take part in cultural activities. Each of the trips, which will be led by Yale School of Management faculty members, is fully integrated with the school’s innovative new curriculum.
SOM’s new MBA curriculum, which was approved unanimously by the SOM faculty in March 2006 and implemented only six months later, is premised on the fact that today’s managerial careers cross the boundaries of function, organization, and industry, as well as cultural and political borders. The new curriculum replaces courses in finance, marketing, and other subjects that have been the mainstay of business education for the last 50 years with multidisciplinary courses that cut across functional boundaries to provide management education in a richer, more relevant context. The heart of the new curriculum is a series of eight courses, called Organizational Perspectives, that are structured around the organizational roles a manager must engage to solve problems or make progress. These roles are both internal to the organization—the Innovator, the Operations Engine, the Employee, and Sourcing and Managing Funds (or CFO)—and external to the organization—the Investor, the Customer, the Competitor, and State and Society.
International Experience highlights include:
Argentina: Regulatory and government presence in its major industries and the tight relationship between public sector risk and successful private sector management; entrepreneurship and management challenges in emerging economies; land titling. Meetings include government ministers, Ashoka, Exxon, and BMW. Links to State and Society, Competitor courses; led by Keith Chen, Associate Professor of Economics.
China: The transformation from a closed, agrarian society to an open, industrial one. Meetings include Bank of China, Hillhouse Capital Management, CDH Investments, China National Petroleum, and Baosteel. Links to Investor, Operations Engine courses; led by Zhiwu Chen, Professor of Finance and X. Frank Zhang, Associate Professor of Accounting.
Costa Rica: Globalization for small countries; niche markets such as ecotourism as a national strategy. Meetings include current and former government ministers, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and pineapple, banana, and certified coffee plantations. Links to State and Society course; led by Garry Brewer, Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Professor of Resource Policy and Management
India: How to see and capitalize on cross-cultural opportunities in industries including consumer products, manufacturing, marketing, and private equity. Meetings include Infosys, Target Corporation, Yahoo!, Thomas Weisel India Opportunity Fund, and ChrysCapital. Links to Competitor, Investor, State and Society courses; led by Paul Bracken, Professor of Management and Political Science.
Japan: Fundamental changes in response to the recession of the 1990s. Meetings include UBS, Airbus, Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japan Venture Partners, and Nomura. Links to Investor, State and Society courses; led by Michael Auslin, Professor of History.
Singapore: An evaluation of Singapore and the surrounding region as a place for corporations and private equity firms to make investments. Links to Investor course; led by Jeffrey E. Garten, Juan Trippe Professor in the Practice of International Trade, Finance, and Business.
England and Poland: Investing in a global context in England; the re-emergence of the capital market, pension fund reforms, and corporate governance in Poland. Meetings include Goldman Sachs, Generation Investments, BP, Warsaw Stock Exchange. Links to Investor, State and Society courses; led by Stanley Garstka, Deputy Dean and Professor in the Practice of Management, and Douglas Rae, Richard S. Ely Professor of Organization and Management & Professor of Political Science.
South Africa and Tanzania: Opportunities and risks for investors; efforts to foster economic growth. Meetings include JSE Securities Exchange South Africa, NOAH (AIDS orphan care), South African Breweries, Pilanesburg Game Reserve. Links to Employee, Investor, State and Society courses; led by Dean Joel M. Podolny and James Baron, William S. Beinecke Professor of Management.
“For a number of years, SOM has had a number of very popular student-organized trips abroad, but the faculty felt that it was important to make the International Experience a formal requirement of our program,” said Dean Joel M. Podolny. “The new curriculum is based on the idea of being adept at working across boundaries, including geographic, cultural, and political boundaries, so it was very intuitive for us to make this a part of the curriculum.”
“Many MBAs will work in positions that will require them to work cross-culturally, whether it’s directly or indirectly,” said Professor Zhiwu Chen, who is leading the International Experience trip to China. “Providing them with a hands-on experience is the best way to prepare them for that challenge.”
When the students return to campus, they will start their second semester courses beginning with the external stakeholders portion of the Organizational Perspectives. The insights that students gain on the trips will be brought back to the classroom and add a global perspective to class discussions.
“When the Sourcing and Managing Funds class is learning about raising capital and a student is able to offer anecdotes from the conversation she had over dinner with the leaders of a major private equity firm in India, it elevates the discussion and class experience to a new level,” said Podolny.
In keeping with the school’s mission of linking business and society, the students have initiated a campaign to purchase a portfolio of Certified Emissions Reductions to offset the carbon emissions that their international travel will create.