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The Bentley University MBA Receives Dramatic Reset
In August 2012, Bentley University debuts The Bentley MBA, a masters of business administration program, making it one of a handful of schools in the nation to develop a dramatically new approach to management education. In today’s ever-changing marketplace, organizations are looking to business schools to deliver a new kind of leader -- one who is able to nimbly adapt to social change and identify creative solutions to global issues.
The Bentley MBA moves away from presenting business solely through stand-alone disciplines such as marketing, finance and accounting. The 11-month Bentley MBA presents a true departure from traditional programs in both content and delivery. Students pursue four 10-week modules in a collaborative, studio-based setting, covering four themes: innovation, value, environments, and leadership. Designed and taught jointly by business and arts and sciences faculty, it focuses instead on business as a complex social system of interactions.
“Students who pursue an MBA do so because they desire to lead an organization and they must realize that canned solutions don’t exist,” asserts Bentley Provost Mike Page. “The education that future leaders need in order to achieve their goals and the goals of an organization is one that provides them with the ability to look for innovative paths to success, ask the right questions, and resolve issues collaboratively.”
In addition to rigorous class work, three of the modules include two week field-based collaborations where students will work directly with host corporations, NGOs and government agencies. The collaborations aim to address pressing issues at the host’s location, challenging students to put learning into practice through projects with organizations located across the globe. Personal assessment, feedback from executives, and partnership with Bentley faculty will strengthen students’ burgeoning leadership abilities.
Modules are ‘team taught’ by professors across disciplines and take place in a specially designed MBA studio that balances individual development with teamwork. The studio experience allows students to explore the details and applications of the course material, while working with a variety of faculty and guests from outside Bentley. The novel setting is also a work lab, where student teams can meet and work closely with professors outside periods of formal instruction.
“The program is carefully designed to combine traditional competencies with a more comprehensive, self-reflective thought process in a new academic setting,” says Dean of Business and the McCallum Graduate School Chip Wiggins. “Students will be evaluated periodically so they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and will better understand who they are as a leader as they prepare to re-enter the workforce.”
“This MBA experience illuminates the social structure of business issues,” says MBA program director David Schwarzkopf. “Students learn innovative ways to approach these concerns, with a keen appreciation for the social consequences of their business decisions.”
The Bentley MBA is part of a suite of master’s program options that also includes:
- The Emerging Leaders MBA, a full-time, two year program designed for those with relatively limited professional experience
- The Professional MBA, a flexible program geared toward those who wish to pursue their degree on a part-time basis
- Seven specialized Master of Science programs including Accountancy, Finance, Financial Planning, Human Factors in Information Design, Marketing Analytics, Information Technology and Taxation
- Master of Science (MS) + MBA, an innovative program enabling students to simultaneously pursue the Bentley MBA and either the MS in Information Technology or the MS in Human Factors in Information Design
President Larson, along with guest experts, joined Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson, to talk about how college and universities are preparing graduates to navigate diverse environments.