Executive MBA Program Blog

Marty Lawlor

Recent Posts

The EMBA Capstone - The Choice, Process, Impact, and Challenge

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Mar 6, 2020 10:28:20 AM

 

One of the most frequent questions we receive from Executive MBA (EMBA) prospects has to do with the required capstone project, a five-to-six-month client consulting project that teams complete in the final two semesters of the program.  The interest in the capstone lies mostly in its novelty.  While most EMBA students have strong functional expertise in one or two areas, few have had the opportunity to own and manage a major and messy project with multiple deliverables. 

The Choice:  Teams get to choose from among a wide variety of projects, recent examples of which include identifying the three best cities for a company expansion, analyzing the viability of a proposed market diversification initiative, an opportunity assessment for a specific technology, and a market entry recommendation for a foreign firm planning expansion into the U.S.  

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Topics: strategy, team, Experiential Learning, Capstone, Executive MBA

Amazon’s Gone—Who’s to Blame?

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Mar 11, 2019 12:20:12 PM

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed.”  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)

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Topics: strategy, Management

Your future may depend on this basic skill: Writing.

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Mar 1, 2019 3:58:48 PM

To the short list of death and taxes, I would add the certainty that college faculty will regularly voice their concerns regarding the poor writing skills of their students. Having been part of those conversations for more than 15 years, it appears that the issue has not only not disappeared, but has become an even bigger problem. 

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Topics: career growth, Management, Executive MBA

Curating a Meaningful MBA Experience

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Dec 12, 2018 1:38:04 PM

As program director for the Executive MBA program, I speak to many prospective students, and field numerous questions about the program. Most of the inquiries have to do with the operations or outcomes of the program—the time commitment each week, the technology used for delivery, the cohort model, or ROI for the program, to name a few. I am surprised, however, by the questions that often don’t get asked:

  • “Will I think differently as a result of this program?”
  • “Will my colleagues view me differently?”
  • “Will I form meaningful relationships with my cohort or instructors?”
  • “Will I have the confidence to lead a major project when I’m done with the program?

For many applicants, pursuing an MBA degree is perceived as a relatively simple exchange—take these courses; receive your degree. However, there is a much more meaningful exchange that occurs at RIT.

There are hundreds of MBA programs in the U.S.—both on-campus and online, that can offer just that. Most deliver a basic core curriculum of management, finance, accounting, and marketing courses, and a sizeable majority offer specialty programs or concentrations. However, the basic offering remains essentially the same—a set of tools for the manager’s tool belt. The result is a hyper-competitive MBA market.

In this type of market, where potential students find it difficult to perceive real differences among programs, schools try to out-compete their rivals by acquiring similar resources and developing more, but generally similar, capabilities. However, this is a losing proposition for most schools. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School calls this “competition to be the best” since only a very few schools can be crowned “the best.”

At RIT, our Executive MBA program has taken a different approach. We give significant thought to the distinctive value we can deliver, adapting curriculum to industries’ demands, as well as to the type of students who would best benefit from our resources and capabilities. We thought our value was largely in the high-touch delivery of our program: small classes; smart, committed faculty; and a dedicated and innovative staff to deliver a friction-free Executive MBA experience. While we continue to believe that high-touch experience is unusual and does in fact create value, we’ve come to see that our distinctive value is in creating a meaningful MBA experience for our students, an M2BA, for short.

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Topics: career growth, ROI, Capstone, Executive MBA

What makes a smart team?

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Apr 19, 2017 1:46:06 PM

I recently stumbled across a New York Times article I had saved from January of 2015 entitled: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others.  I had originally clipped it because of the importance of teamwork in our Executive MBA (EMBA) program—seventy-five percent of our courses include a team deliverable—and feedback from students suggests that working with others can be the most rewarding or the most maddening part of the EMBA experience.

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Topics: MBA, EMBA, team

Un-frequently Asked Questions: M2BA – A Meaningful MBA Experience

Posted by Marty Lawlor on Feb 25, 2015 12:50:00 PM
As program director for an online Executive MBA program, I speak to many prospective students, and field numerous questions about the program. Most of the inquiries have to do with the operations or outcomes of the program—the time commitment each week, the technology used for delivery, the cohort model, or ROI for the program, to name a few.I am surprised, however, by the questions that often don’tget asked: “Will I think differently as a result of this program?” “Will my colleagues view me differently?” “Will I form meaningful relationships with my cohort or instructors?” “Will I have the confidence to lead a major project when I’m done with the program?” I’ve concluded that, for many applicants, pursuing an MBA degree is perceived as a relatively simple exchange—take these courses; receive your degree.
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Topics: higher education, online learning