Experience is something that most full-time MBA professionals and students will never appreciate. Friendships built through an intense environment will last forever and have spawned an invaluable network across the industry. With study tours, the online MBA in IT courses turns the world into a global campus. Field trips are part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation. Students meet and learn from businessmen and women, government officials and politicians, and high-level members of the business world. Courses such as cross-cultural negotiations, critical operational analysis, global communications, corporate leadership and business strategy are taught in the boardroom of Lufthansa Airlines in Germany, a GE power processing factory in Budapest, Hungary, or in the halls of the British Parliament . Classes begin at the blackboard at home, but eventually end in the workshop next to a computer assembly line in Beijing, China. Intense class discussions combined with electronic case studies, case analyzes, guest lectures, and hands-free consulting projects often take place in the territory under study.
Each semester, in addition to traditional MBA students who had taken time off from their corporate life to enroll in the distance learning MBA program, I encountered one or two students who were clearly “atypical” for these mainstream corporate types, for example, a doctor, a lawyer, a CEO of a non-profit organization, or an entrepreneur or small business owner. It didn’t take long to realize that this trend was an indicator of an underlying interest and the need for these well-educated professionals, trained in the education of their profession, to learn about the business side of their professional lives.
Special to Duke was the global emphasis. International business practices are best absorbed in an international environment. The fact that the program facilitated the visit of local or multinational companies and sponsored speakers from local companies or government officials, cannot be replicated in a classroom in Durham, North Carolina. There is no traditional MBA program that can tackle practical business problems and then experience them in a local setting. Louis teaches classes on the campus of the modern, five-story, 135,000-square-foot facility. The Center offers EMBA students elegant accommodation, dining room, lounge, gym, pub and business center under one roof. Similarly, Ford Ham University offers classes in Manhattan on the Lincoln Center campus and three weekend residencies in a beautiful conference center less than half an hour’s drive from the city in Tarry town, when residency requires being in On the actual campus of the corporation, the classroom is held in the corporate boardroom and accommodation in a nearby contracted hotel. When the corporate boardroom becomes the classroom, students meet with senior officials from the host company, sometimes the CEO or CFO, tour the facility, and have lunch with employees. When classes are held at the corporation, anything is possible. It is not unusual for Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, or Michael Eisner to sign up for a class and answer a few questions.