Headlines from Around the World

Corporate antagonism goes public, Custom education bridges gaps, Bolts from the blue

From the Spring 2010 edition of Vanderbilt Business

newscoffeePrescription for job blues

Health care is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal job picture for B-school grads, and reform has the potential to make it brighter still. Part of the reason health care attracts MBAs is that it’s such a mess. The impetus for health care reform in the first place was high-cost, ineffective treatments, and millions of uninsured Americans. Jeff Freude, a second-year student in the Health Care MBA program at the Owen School, believes an aging population requiring more care, a financially challenged Medicare system, and ever-rising costs make health care one of the greatest challenges facing the American people.

BusinessWeek, Feb. 8, 2010

Corporate antagonism goes public

Companies facing difficult negotiations are now taking the backroom debates into the public eye, using advertising and other publicity to generate pressure. “Customarily these kinds of decisions are business decisions that we can make rationally,” says David Owens, Clinical Professor of Management. But the narrative businesses are using now “evokes an emotional response,” he says. “It makes business a drama.”

The New York Times, Jan. 25, 2010

Custom education bridges gaps

When Cisco Systems wanted to ramp up its health care sales, the company’s account managers needed a crash course in medicine to explain and answer questions about the new products. The company opted to train its managers through a customized education program from the Owen School. The focus on such customized programs has boosted revenue for Owen: Its custom programs earned the school 20 percent more in 2009 than in 2008. In addition to the sort of training Cisco asked for, clients are also attending the school to learn how to cope with competition or grab market share at a time when many of their competitors are facing challenges, says Dean Jim Bradford.

The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2010

Blemishes on the application

BusinessWeek’s “Getting In” blog reports that some mistakes and indiscretions do not necessarily ruin an applicant’s chances of getting into a top business school. While the background checks business schools implement usually verify only the accuracy of what you have shared with the school, corporate recruiters might delve deeper. Do a Google search of your name and be aware of any personal information that is on the Internet, suggests John Roeder, Director of MBA Admissions. It takes seconds to search someone’s name online, and anyone from a business school to a potential employer might do it.

BusinessWeek, Jan. 12, 2010

Doctors seek B-school aid

Physicians, nurses, private practice managers and hospital administrators are turning to business education for ways to analyze the slew of data now accessible to them, with the hope of improving the quality of care and lowering costs. The health care program at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is mentioned.

The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 17, 2009

Bolts from the blue

Social entrepreneurs have used the Internet to help artisans from remote regions earn a living wage selling their wares all over the world. Jim Schorr, Clinical Professor of Management, is involved with one such project, called Mekong Blue, which supports silk weavers in Cambodia. His students will help draw up a marketing plan for Mekong Blue next semester as a class project. Schorr says similar online stores like eBay’s World of Good have had success appealing to consumers.

Nashville Public Radio, Dec. 14, 2009

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