Harvard Business School which turned a grand 100 years old back in 2008 has revamped its MBA curriculum. According to The Economist, a course call FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) will now be added to the more traditional case-study classes in the first year. The FIELD course will emphasize leadership and self-reflection and students will be put in small groups of five or six.
There are some thoughts about including an international assignment and a consulting project too. Some plans have been placed to modularize electives in the final year to give MBA students more flexibility to plan out their courses. As for aspiring applicants, I think it should be stressed here that fit is very important. Going for an MBA is a big career move that also involves a lot of risk as is anything in life that involves big rewards. The curriculum at Harvard is focused on giving students a chance to study broad business disciplines in accounting, finance, economics and consulting and at the same time give them the chance to take electives and to concentrate on one discipline to market themselves to potential employers.
This seems to be the theme across the board when I looked at other elite institutions in the US as well namely Harvard’s Ivy League peers the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Johnson School at Cornell University. The latter goes as the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and this was stressed by an admissions officer that I met during a very interesting joint MBA session at The Hotel Minneapolis in downtown Minneapolis that featured Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Yale School of Management, the Ross School at the University of Michigan and the NYU Stern School of Business.
I gathered lots of information from there too. I have noticed that HBS does not seem to be visiting places as I have looked forward to meeting their representatives in Minneapolis. I guess this adds to their mystique!