Real-world problems, real-world impact
Increasingly, business schools are recognizing the gap between academic learning and the rapidly shifting needs of the open market. One way to close this gap is through a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. MBA programs facilitate problem solving in business by giving students opportunities to apply their classroom knowledge toward real-world situations. For instance, MBA students may take capstone courses that allow them to work with small business owners to refine or create customized business plans that identify and seize unique opportunities in the local market. Over the years, these capstone courses have become required courses — demonstrating the commitment to better equipping students for a competitive market.
Widening the horizon with the Internet
There are limits to what real-world experience business schools can offer locally, often competing with many other programs to find adequate partners for these capstone courses. MIT’s Sloan solved this problem by looking abroad, partnering with startups in developing countries to give their students real-world experience with very unique challenges not usually experienced in the West. Online MBA programs can also leverage the rapid growth in developing countries around the world.
Instructors, a wealth of knowledge
Even business schools with very structured curricula will offer different learning experiences based on the faculty’s own background and business knowledge. Problem solving in business relies on a combination of perspective, past knowledge and decision-making ability. All three come together to guide a leader in selecting a path forward. Instructors in traditional and online MBA programs alike lend their own perspective to their students, providing unique insights into thought processes, applied information and how they ultimately arrived at a decision. This teaching style also extends to online MBA programs, further giving students a look at the outcomes as well as possible alternatives.
Business schools understand the competitive marketplace and the challenge that newly minted MBAs face when entering the real world. To better prepare their students for the challenges that await them, traditional and online MBA programs have created capstone courses that engage local or distant startups and organizations as partners. These partners engage MBA students with opportunities for problem solving in business. Students go on to graduate equipped with battle-tested communication, research, and writing skills that are essential for successful consultants and executives.