Global Challenges and the MBA

It’s great to see our new cohort of MBA students starting to get involved with the 2017 programme.  We started formal learning last week with a module in which we discussed global challenges: economics and inequality, social change, technology and climate.  Four expert guest speakers joined us to bring their perspective on each of these.  The speakers came from Oxfam, IBM the UK Met Office as well as our own academic team.

We’re a truly global group this year; people from 21 countries have come to Exeter to join the full time MBA.  This diversity brought a lot to our classroom debate; maybe too much, as most of the guest sessions ran over time with participants from different parts of the world contributing their perspectives.  It all came together on the last afternoon when each study group presented their views on the challenges.

I think this kind of debate is important at the start of an MBA where many of the participants want to build their ability to make positive change in the world.  Being clear on the challenges we face and hearing others’ perspective on these helps us understand and shape our own opportunities and the skills we look to gain from the MBA to pursue these.

Written By Stuart Robinson

MBA Students Step Back in Time: A retreat to St. Michael’s Mount – By: Delfina Zagarzazu

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Picture Credits: Chayaporn Kongcharoenkitkul

Conscious of time with deadlines fast approaching in the next few days, we departed Exeter at 7AM to spend a day away from the books. Away from Devon, we  stepped into Cornwall – a first for many international students who had yet to explore all of the Southwest treasures!

The day was co-designed by Hugh St. Aubyn and myself to allow the 30 person cohort a creative and inspiring visit to balance off the business theory from class. We placed colourful and inviting signs to find the emerging leader within each of us.

Don’t ask what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people that have come alive

– Howard Thurman, Great Civil Rights Leader

The day promised to be filled with friends, nature, personal reflections and a beautiful historic castle to carry our minds away into imaginary stories and tales that made us step back in time – couldn’t have asked for more on a cold February morning halfway through Term 2 of our MBA.

The magic about St. Michael’s Mount is that you can only access it during low tide, something very rare in the 21st century of drones, planes and automobiles. The patience and timing for our visit set the pace for the day, as we removed our MBA ‘speedometers’ and tried to slow down to the pace of the tide to connect with the magic of the island and the castle.

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Two Months in Tokyo with PwC Aarata’s Sustainability Team

In the later stages of the One Planet MBA our cohort have the opportunity to develop and apply innovative business thinking to solve the real-life challenge faced by one of our corporate partner organisations. The following case study comes from Glendon Filer a member of the 2016 graduating cohort.

Two Months in Tokyo with PwC Aarata’s Sustainability Team, by Glendon Filer – One Planet MBA Alumnus Class of 2016

I have recently returned from Japan where I undertook my One Planet MBA consultancy project,  having spent the summer living and working in Tokyo, while completing an internship with PwC Aarata, Japan. Based 20 minutes’ walk from the entertainment and shopping hub of Shinjuku, I commuted across town each day to PwC’s office in Shiodome. Boasting views of Tokyo harbour and the famous Tsukiji fish market, it was an ideal place for some MBA level thinking. Outside it was a hot summer with many typhoons. Inside the office, days were long but – ultimately – rewarding.

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Developing as a Fine Negotiator while Getting a Taste for the One Planet MBA

by Caspar Wilkinson

Caspar is an MSc International Management student at the University of Exeter Business School. He was invited to take part in the One Planet MBA‘s two-day workshop on Negotiating, Collaborating & Partnering, as part of the MBA’s flagship Personal Transformations module.Caspar Wilkinson

Realising your ambitions

As a student with a strong drive to succeed I was powerfully motivated to learn negotiating.

After attending an introductory MBA Masterclass I was keen to see more of what the One Planet MBA was all about. That’s the great thing about Exeter University, the lecturers empower you to realise your ambition, none more so than Nicolas Forsans, One Planet MBA Director. After some persistent negotiating (!) Nicolas kindly agreed to let me take part in the workshop and collaborate with fellow MBA participants over two full days. I was excited to be able to see world class teaching in action with powerfully practical benefits.

What would it be like learning negotiating for the first time? Would I be able to stand my ground against an impressive MBA cohort in a top UK University? What previous negotiating experiences could I draw on to add value to the class? I felt somewhat nervous and set about studying for the class a week in advance. Continue reading

FT Preview – Teaching the Impact of Climate Change to the Leaders of Tomorrow

What happened yesterday had been anticipated for a long time. The opening of the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (or COP21 in a nutshell) in Paris yesterday evidences how urgent the need to tackle climate change has become. A recent paper in Nature shows how horrendous the economic and human cost of climate change would be – with about a quarter of the world’s GDP wiped off by 2100 and the burden of the cost falling onto the world’s poorest countries left to pay the price for it.

Teaching the Impact of Climate Change to the business leaders of tomorrow

While the Financial Times gave editorial prominence (subscription req’d) to its coverage of the opening of COP21, it also features an article more focused on MBA programmes that that deliver a more sustainable approach to business and management education.

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Welcoming the Class of 2016

After months of anticipation we finally welcomed our new Full Time and Executive MBA Hello worldparticipants to the Business School. A truly international group once again, we have over 40 students from 17 different countries, ranging from Australia and Canada to the USA, Uganda and Vietnam. With an average of 11 years work experience, the Class of 2016 comprises of promising business professionals with expertise in a range of industry sectors including engineering, IT, marketing, education and law. Throughout the year you will read their stories on this blog as they share their expectations, enthusiasm and challenges as they go through a life changing experience. Continue reading

Being at the Spearhead of the Fintech Revolution

By Tico Altahona,
MBA student 2014/5

Too big to fail”, is how the importance of banks has traditionally been defined, as they are so large and interconnected that if they collapse, there would be a chain reaction that would affect the whole economy. They are the link that connects the economy and lets everything happen: from government policy (expand the circulation with credits) to buy groceries (payment services).

We are living in exciting moments because a revolution is happening right now. There are serious threats to the banks foundations, and I am happy to announce that I am part of it. The Financial Technology (Fintech) revolution has been made by start-ups that use Internet and mobile applications to side step banks. Companies like Droplet are now able to replace the traditional services offered ONLY by banks, in this particular case: payments with cards.

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The Extra Mile on the One Planet MBA

By Ernesto Altahona
Full-time MBA student 2014/5

 

I started to live my dream the day I arrived to the classroom; I strongly wished to be here because I felt some time ago that there was a “glass ceiling” blocking my career development. Somehow the path was obstructed and I knew I was missing the tools for breaking it, in order to develop my full potential, and I expected the One Planet MBA would give me the instruments to do this. Knowledge is the main argument for undertaking a MBA; you know that the teachers will guide you through a variety of disciplines and areas, in which you know beforehand you lack strong pillars. I expected a demanding level of evaluation, and these expectations were fulfilled. Many nights without sleep to deliver presentations, slide decks and essays are now in my luggage.
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Choosing Elective Modules: A Student Perspective

By Catherine Crane
Full-time MBA student 2014/5

Please take a moment to picture this…you are near to the end of the first term of the One Planet MBA at Exeter Business School. The Christmas break is just in sight and yet, before you celebrate, you will need to make some important decisions regarding your elective subjects for the second term.

This was my first major quandary on the One Planet MBA; I have an insatiable appetite to acquire new knowledge and a desire to learn as much as possible. Here I was at a faculty presentation, all staff and students together to watch the academic staff pitching their subjects in order to compete for students. It reminded me of a “dance off”, a lot of humour was brought in to illustrate the necessity of choosing their elective.

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Why Sustainability Matters in your MBA Choice

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Juan David Hernández
One Planet MBA student 2014/5

Studying abroad is one of those choices that you will never regret. In my case, I took the decision to start an MBA not only to boost my career to the next level but also because I believe that are many other issues that need our attention. The rapidly changing world and the dynamic business environment require multidisciplinary approaches, multicultural skills, and out-of-the-box thinking in order to face 21st century global challenges. Huge problems such as global poverty, increasing world population, food security, climate change, and overexploitation of natural resources are some of the challenges that today’s and tomorrow’s leaders will need to face; not only to rethink human living and behaviours within the planetary boundaries, but also to ensure good living standards for present and future generations. Continue reading