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The Impact Zone

Navin Gopal

Navin Gopal's two years as a Tippie MBA student were transformational and gave him an opportunity to study on several continents. Read more...

The Impact Zone

A Message from Dean Sa-Aadu

Some exciting and innovative things are happening at Tippie. Dean Jay Sa-AaduBefore touching on these remarkable developments, I am pleased to report that in the midst of on-going tough economic challenges, we have successfully graduated the first class in our new forward-looking Career Academy program. The Tippie MBA curriculum is continuously being transformed to meet the need for a globally savvy, technically competent and adaptable workforce in an increasingly global labor market. In this new paradigm, students are immersed in a challenging and transformative learning environment that provides linkage to industry to foster much needed experiential learning and leadership development opportunities, buttressed by critical thinking framework.

Ultimately the effectiveness of our curriculum depends on the degree to which it anticipates and manifests real rather than transitory industry trends. In this regard, we are focused on identifying specific marketplace capabilities and incorporating them in the curriculum with carefully constructed balance between theory and applications. Faculty members are intensifying their teaching strategies and along the way are demonstrating how business concepts distilled from relevant research are applied to solve real world problems.

Concurrently, our academy business and faculty directors are accelerating their coaching and pedagogy to hone technical as well as soft skills of students. Indeed, we aim to ensure that key capabilities valued by employers in current and future marketplace—leadership, experiential learning, global perspectives, critical thinking and creativity, technical and social competences—are understood and mastered by students. This should increase the odds of success in the “new normal” job marketplace foisted by globalization and markets integration, where the only constants are change and ability to adapt to changing environment.

So what are some of the exciting developments at Tippie? Well, with the innovative career academy concept now in place, we have been directing our efforts toward augmenting the Tippie Educational Experience. Specifically, we are making the Tippie Educational Experience more dynamic and interactive through a series of enduring events that will engage students in more personal and memorable ways. For example, by engaging students early on through the intersection of social media and the educational process (i.e., in their own digitally infused environment) we can transform students into active and engaged participants in their eventual educational experience at Tippie.

Some of the highlights in the current issue include the pioneering Tippie innovation—The Tippie Application Tweet—that is revolutionizing the admissions process, which is at the top of our value chain. To all intents and purpose, this innovation requires applicants to tweet in few characters precisely what is unique, compelling and relevant about them, which enhances our ability to identify those individuals with the wherewithal to effectively communicate why they are ideal candidates for the Tippie MBA program. The students we admit typically come with a set of fixed endowments. Ideally, we want to attract bright and promising students with the relevant characteristics who can most benefit from our programs. We then work with those students to find their niche in an increasingly competitive world in order to increase the odds of achieving the desired outcomes at graduation, namely well rounded, thoroughly educated graduates, with the necessary capabilities valued by the market to enhance eventual job market placement. Read more about the Tippie Application Tweet.

There is also the exciting new feature in our Experiential Learning Program (ELP) where alums of the Business Solutions Center (second year students) are actively coaching and providing advice on matters such as idea inception, problem identification and framing as first year students engage in the analysis and synthesis of real-world projects sourced from partner companies and farmed out to them.

Big 10 Case Competition TeamFinally,Tippie students are excelling in national case competitions, which is another indicator of how the Tippie Educational Experience is enriching and shaping their lives as future business leaders. Learn more about the ELP initiatives and our success at case competitions this past year.

While we are obviously pleased with the results of the transformational educational experiences at Tippie, we can never say we are done improving the curriculum in much the same way we cannot say we are done preparing for life. Our ELP, housed in both the Business Solutions Center and the Career Academies, is now more strategically aligned with real business problems and is being expanded to embrace the science of problem and opportunity identification that is crucial to innovative business solution in the fast and ever-changing global business environment. Indeed, there is more that we can do (and plan to do) in collaboration with alumni, industry and other friends of Tippie to further improve the curriculum such as bringing more speakers with professional life experiences to augment what we do in the classroom and expand our signature Experiential Learning Program (ELP) with projects that are futuristic in nature. We hope you will continue to support us in this exciting journey of creating value through a richer set of educational experiences.