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Mason School launches MBA curriculum idea contest

  • Open innovation in education:
    Open innovation in education:  The Raymond A. Mason School of Business wants ideas from executives, professionals and students on what the full-time MBA program of the future should include.  Raymond A. Mason School of Business website
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William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business is borrowing from business for the future of business education.

In updating its full-time Master of Business Administration curriculum and program, the school is inviting professionals, executives, innovators and students from all over the world to weigh in on the program’s future.

The Mason School launched the seven-week, online collaborative gathering of professionals, “Tomorrow’s MBA: Co-creating the Future of Business Education,” near the end of October. The website allows participants to discuss and together co-create the MBA of the future for William & Mary. The school will award prizes for the best ideas.

“Our goal is to co-create the most differentiated, sustainable and relevant MBA program available,” said Mason School of Business Dean Larry Pulley. “And we are adopting an ‘outside-in’ approach to reach our goal.”

The approach, asking customers and users to assist in the design of a product or service, is known as open innovation. It is used widely in the business world but is new to higher education.

“Many of the world’s top companies rely on open innovation,” Pulley said. “We are doing the same with Tomorrow’s MBA. We are asking everyone familiar with the MBA to share their thoughts and ideas with us in an effort to create something very exciting.”

The Tomorrow’s MBA website and discussion are open to anyone.  Participants are invited to post comments to categories that guide the conversation or to submit complete plans and outlines. Categories include Formats, Scholarships and Financing, Lifelong Learning and Community, Marketing and Branding, and Courses, Focus and Skills.

A little more than a week into the contest, already 63 ideas had been submitted to the website, and the community of more than 100 participants had offered 92 comments and 52 evaluations.

At the end of the seven-week period, a jury composed of CEOs and top executives will select the best ideas and present awards to the winners. Faculty at the Mason School will use the ideas and input shared in Tomorrow’s MBA to revise and update the curriculum and program.

The grand prize winner will be featured on the school’s website and in a news release, and the winner’s name will be engraved on the Tomorrow’s MBA plaque that will be prominently placed in the Mason School’s Miller Hall. The winner will also be invited to be a guest on “Leadership & Business,” the Center for Corporate Education’s weekly podcast featuring interviews with CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs and other thought leaders from around the world. Thousands of people listen to the podcast each week on iTunes and through the Mason School website.

Second- and third-place winners will receive plaques engraved with their names and will be featured on the school’s website and in various communication channels.

The school is also encouraging winners to include information about their prize on their CVs to demonstrate their willingness to volunteer and engage in relevant projects that affect students and the MBA program.