What do the corporate consequences of Brexit have in common with the challenge of getting the most from an investment bank internship? The answer is that they have both been among the most popular subjects in the first series of the new FT business school blog, the Business School Insider.
Written by professors from the world’s top business schools, the blog is designed to inform potential and current students about what is being taught in the classroom that is relevant to business, both now and in the future.
Before the blog returns in September from its summer holiday, here is a sample of the most successful posts to date and a taste of the hot topics we have lined up for discussion in the new term.
One of the most popular blogs to date was this post by Ileana Stigliani, assistant professor of design and innovation at Imperial College Business School. Design thinking is a method where creative strategies used by designers are applied to finding solutions for other issues.
It starts with empathy, according to Ms Stigliani — putting yourself in your customers’ shoes to understand problems and uncover new and unexpected solutions. Most business people do not have a clue what real empathy is, she adds, but business students cannot afford not to learn it.
Many MBA students seek a prized job in finance upon graduation, which could explain why this post by Scott Rostan, an adjunct professor of finance at Kenan-Flagler Business School and founder and chief executive of Training The Street, was a hit with readers.
Quoting Voltaire’s “common sense is not so common”, Prof Rostan notes that students should beware the overconfidence that can often squander great opportunities. He reminds MBAs heading into a summer internship that “a lot of their tasks require uncommon focus, attention to detail and deep levels of analysis”.
Prof Rostan highlights how important it is for prospective interns to take a strategic approach to becoming “desk ready”, so that they can apply their skills learnt in the classroom in a dynamic investment banking workplace.
Whether it is US-North Korea tension or the UK’s apparently disorganised Brexit strategy, a volatile political environment across the globe continues. Jeremy Ghez, professor of economics and international affairs at HEC Paris, is keen to remind students that in an increasingly politicised and polarised business environment, a company needs to consider political and societal realities beyond its own market, as they can play a decisive role in success (or failure).
He adds that executives should never think they make decisions in a political or economic vacuum and highlights that their ability to understand and tame an increasingly uncertain and unstable business environment is important. “The new complex reality they face should therefore shape the way business schools train the future generations of executives,” he says.
Coming up in September we have Philip Stiles, a senior lecturer in corporate governance at Cambridge Judge Business School, on succession planning. Deborah Ancona, faculty director of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Hal Gregersen, who is director of the same centre, will look at whether everyone has to be a leader.