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How to Lead
Four ways to rescue a disastrous MBA internship
Turning setbacks into opportunities and speaking up when there's a problem can help you make the most of a terrible internship.
Andrew Hill's challenge
The FT's management editor sets a weekly test of your business, strategy and management skills.
The #MeToo movement unleashed by last year's Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal led to an outpouring of allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. As I have written this week, some companies are struggling to respond and the old mechanisms and rules for dealing with harassment are part of the problem.
For my management challenge this week, I'd like to hear new ideas for how companies can surface, measure and deal with harassment accusations. The condition is that they should not deter the accusers from speaking up, inadvertently protect the harassers (or indeed bring down false charges on the innocent). Ideas could include ways of changing the culture and behaviour of companies, through training or other means, or technological measures for logging and verifying allegations. Please send them, as usual, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In further reading, Paul Thompson and Frederick Harry Pitts have taken on the "bullshit jobs" thesis (BJT) propounded by David Graeber in articles and a recent book of the same name. On the website of the RSA, a charitable fellowship dedicated to social progress, they concede that Graeber's suggestion that many jobs are pointless is enticing, but say while "the BJT has the appearance of radical critique …behind the combative language and occasional managerialist target successfully skewered, lies a series of claims that are empirically unsustainable, conceptually flawed and politically a dead end".
Every week a business school professor or academic recommends useful FT articles.
Airports fight back against online turbulence Across industries, including air travel, we are seeing the fast-changing nature of customer experiences, active disruption and the increasing value of ecosystem collaboration.
This piece raises the point that despite the use of new technology to enhance the customer experience, airports are at high-risk of becoming disrupted if new and value-adding business models are not identified. This is mainly due to competition and disruptive new entrants in the transportation and retail industries. Business students should consider how the air travel industry can innovate and create new value through multi-partner models and collaborations that can enhance the experience of customer journeys.
GDPR is a start, but not enough to protect privacy on its own In May, some organisations have asked us for our consent to have our personal data collected when interacting with organisations. This piece highlights that organisations should work with users to manage data sharing and protection, not against them. GDPR is important new legislation for business students to get to grips with.
It has been long anticipated, so it is interesting to see how many waited until the last minute to reach out to consumers. Is this a sign of unwillingness to conform? Reading the article also raises the question — does GDPR reduce the risk of data misuse?
Jonathan Moules's business school news
It might be the summer holidays on campus, but many MBA students will be hard at work on their mid-course, or even pre-course, internships. This work experience can go awfully wrong, which is why I put together a piece this week offering a few tips from careers advisers who have seen some serious mistakes over the years.
What I didn’t include were the tips on how to make the most of a good internship rather than coasting through to the end with little to show for it. Please do send me your tips and stories on this at Jonathan.Moules@ft.com.
My call from the last newsletter about consultancies that have hired from outside the MBA market attracted some interesting suggestions
Fernando Gastón, managing partner of Improva Consulting, based in Sant Just Desvern, near Barcelona, mentioned how he found staff through the Spanish Mensa. He has found that the best method was to keep an eye for opportunities, which might mean a business school, but could also be the golf club or another networking group.
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Edited by Wai Kwen Chan — firstname.lastname@example.org
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