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MIT MBA students visit East Africa on study tour

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A group of 22 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students at the world-class Massachusetts Institute of Technology visited Kenya and Rwanda to learn how organizations in the region can have a sustainable social impact.

 

Regarded as one of top Universities in the world, MIT is part of the prestigious Ivy league universities in the US; highly competitive and known to produce some of the best graduates in the world.

 

The two-week trip was an International Study Tour originating at the Sloan School of Management at MIT in Boston

 

“Prior to the trip, the students undertook a series of classes at MIT in which they met leaders who are active in different areas of social enterprise in East Africa,” said Laura Koller, one of the faculty members that accompanied the MBA students.

“They furthered their understanding of the region by studying important projects in different industries in the area.”

 

Students work in small teams to research and consult for several companies in and around Nairobi and Rwanda.

 

During the tour, they visited small entrepreneurial companies as well as intergovernmental and nonprofit organizations with the intent of identifying some potential business and policy solutions.

 

“The big question on my mind after 6 weeks of classroom study and two weeks in East Africa: how does an organization make sustainable social impact in East Africa? Each business situation is unique according to industry, geography, culture, funding sources and strategic opportunity and therefore a unique answer needs to be created and justified in each case,” said Patrick Flynn, Sloan MBA student.

 

Merging theory with practical work

 

“Our approach integrates theory, real-world practice, and personal reflection to develop principled, innovative leaders who solve complex problems and produce systemic changes,” says Ms. Koller.

 

MIT Sloan’s International Study Tours are part of the school’s portfolio of Action Learning classes, a key component in management training.

 

Action Learning projects allow students to work in partnership with CEOs and other senior leadership to address a wide array of complex business challenges facing organizations around the world.

 

The varied settings challenge students to manage projects in multilingual, multicultural settings with a range of management and business development approaches and enable them to translate classroom knowledge and theory into practical solutions for global organizations.

 

Global economic slowdown shifting job opportunities

 

According to Koller, the global economic recession has made it almost impossible to get a job at Wall Street as a fresh graduate.

 

“However, we have seen an increase in recruiting from innovative technology-based firms for our graduates, especially in the areas of product development, product management and new business development, and an increase in opportunities for students interested in sustainable supply-chains across all sectors.”

 

High requirements to get admitted at MIT Sloan

 

“Admission to MIT Sloan is highly competitive, yet there are no specific requirements in terms of GMAT/GRE scores, GPA, or work experience. Each and every candidate is considered individually, and admission decisions are made on a case-by-case basis,” explains Koller.

 

In carefully building a diverse community, MIT seeks individuals who demonstrate leadership and an ability to inspire others; a collaborative spirit and focus on community; intellectual curiosity and analytical strength; creativity to generate new solutions to existing challenges; and growth in both professional and personal endeavors.

 

As for competitiveness, here is the data for admission in academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12.

 

MBA Profile for Class Entering AY 2011-12 AY 2010-11
Applications 4490 4779
Enrollment 399 401

 

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