Sunday, March 30, 2008

Visiting Marlboro’s MBA

With the last "free" weekend of my spring break, I decided to head out to Brattleboro, VT and visit Marlboro's March Intensive. In my sus biz MBA application process, I had applied to the Marlboro Managing for Sustainability program and then decided to "stay the course" and attend BGI. There were a number of reasons for this decision...but I'll not dive into that now. In any case, the Program Director has been kind enough to keep a door open for me to visit and interact with students making up Marlboro's first cohort. They happened to be having an open house for prospective students as well, recruiting for the next class of world changers. In fact, the first person I introduced myself to had just driven from near Boston to attend the open house...we could have car-pooled, except that we did not know each other. (Image from Wikipedia).

The visit was quite pleasant. I was able to sit in the back of their Foundations of Sustainable Business class and listen to the students describe their business plan ideas. I was amazed to hear the similarities to business ideas that have been bandied about at BGI. I suppose it makes sense, since we are all in a sustainable business program. It would have been nice to have been more involved in the class, but it wasn't my class...I just wanted to jump into the fray, ask questions and contribute to the collective learning.

One of the professors talked to the visitors about their Organizational Management class, diving into what the course would be like and what it would cover. These are the issues we are attacked with our management course last fall and throughout our Leadership and Personal Development course work. How do we interact with people in the workplace to maintain mutual respect and dignity? How does our leadership capacity manifest itself in the experiences of those around us? What skills must be honed to successfully manage in this age of separation and rapid change? What must we learn about ourselves and our values before we are capable of being the leaders we want to be? It was refreshing to hear that Marlboro strives to take their students through these exercises. Teaching "leadership" is an element of the BGI curriculum that I believe sets it apart from traditional MBA programs.

I am looking forward to creating strong bonds between the sustainable MBA programs, and helping spread this pedagogy to the rest of the MBA world.

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