August 12, 2013

Cornell Launches New MBA Program at NYC Tech Campus

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Cornell Tech has launched a new MBA program that University officials say will be unlike any existing business program in the world.

The University begun accepting applications for the program on Wednesday. The yearlong program will take place at both Cornell Tech’s temporary campus in Chelsea and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in Ithaca, with students starting classes in May in Ithaca before moving to New York City for the fall and spring semesters.

Although the Johnson already offers an MBA program that trains career-switching students in “general management,” Johnson Dean Soumitra Dutta said the curriculum of the new MBA program has a different focus: creating “business leaders for the digital economy.” The program will have a smaller selection of courses than the University’s existing MBA program and prepare students to be leaders in the technology industry, he said.

“If you look at most business schools, the curriculums were designed … typically in the last century for a way of doing business and a generation that is quite different. Things have changed quite dramatically in terms of how technology is changing the face of business and innovation,” Dutta said. “I don’t claim we have all the right answers, but I hope we’re able to experiment, learn and be agile … [to help us] not just in New York but also help us innovate in programs in Ithaca.”

In contrast to Cornell Tech’s Masters of Engineering program, which launched in January with a class of just seven students, the new MBA program will initially be made up of around 35 to 40 students, according to Dutta. In the next five to eight years, the University hopes to draw as many as 60 students to each program’s class, Dutta added.

“We are introducing a new product into the market; there’s no other similar product in the market … so we’ll see how demand materializes,” Dutta said. “It depends on how the market takes off.”

Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher said the idea of launching an MBA program at the tech campus has been around as early as when the University was still proposing the idea of Cornell Tech to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Like the M. Eng program, the new MBA program will require students to work closely with the high tech industry.

“The very idea of Cornell Tech is interdisciplinary,” Huttenlocher said.

Students in the M. Eng and MBA programs will also find themselves collaborating with each other, working together on project teams to mimic the way business and technology leaders come together in real life, Huttenlocher said.

Another unique feature of the new MBA program is the way its classes will be designed, Dutta said. Rather than taking semester-long courses, students will enroll in classes that only last a few weeks to create “more condensed learning experiences.”

The new program’s cross-campus learning experience, collaborative classroom environment and condensed courses will be fundamental to what Dutta said he hopes becomes the MBA learning experience of the future.

Above all, one word kept coming up as Dutta and Huttenlocher described the Cornell Tech MBA program: “Exciting.”

Original Author: Emma Court

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