By Klydi Heywood
Konrad Lee wants the Huntsman MBA program to teach students all that they must be, not just know, to become successful entrepreneurs.
Revamping the Huntsman MBA curriculum over the past year has been a first step in that process, according to Professor Lee, director of the Huntsman School of Business MBA program.
At a Huntsman School retreat in August 2011, faculty and staff discussed refining the focus of the MBA program. It was decided that an increased emphasis on innovation would make sense, especially since Utah has such a strong entrepreneurial business environment.
Since then, the MBA curriculum has been invigorated and now has an increased emphasis on faculty teaching business skills through experiential learning, Professor Lee said.
“Instead of our graduates saying they learned about something, we want them to say they can do something,” Professor Lee said. “It is great to know about marketing, finance or accounting, but if our students can see how to put skills into action, they will be more successful.”
New to the curriculum is a one-week “boot camp” orientation where students are exposed to an overview of the business subjects they will be covering in the upcoming year and are taught what it means to be a Huntsman MBA graduate. Additionally, the new curriculum’s project and planning class gives students hands-on experience as they provide firms from all over the world with consulting services on a wide range of problems that businesses face.
Students are also required to participate in a global learning experience where they will travel to China, India, Japan, or Israel. There they will be offered opportunities to not only learn about doing business globally but to present recommendations to international firms about how to solve problems.
Professor Lee said there are three key advantages for students who earn a Huntsman MBA.
First, people associate success and integrity with the Huntsman name, so earning a degree from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business brings with it a high level of credibility.
Second, students who are accepted into the program have the opportunity to earn a quality MBA degree, on an accelerated schedule, at a competitive price.
And third is the benefit that students will now graduate with refined entrepreneurial instincts which give them a competitive edge in the workplace.
“When MBA students graduate they will be able to point to successful projects they’ve completed and will have also gained practical international experience,” Professor Lee said. “They can show employers the positive results they helped to create.”
The MBA program has seen a 10 percent increase in applicants this year, and since the announcement of the MBA program offered at BYU-Idaho in July 2012, the school has received numerous inquiries from those interested in knowing more about it.
“Right now the upward trajectory of the Huntsman MBA program is being noticed,” said Professor Lee.