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Wharton University Dean Thomas Robertson discusses Wharton:s global initiatives and the importance of lifelong learning with Hindustan Times

Source : Wharton News / Hindustan Times
June 01, 2012

 

Date: 1st June 2012

What are the benefits gained by international students from an MBA in a top management institute? 

I believe that learning is maximised under conditions of diversity. At Wharton, we have a unique opportunity to bring together future leaders from all backgrounds and cultures to engage in rigorous learning, self-reflection and debate. Educating the business, NGO and public policy leaders of the future means cultivating all the available talent, from all over the world.



Wharton University Dean Thomas Robertson

As someone helming the institute since 2007, and being a management expert who has, among other achievements, been credited with positioning Emory’s Goizueta Business School as an international leader in business education, what are the biggest changes that you have witnessed in management education in your career? Is there something that you would want to do differently? 

In my time as Dean in both institutions, I have seen that you cannot rely on a rigid set of teaching tools. The business world is changing rapidly and business schools need to adapt to learning and teaching in this environment. At Wharton, we have an Innovation Initiative to take advantage of the wealth of emerging opportunities for innovation in education and scholarship. This initiative also helps catalyse innovation related to the School’s educational, scholarly and social objectives. Business schools need to be innovative. For example, we recognise that many of our students will work in industries that do not exist presently. It is the responsibility of top business schools to provide students with flexibility that will help them move in new directions in a changing world.

How is Wharton keeping up with the times? As many parts of the world seem to be grappling with economic crises and global power seems to be making a shift from the northern to the southern hemisphere, are you looking to make drastic changes in and adding additional new courses in Wharton’s management education curriculum? 

We have integrated into our curriculum, exposure to business challenges and opportunities in regions undergoing rapid change — for example, energy and infrastructure in Brazil, global supply chain management in China, building future markets in Africa, and marketing in emerging economies such as India and China. 

Most business schools and global businesses have focused on the developed world, largely ignoring three-quarters of the world’s population. This mindset is shifting dramatically because it has become clear that the world’s future economic growth lies outside the developed nations. There are 200 countries in the world, and it is our responsibility to study the models of these regions, that have rapidly growing economies and offer the most global view to our students.

Click here for complete interview

 

 


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