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Lally School of Management & Technology

Rensselaer’s Lally School Changes Ground Rules for Today’s MBA

Changing times demand a new way to teach business leaders. In Fall 2004, the Lally School of Management & Technology will debut a new, faculty-intensive curriculum that provides real-world experience in an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. Lally MBAs will work shoulder-to-shoulder with faculty and a tech-savvy student body to learn to advance business through innovation.

We’ve radically enhanced the MBA curriculum to match the evolving dynamics of the global economy. Through experiential, hands-on instruction, Lally students will acquire an overall understanding of the new sources of value creation engendered by globalization and the IT revolution, while strengthening their ‘toolbox’ of business fundamentals. Most importantly, we will challenge students to manage in a world of increased turbulence and uncertainty so that they can better address dilemmas that corporate leaders confront in today’s business world.

The new curriculum is built around five faculty-intensive, courses called “streams of knowledge,” which supplant traditional, discrete business classes. Taken together, these streams provide students with critical expertise in five key areas of operating a successful business, including creating and managing an enterprise; networks, innovation, and value creation; developing innovative new products and services; formulating and implementing a competitive business strategy; and managing the business implications of emerging technologies.

The infusion of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit begins prior to the start of official classes, with a weeklong immersion in the study of “Heroes, Leaders and Innovators.” Characteristics of successful business leaders are analyzed through case studies and laboratory simulations. In the capstone “Managing on the Edge” seminar, students develop concrete solutions for a series of unique, unanticipated business problems characterized by their non-linear, unpredictable nature.

Students graduate from the Lally School imbued not only with an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial mindset, but more fundamentally with their own “business portfolios” that they can exhibit to prospective employers. The portfolios contain specific examples of analytic skills and business acumen, and they include a marketing plan, business plan, technology assessment, competitor analysis, and strategic assessment plan, among other features.

Building on Rensselaer’s core strengths in engineering and the sciences, the new program also leverages the technical savvy of Lally School MBA students and helps them fully understand the business implications of such emerging technologies as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. The Lally School prepares business leaders with the skills and thinking that are essential for successful managers to meet the day-to-day challenges of running a business in today’s rapidly changing global marketplace.

Denis Fred Simon

Denis Fred Simon

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