CSR and Strategy: Mixed Signals?

2 05 2013

Module C has drawn to a close here at Hult, and most of my classmates have said goodbye, off to one or more of Hult’s other global campuses. I’m not rotating- Shanghai Campus offers plenty of good classes, and while it could have been fun, it just struck me as an unnecessary expense that I can’t afford right now. Anyway, I’m probably more valuable here (as an “old hand” to Shanghai life) than I am elsewhere right now. Module C of the Hult MIB program is mainly focused around two core classes, Strategy and CSR, that essentially serve as the capstone classes of the Hult core curriculum. After going through the basics of accounting and management in Module A, and tearing through finance, economics and marketing in Module B, these last two classes (before the electives of Module D and action project in Module E) put it all together, framing how the material we’ve covered so far goes together to create a corporate strategy, and the ethical implications and considerations that should be taken when designing and implementing one. Having now gone through the Hult core curriculum, it’s become obvious to me how much the school’s roots in management consulting influence it- the whole thing is essentially a course in how to be a consultant- a useful set of tools to take into any business role.

The two professors we had for these classes- Dr. Cheng-hua Tzeng, from Taiwan, and Dr. Farzad Rafi Khan, from Pakistan, couldn’t have been more different… except that they shared a very surprising bond- both earned their Ph.D.s in Strategy and Organizational Management at McGill under management theory legend Henry Mintzberg, and even shared the same cubicle as grad students! It was uncanny- and apparently coincidental- that they ended up teaching the same students, at the same time, at Hult… yet what a contrast.

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Crystal Ball 2013

2 01 2013

I’m not much of a prophet (if I was, my portfolio would be considerably larger), but I’m going to go out on a limb and make some predictions regarding 2013. Come January 1st 2014, you all have a right to heckle me for being so terribly wrong. (This should have gone up yesterday, but I’d just flown back from HCMC and didn’t feel like writing.)

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Seven Rotations – October 17th, 2012

18 10 2012

(A day late, unfortunately, but I was tired last night and needed a rest.)

Busy week, as usual. Just finished up the “Toolbox” module at Hult, which consists of preliminary workshops and classes to get everyone on the same page. The Hult MIB and MBA programs being as diverse as they are, they don’t only attract people with a variety of different nationalities, they attract people with vastly different educational backgrounds. There are many business majors, economists and accountants in my class- but there are also scientists, engineers, doctors, Chinese literature students, English teachers- and even one lonely political science major-cum-researcher-cum-administrator-cum-desk manager-cum-teacher-cum-journalist-cum-entrepreneur. So, obviously, not every class could be interesting and enlightening for every student. Those with finance and accounting backgrounds found the “accounting boot camp” extremely basic; but the class also contained students who had never seen a balance sheet. I’d never taken an accounting class before, but my father taught me to read a financial statement and do basic bookkeeping when I was very young, so there wasn’t much that was new for me. Though I understand and support the principle- the other classes won’t make sense unless you have the foundation.

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Seven Rotations – October 10th, 2012

10 10 2012

(Seven Rotations is my “week in review”/narrative link dump. I’m going to try to post it every Wednesday- we’ll see how that goes.)

National Day break? What National Day break? While others tried to get out of Shanghai; I decided to stay in- after all, it seems like a bad idea to travel when a billion other people have the same idea. (EXPAT PROTIP: If you want to travel during a holiday, leave the country.)

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