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THE EVOLUTION OF THE MBA.

New Opportunities in Business Education

Through the decades, graduate business education has changed with the times. Traditional MBA specialization like finance, management, accounting and marketing now include today's "hot" issues, from managing in a cross-cultural environment to using advanced technologies to create successful global brands.

Twenty years ago, MBA programs helped lead the way to an increased understanding and appreciation of statistical techniques to measure and control the quality of manufactured products and services. One of the results was an increase in quality management programs, with widespread impact in fields ranging from electrical power generation to health care.

Since the 1980s, business education has placed an increasing emphasis on the use of management information systems (MIS) in a corporate environment. Initially, technology courses focused on applications found in a mainframe setting, then evolved into client-server configurations, and today's local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Of course, the Internet is receiving increased attention in graduate business programs. Many U.S. business schools now offer undergraduate or graduate programs that concentrate on e-commerce. By stressing the fundamentals of online communication, these programs allow students to gain a greater understanding of the opportunities in this rapidly evolving field.

In keeping with the growth of the dot.com world, business schools are also updating their finance and management programs to put a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship, venture capital, strategic partnerships and other current topics.

Another overriding theme in today's graduate business programs is the globalization of today's economy. Management classes draw on case studies from around the world. Marketing courses discuss the different preferences of consumers around the world and the pitfalls of ignoring language or cultural differences -- such as the classic case of Chevrolet's Nova, whose name in Spanish means "no go."

Even more important, many graduate business programs offer specialization in international business, including opportunities for internships in different parts of the world -- a particularly valuable experience for managers in multinational organizations.

For Latin Americans, the evolution of U.S. business education programs has opened new doors to enhanced career skills and job opportunities. And the diversity of available programs helps to meet the educational needs of professionals in many disciplines, from a manager of a Mexican petroleum company to a Chilean banker or a Brazilian computer specialist.

Here are some examples of today's timely business education programs.

BARRY UNIVERSITY: A PIONEER IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDUCATION

A decade ago, Barry University was a leader in introducing business education programs that emphasized the importance of a global perspective. On the undergraduate level, Barry began offering an international business major that included study abroad and international internships, while MBA students were offered a concentration in international business.

Today, Barry University continues to lead the way by introducing a new major in e-commerce last spring in both its undergrad and graduate programs at the Andreas School of Business.

"We believe that the Internet is revolutionizing everything in the business world, and students need to be exposed to this new technology and e-commerce from various perspectives," says Dr. Hugo Hervitz, professor of economics and international business. "We cover everything from marketing to the financing of Internet companies, as well as the technical MIS side of generating a first-class e-commerce site."

Hervitz, who has taught at the private Catholic university located in Miami Shores for 18 years, says Barry was the first university in Florida to offer an e-commerce major, just as it pioneered international business ten years ago.

"We try to be cutting-edge in terms of our areas of specialization," he says. "This is especially important in South Florida, where Latin American business, the Internet and e-commerce are so important. Our university is also active in local Internet-related associations, trying to strengthen this region as a hub for Internet activity related to Latin America."

Barry's South Florida location also provides students with excellent opportunities for internships. "Our business school offers a remarkable blend of international and cultural diversity. As a result, students not only learn about the global environment, they experience it everyday."

Another advantage is Barry's small size, with 8,000 enrolled students. "We have a close relationship between faculty and students that allows us to individualize the education for our students in many ways," says Hervitz. "Our students tell us how much they appreciate the close, caring environment at Barry University."

For more information, visit www.barry.edu/business.

GLOBAL eMBA FOR MANAGERS IN THE AMERICAS

The Global eMBA for Managers in The Americas is a unique addition to the Florida International University College of Business Administration's strong cadre of graduate business degree programs. The College of Business Administration itself is a major center for international business education, information technology, and research -- the U. S. business school of choice for people working in or seeking careers in international business and e-commerce in The Americas.

This Global eMBA is designed to give experienced business professionals a focused, convenient, and intensive MBA experience -- one that provides a thorough and in-depth understanding of what it will take for business enterprises to succeed in the technology-enabled and fast-paced global economy of the 21st century. It is structured specifically to meet the needs of managers who now work full-time in companies in Latin America or in the Latin American offices of multinational corporations. Because it combines brief residency sessions in Miami with Internet-facilitated instruction, it offers a convenient way for participants to earn their MBA while continuing to fulfill their ongoing work and travel commitments throughout The Americas.

The curriculum emphasizes the strategic and tactical issues facing Latin American business operations within a global economic context and examines the ways recent developments like e-commerce, global supply chain management, and strategic alliances can be used for competitive advantage. The program also engages participants in an exclusive entrepreneurial strategy simulation that culminates with team presentations of business plans to international venture capitalists.

Faculty offer their own unique perspectives based on their international educational and consulting experiences, their work with the many multinationals whose Latin American headquarters are in Miami, and their familiarity with the largely Latin and international student body at the university itself.

For more information, visit www.fiu.edu/[sim]webemba.

DUKE UNIVERSITY'S FUQUA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is a global leader in the field of e-learning, having pioneered a unique learning model called "place and space." This new paradigm combines the best of face-to-face education at residential sessions around the world (physical "place") with distance-learning via innovative Internet-based technologies (virtual "space").

The Duke MBA -- Global Executive program, launched in 1996, is targeted at mid- to senior-level executives of global corporations and blends traditional classroom sessions (place) with distance learning via the Internet (space). Over the 19-month program, students meet on four continents for two-week residencies at which they receive instruction from the world-class Fuqua faculty.

Outside these residencies, students learn wherever they are -- at home, a corporate site, a customer or supplier site, or even on vacation -- using Duke's proprietary internet-mediated learning technology platform. Duke MBA -- Global Executive students can earn a top-tier MBA, living and working anywhere in the world.

In August 2000, Fuqua launched its newest MBA program to combine the "place and space" pedagogy, The Duke MBA -- Cross Continent. Cross Continent students choose a primary campus, either in Durham, N.C., or Frankfurt, Germany. Classes convene on both campuses for one out of every 10 weeks for 20 months, over eight terms. Typically, the one-week residential session is followed by six weeks of computer-mediated learning.

Cross Continent program holds classes at the Fuqua School of Business Europe campus in Frankfurt, which is adjacent to the Frankfurt Airport. In addition to its success in executive MBA degree programs, Duke is a world leader in customized executive education programs and plans to provide European companies with a complete schedule of open-enrollment executive education programs.
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Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Nov 1, 2000
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