The MBA Association will hold study sessions for the GMAT exam from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 4, and again at 4 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 18. The first session is quantitative and the second is verbal. Both sessions are in Fisher 231 and are sponsored by the School of Business and Economics and Graduate Student Government. For more information, contact Pelinuor Bekwone at email@example.com .
Why combine your engineering undergraduate degree with an MBA? IBM’s Vice President Robin Willner, at a recent Congressional Hearing, says IBM wants engineers who are “well-rounded,” with business acumen as well as math and science skills. The company has been telling engineering schools: “You can’t send us people who don’t know how the world works.” (from the American Society for Engineering Education Congressional Hotline, Oct 09).
The Tech MBA, on campus or online, focuses on innovation and technology management. We are defining what it means to get an MBA from a technological university.
Here’s an excellent opportunity for international students in the Tech MBA program. During the second track of summer school, Michigan Tech’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program will provide additional experiences for students in the MBA program to engage in listening and speaking exercises. ESL faculty may also provide writing assistance to students working on course assignments. Both of these opportunities will be informal, taking the form of small groups or tutorials. The sessions will not result in academic credit, nor will there be tuition charges for those who wish to participate. Sessions will be scheduled after the level of interest is determined, and will run through the end of second summer session in August. MBA students who wish to utilize this avenue for improving their written and/or spoken English skills or who have questions should contact Fran Wiideman at 487-1858 (phone); 487-3559 (fax); or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the ESL Program, Michigan Tech’s International Programs and Services office provides services like enrollment assistance, immigration counseling, and academic and cultural adjustment support for international students.
Associate Professor Dean Johnson of the School of Business and Economics has received the 2009 Distinguished Teaching Award in the associate professor/professor category for the second time. He joins the ranks of only three other Michigan Tech faculty members to have been honored in both categories of the award since its inception in 1952. Johnson’s class offerings include derivative securities, investments, principles of finance and applied portfolio management.
What engages a student enough to make them say, “Johnson’s classes have increased my interest in my major by 100 percent”? The answer comes from students surveyed in Johnson’s investment analysis class. One student says, in a nutshell, “He knows his stuff, keeps students involved and seems to really enjoy teaching his subject.” Several students have commented on the real-world connections made in the classroom. One says, “He cares about the subject and wants to ensure that students understand it and will be able to apply it in real-life situations.”
Johnson says the pedagogy of finance is grounded in the real world. “I tie class material to what’s going on in the financial markets,” he says. “Maybe I’m lucky that with finance, it’s pretty easy to make those connections. We have the stock market, CNBC–it’s front and center every day.” And it’s easy for the School to keep an eye on current events with the new stock ticker located on the first floor of the Academic Office Building–Johnson had a hand in implementing the TV monitor that “brings the market alive” for students and faculty.
Current affairs are at the forefront of his classroom. A typical day in principles of finance calls for students to lead a session on happenings in the market at the beginning of class.
And in the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP), the brainchild of Johnson, students gain practical experience in managing a portfolio for a real client, the Michigan Tech Fund. The class, a select group of students, has excelled in managing a $1-million pool of funds contributed by outside donors. The APMP has won the national RISE investment competition in the value category three times in the past eight years.
“Professor Johnson has done a remarkable job of developing and implementing the nationally recognized Applied Portfolio Management Program,” says Darrell Radson, dean of the School of Business and Economics. “We’ve had students come to Michigan Tech just to study in the Program. His unique teaching style allows him to convey difficult financial principles in an applied manner, giving students the ability to be successful financial analysts and investors.”
Johnson goes beyond making practical connections in his classroom–he also makes it a priority to “get to know students as people.” One student says, “He truly cares about the development and understanding of each student.”
Johnson says his perspective on teaching has remained unchanged since he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000. “When I walk into the classroom, I have an hour to make a difference in the lives of those students,” he says. “Teaching isn’t just a job for me. If it’s a job for me, it’ll be a job for the students.”
“I realize students, instead of just faces in the crowd, are here to make their lives better. I try to find out where they’re from and what career goals they have,” he says. “Once you develop a personal relationship, it becomes so much easier to push, push, push them to learn and study because they realize I truly have their best interest at heart.”
It’s clear that students pick up on this lesson and come out of his classes in the black, so to speak. One student comments, “He is the best teacher I have ever had, and I have learned so much in a short amount of time.”
What does Johnson enjoy most about teaching? “Simply seeing students connect the dots, seeing the ‘light-bulb’ moment on their faces. And hearing back from students five years later on how well they’ve done.”
Students in the Tech MBA program are eligible to compete for a position in the Applied Portfolio Management Program.
Congratulations to MBA student Chad Daavettila, the newest inductee to the Michigan Tech chapters of Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi.
Other MBA students have previously been honored with these awards. Tanya Sickels was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, and Matt Mlinar has been honored with Phi Kappa Phi membership.
Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International. This is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can receive in an AACSB undergraduate or master’s program. This invitation is offered to students ranking in the top 10 percent of the baccalaureate and top 20 percent of graduate programs at schools. Members receive many benefits, including a members-only job board and access to an alumni network, partnerships, and society benefits. Co-advisors for the Michigan Tech chapter are Drs. Chelley Vician and Mari Buche from the School of Business and Economics.
Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students, and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. Member benefits include career counseling, job connections, networking, society services, partnerships, awards, grants, and fellowships. Dr. Paul Nelson is the president of the Michigan Tech chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.