Will online MBAs boost diversity in business schools?

Lavern Vogel

Lizette Melendez grew up in El Paso, one of the poorest cities in Texas, and was the first in her family to go to university. Now the American, who is Latina, is studying for an MBA at a top US business school.

She is not doing so in the conventional way. Ms Melendez is part of the first cohort in the [email protected], launched by Houston’s Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in 2018 on the 2U online learning platform.

Most of the course is delivered digitally. Flexibility was important for Ms Melendez, who could not afford to quit her job as policy adviser to a member of the Austin, Texas, city council because of undergraduate loan debt.

Experiencing financial hardship has inspired Ms Melendez to explore launching a social enterprise, possibly to raise financial literacy in public schools. She is therefore keen to hone her business skills.

Peter

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‘Embrace tech to make agriculture sustainable’

Lavern Vogel

Technology makes farming more sustainable and the Tamil Nadu government is focussed on giving a vantage point to farmers so that they can negotiate on an equal footing, said Shunchonngam Jatak Chiru, Commissioner, Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business, Tamil Nadu.

The delivery of technology, if done through groups of farmers, will be easier to reach, he said while addressing a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) southern region conference on Digital Agriculture here.

The conference highlighted that technology had the potential to make agriculture more productive, consistent and help farmers manage their resources and time more effectively.

e-NAM potential

“It is very essential that the farming community embrace the technology we bring in,” he said. “Digitisation or state-of-the-art technology you bring in, it is very essential that they are aware of it.

He felt e-NAM (National Agricultural Market) could grow to become the norm in a couple of years in the

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Decision time: should I do my MBA online or on campus?

Lavern Vogel

Ask Carla Priddon about the biggest achievement of her professional life and she will tell you it was when she became chief executive of The Way Youth Zone, a charity for young people in Wolverhampton, UK, at the age of 33. But after two years in the job, Ms Priddon was ready for a new challenge.

She found it in a distance-learning MBA at Warwick University. Since starting the course last year, Ms Priddon has been designing a new performance management framework for The Way, while keeping up the long hours needed to lead the organisation.

“[This is] something I wouldn’t have known where to start with before my MBA,” Ms Priddon says. “The flexibility of the online platform means I can work at any time, including on my mobile phone.”

Digitally delivered MBAs have helped transform the business education landscape since the first one was introduced by Aspen University

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