On April 21, Fareed Zakaria, the host of CNN’s acclaimed GPS show and Washington Post global affairs columnist, will give a talk to Yale SOM students and faculty. A Yale College graduate, Fareed recently published In Defense of a Liberal Education, a book that is already on my summer reading list. But Fareed is not coming to promote his new book – instead he will join us at SOM to mark the third anniversary of the Global Network for Advanced Management, the innovative business school alliance spearheaded by Yale SOM. (Watch the lecture live.)
Considering the tremendous impact the 27-school-strong Global Network has already had on our students, our alumni, and our school as a whole, it is hard to believe that we are only three years into this exciting experiment. We started out with the simple idea that top business schools must work together if we want to prepare students for a flat world in which government policies, organizational practices, and cultural patterns are not converging (here is the original White Paper for the Network).
While the overarching premise was good, I am convinced that the key to the Network’s success has been our relentless focus on creating real and tangible learning and networking opportunities for students. For example, since we launched Global Network Weeks in March 2013, more than 1,800 current MBA and EMBA students have traveled to another country to take a weeklong course on another Global Network campus and to forge links with their peers from the other member schools. I am particularly happy that over 30 Yale MBA for Executives students have been among the roughly 500 SOM students who have benefited from these opportunities. Check out their personal reports from GNWs in Ghana, Ireland, Israel, again Israel, and again Ireland. Yale EMBA students have also been among the almost 300 students who have enrolled in one of the innovative online Global Network Courses that connect faculty and students across the Network without the need for travel. In addition to the current Global Network offerings, EMBA students will have the opportunity to attend an EMBA-specific Network Week starting in 2016.
As excited as we are about the Global Network’s trajectory at the three-year mark, there won’t be a birthday cake. Fareed is not coming to celebrate with us. Instead, we have asked him and a number of other prominent alumni who will join us on April 21 to “kick the tires” of our global strategy:
- Does our strategy make sense?
- How can the Network create even more value for students and alumni?
- Should we develop distinct opportunities for EMBA students that cater to their unique interests and needs?
- What are the geographic gaps in the Network that we should try to fill?
- Would a second US school strengthen the Network and who might be a good candidate?
These aren’t just questions for global affairs experts such as Fareed. I would love to hear your thoughts on them as well. Send me an email and tell me what you think. After all, the Global Network is all about you!
Senior Associate Dean for Executive MBA and Global Programs & Senior Lecturer