NYT on Integrated Curricula
In a recent article, the New York Times expounds on the virtues of a recent trend in business school curricula towards more integrated, critical thinking. Although not specifically about SOM, the article vindicates the vision of our academic leadership - in my opinion one of the most underrated virtues of our program. I was glad to see that Yale got a nod - towards the end, the article quotes Oster and Bracken. They are both amazing teachers who have been around for decades, and display a genuine passion for improving graduate business education. I've been saying for months that, if I could force my family and friends to take one class, it would be Bracken's Problem Framing course from Fall-1. The first semester's frameworks, combined with intense finals cramming with a friend who majored Philosophy at Holy Cross (and puts my analytical capacity to shame), made me grasp the value of liberal arts education for the first time. I am no longer a science/engineering snob, and I'm not sure I would have been disabused of this prejudice in any other MBA program. I can honestly say that the emphasis at SOM is as solidly on critical thinking - at the most challenging level - as it is on vocational training in finance, consulting, or marketing. That the curriculum actually delivers above and beyond the grandiose marketing claims of Yale's glossy brochures has been the most pleasant surprise in my time here.
The business world is starting to take notice of the sea change represented by the new focus of b-school curricula. I think this will be a major trend, emulated by most of the top programs. Most remarkable is that the trend started back in 2006, at the smallest MBA program in the top 10.