November 14, 2011

Current Events Through the Lens of an MBA

Post by:
Manoj Prakash
MBA Candidate, 2012 I am a second year student in the dual degree MS.MBA Program. In my free time, I like to read newspapers and blogs, especially related to business and technology. Before I joined this program last year, current events were stories that were fun to read and talk about with friends over coffee. But I am one year into school and current events have had such an interesting impact on my life as an MBA student that my perspective while reading news has been transformed.

In one of the first semester course projects, my team and I worked hard to come up with a set of strategic recommendation for eBay's struggling China operations. Just two days before we were to submit and present our recommendation, I found a news story
in which EBay announced its changed strategy for China. I immediately realized what this news meant for us. My team went back to the drawing board and re-worked our assignment in the last two days!

During the spring semester, we chose to focus on Nokia for our strategy project. Nokia is a leader in mobile phones but has struggled in the smartphone market. At the same time, they have a good mix of products and great international reach so we thought they would be a good candidate for a strategy project. We started our work right away, researching every analyst report, news article, announcement, and opinion available on Nokia. A few weeks into this project, I found Nokia in the headlines everywhere - they had formed an alliance with Microsoft
! This alliance effectively changed the rules of the game for us mid-course and we changed our approach for Nokia, again.

During my time at BU’s School of Management I have been directly impacted by current events. But experiences such as these have trained me to evaluate news and events from a different lens and I have become a much more active participant in understanding business trends.

At SMG, we take reading and interpreting news to a new level. You can even take a look at this blog that my classmates and I are currently working on to analyze different industry sectors and decipher interesting news about the disruptive impact of technology.

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