Getting into B-School -- via eBay

But you'll still have to qualify to win this charity auction. Plus: News from Kogod School, Wharton, Olin, and more

By Francesca Di Meglio

Having trouble getting into B-school? If so, you might consider bidding -- literally -- for a spot at the Universiteit Nyenrode's Netherlands Business School. Starting Mar. 1, the school plans to hold a charity auction on eBay for a spot in its October, 2005, International MBA program. A small, intimate school with more than 800 alumni, Nyenrode offers a full-time MBA course that lasts 13 months and is known for its global initiatives and entrepreneurship specialties.

Bidding is open to the public, but you can't simply buy a place in the class, says Postma Professor of Entrepreneurship Karel Samson. The winner must meet basic admissions requirements, including having a bachelor's degree or equivalent and at least two years of full-time work experience. There's no age limit, but a GMAT score is required. The school's average is 550.

If the high bidder isn't approved by the Admissions Committee, the runner-up will take his or her place. The winner will get a full ride, which isn't bad considering tuition costs about 39,000 euros, or about $50,000. For more information, e-mail the school's Web at Proceeds from the auction will go toward charity, most likely a needy elementary school in New York City. "It's not a gimmick," says Samson. "It's a way to capture people's imagination and increase the international student population of our school."

Raining BlackBerries in Washington

American University's Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C., recently announced plans to provide business students, administrators, and faculty with BlackBerry 7100t phones with streaming capabilities, which allow up-to-the-minute news as well as e-mail, by fall 2005. Streaming content, which replaces targeted e-mail, pops up on the BlackBerry screen and helps eliminate spam. It also allows you to customize the information you send to people.

Other B-schools provide students with BlackBerries. But Kogod, which isn't planning to charge students an extra fee for the service, believes it will be the first to provide the streaming technology to all its students. Kogod administrators expect other schools to quickly emulate the service.

One reason is that the technology makes recruiters more accessible. For instance, as recruiters call Kogod's career-services office requesting information on students, administrators can broadcast the information to student in-boxes almost instantly. As additional streams are launched, students will receive even more personalized information. Students with concentrations in finance, say, will get content tailored to their field of interest. Eventually, the administration plans to have professors use the new technology to update students about breaking news between classes.

Role Changes at Wharton

Christopher Morris, who for the last 18 months had been a senior associate director in career services at The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in Philadelphia, recently took over as director of MBA Career Management there. He replaces his former boss, Peter Degnan, who was hired to head Wharton's executive education programs.

Morris, who earned his MBA from Cornell in 1996, says his goals include broadening opportunities for students who have interests in private equity and hedge funds, or the general-management rotational programs offered by such companies as General Electric and Home Depot. In his new role, Degnan says he hopes to make the executive education program the "primary source for all executive development and training" among B-schools.

Cutting-Edge Science for MBAs

A 2002 alliance between pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, Indiana University, and Purdue University is starting to pay off for MBA students at both schools.

Central Indiana is a hotbed for developing protein therapeutics for the pharmaceutical industry. And Indiana and Purdue both have top-ranked analytical chemistry research institutes. Leveraging these resources, Lilly and the two universities teamed up to create Inproteo, an Indianapolis-based business that applies analytical chemistry to design, create, and optimize products and methodologies that will improve proteomics, the study of proteins, which in turn could lead to a better understanding of disease mechanisms.

Inproteo is turning to business students to help launch worthy products that otherwise never make it to market, says Cynthia Helphingstine, the vice-president for business development at Inproteo. Students at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., have already created their own business and plan to roll out at least one product a year.

They're working on an October, 2005, launch of the first offering, a lab instrument used in protein separation and purification, a necessity for many research projects. John Schneider, assistant vice-president for Industry Research at Purdue, says students at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management in West Lafayette, are also considering new products that could be launched.

Building Family Businesses

Babson College's Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business in Babson Park, Mass., and Instituto de Empresa in Madrid teamed up to create teaching and research activities in the fields of entrepreneurship and family-run businesses. The first initiatives include a set of elective courses on family venturing and a co-sponsored conference on creating wealth across generations.

But the hope is to eventually create shared degree programs that emphasize family enterprises, says Timothy Habbershon, director of the Institute for Family Enterprising at Babson. This focus on family enterprises is particularly interesting for Empresa students, 30% to 40% of whom come from family-run businesses.

Chicago: On the Move in Europe

The University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business recently announced plans to move its European campus, which mostly serves those enrolled in executive and global MBA programs, from Barcelona to London by summer 2005. "London is the third most important city for us in terms of alumni," says Dean Edward A. Snyder, adding that he also considers London the most important European city for business.

All GSB faculty are based in Chicago and will continue to travel to Europe to teach courses, so the curriculum will remain the same. The first intake of students at the London campus will arrive in late June to participate in an EMBA program. In the meantime, Synder says, the group of students in Barcelona will finish up their courses, and GSB will put the building up for sale sometime in 2006.

Do you have B-school news, events, or other tidbits to report? Send an e-mail with the subject line, "Gossip" to Francesca Di Meglio

Edited by Thane Peterson

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