Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Road testing the MBA: summer internships

I never expected to use so soon what I’d learned in the classrooms at London Business School. But already during my internship this summer in the climate change group at Shell, I apply lessons from my MBA courses every day:

· Decision & Risk Analysis: How do you make an optimal decision about an uncertain future? In LBS’s Decision & Risk Analysis course (soon to be called Data, Models & Decisions), we learned frameworks and Excel-based models (like PrecisionTree) that I’ve been using to help Shell decide its long-term strategy in the face of changing climate regulations.

· Organizational Behavior & Management Accounting: How do you structure incentives to achieve business objectives? One helpful tool came from our core course on Managing Organizational Behavior. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory argues that employees expect: (1) that their effort will enable them to achieve performance objectives (e.g. increase sales); (2) that achieving this objective will result in a reward (e.g. promotion); and (3) that the reward will be something they care about (e.g. status). Sounds obvious, but just think how easy it is for a link to be missing: you are held accountable for results you can’t control, you enable your client to achieve a huge win but don’t get rewarded, or you are compensated with cash when you are really dying for more vacation days.

· Marketing: Great, so you have your idea – now how do you sell it to a diverse group of stakeholders? Market it! In our Marketing core and the simulation MarkStrat, we learned about the 5 stages of marketing penetration: (1) Make people aware of your idea; (2) help them consider how they might use it; (3) follow up to convince them that they should prefer it over the alternatives; (4) make it easy for them to “buy” into; and (5) make the experience of using your idea so good they become an loyal advocate.

I actually didn’t come to London Business School for the academics – I came for London, a career move, and the network – but the classes have been amazingly useful. See -- I’ve even become a loyal advocate!


Liz Aab
Forte Fellow & MBA 2012, London Business School

No comments:

Post a Comment