$175 for all companies.
The registration fee includes: three company representatives, a 4 foot skirted table, one complimentary parking pass per company, a light breakfast and lunch.
Please note that we can only accept check payments. Please make checks out to Boston University School of Management and mailed to:
Boston University School of Management
Feld Career Center – Suite 115
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Atten: Susan Richard
You will not be refunded your registration fee if a cancellation occurs within 5 business days of the Career fair date.
Trip to Watson Research Center demonstrates blossoming partnership between SMG and IBM
By Tom Vellner (COM’13)
It’s 6 a.m. on a Friday morning and Associate Professor of Information Systems Paul Carlile is handing out brown bags to a group of MBA students on a coach bus. Inside each is a bottle of orange juice, a granola bar, and a tangerine. As the business-casual group digs into these homemade breakfast kits, the scene resembles an elementary school field trip gone professional. The students are headed to the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center to meet Watson, the Jeopardy!-winning supercomputer, and present their big ideas to IBM executives.
The 20 MBA students traveling to the Watson Research Center, located in Yorktown Heights, NY, weren’t selected at random. On March 6, they and their fellow first-year MBAs competed in the IBM Business Challenge at Boston University School of Management as part of the Module 3 portion of the newly launched MBA curriculum. The challenge called on student teams to present solutions to issues that IBM faces in a variety of areas, such as life science, big data, and social business, in front of a panel of IBM executives. After firing questions at the students, the panel analyzed all nine presentations and announced the top three.
Much like the golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the three winning teams received an IBM-blue ticket to meet Watson and dine with IBM CIO and SMG alumna Jeanette Horan (GSM’93). One month later, on April 4, the teams found themselves wide-eyed and inspired during a tour of the research facilities, where there are no chocolate streams or Oompa Loompas, but equally enthralling technology that’s on track to change the world.
Inside the secret lair-like research center, which sits on a grassy hill surrounded by acres of woods, is a room buzzing with the sound of a cluster of 90 IBM Power 750 servers. The cluster’s name is Watson, and it glows a mesmerizing indigo. IBM scientists began developing this cognitive technology in 2007, which processes information more like a human than a computer. Watson reads and understands natural language, producing hypotheses from disparate data.
Generating 15 trillion bytes of data (roughly the size of the material in the Library of Congress), as well as fascination from the MBA visitors, the supercomputer not only won Jeopardy! in 2011 against the beloved game show’s two greatest champions, but also, by analyzing large amounts of unstructured text and developing hypotheses grounded in that analysis, helps fight cancer with evidence-based diagnoses and treatment. And it’s only getting smarter. Through repeated use, Watson is constantly presented with new information and learns from prior interactions, both successes and failures. What makes Watson special, and critical for the future, is its ability to analyze the inordinate amount of growing and unstructured data today.
“After learning about IBM’s business and current projects, it was amazing to see the actual research in process,” says Liz Nerad (MBA’15). “The multitude of projects that IBM is doing is really a testament to the evolving landscape of information technology, where there are constantly new applications for IBM’s innovative thinking.”
The MBA students hear about Watson’s potential to revolutionize healthcare, and even online shopping, during their tour, which concludes with an opportunity to meet and eat with Horan. The CIO speaks about her path from SMG student to IBM leader, addressing students that may one day fill her shoes. After all, the collaboration between SMG and IBM, introduced into the curriculum for the first time this year, was designed to do just that: arm MBA students with skills that extend far beyond the classroom, skills that prepare them to tackle complex issues that companies are facing as technology rapidly transforms.
“IBM can gain value from this relationship in a number of ways,” says Carol Sormilic, IBM vice president and executive liaison to SMG during the spring semester. “There is the obvious goal of the program, which is giving students that real-world experience they can take with them and use in any new position, but there’s also the ability for us to look at what we do from the fresh perspective that the students bring. Seeing our challenges through their eyes has been one of my favorite parts of the process.”
Displaying their skills, the three winning teams present their solutions once again to a new panel of IBM judges that includes Horan. The first, focused on life science, offers a solution for mitigating the risk of a “patent cliff” for biopharmaceutical companies; the second lays out a strategy to combat homelessness in Boston by utilizing big data and the cloud; and the third illustrates a new model for IBM’s social business platform. Horan notes the depth and detail of each presentation, stating how impressed she is with the students’ work—but not before asking tough questions that the teams handle with poise. Whether their solutions will be implemented at IBM is unclear, but, judging by the panel’s intrigued expressions and questions, it’s obvious that a seed has been planted.
“Presenting to the IBM executives was a great experience to get feedback outside of the academic setting,” says Nerad. “The best part was that the IBM executives interjected with questions or comments along the way, which probably more accurately reflects how real-world proposals go. The instant feedback forced us to be quick on our feet to answer accordingly in that exact moment.”
The benefit of integrating the world’s top technology provider into the MBA curriculum is twofold. The students are given the chance to interact with leading executives and demonstrate their ability to produce thorough research, think critically, and solve real industry issues—what one might consider the ultimate job interview.
“The concepts from the classroom are reinforced this way,” says Carlile. “The students know they have to take a concept, grow it, and bring it to life in front of executives. It’s an immediate relevancy.”
On the flip side, by prompting them with actual situations that arise in the company, IBM has the chance to tap into the viewpoints of rising MBA students, and possibly meet their next employees.
“By bringing in a live business partner, we can shrink the gap between knowledge and application even faster,” says Carlile. “We’re creating a new engagement model of business education between companies, faculty, and students. It’s challenging to do, but this kind of engagement creates more value for everyone involved.”
After smiles, sighs of relief, and photos with Horan, the students board the bus and return to Boston with more than gift shop souvenirs. They now have a direct connection to IBM, as well as an understanding of what’s needed to thrive in a workforce that’s quickly evolving—important, considering their future coworker could be a computer that processes 500 gigabytes, the equivalent of a million books, per second.
Tom Vellner can be reached at email@example.com.
From Dellarocas, C., Katona, Z., & Rand, W. (2013). Media, aggregators and the link economy: Strategic hyperlink formation in content networks. Management Science, 59 (10), 2360-2379.
In today’s link economy, whether a blogger paraphrases news articles or a fully automated aggregator harvests content from across the web, the pathways between content producers and audiences have become increasingly complex. So how should content producers respond to competition from aggregators and from each other?
How should content producers respond to competition from aggregators and from each other?
A new study from Boston University School of Management’s Chrysanthos Dellarocas, professor of information systems and director of Boston University’s Digital Learning Initiative, together with Zsolt Katona (University of California at Berkeley) and William Rand (University of Maryland), is the first to model the complex, interrelated implications of strategic hyperlinking and investment in content production. Their analysis, demonstrating scenarios in which such links can boost everyone’s profits, thus yields important implications for professional content producers who have until now been reluctant to link to competitors.
When Linking Increases Profits
Addressing questions relevant to both firms and regulators, Dellarocas et al. identify gaps in existing network economics research around the impact of freely established links and the strategies that motivate their formation. For example, what are the effects of linking to competitors, and when should inbound links be refused?
Dellarocas and his co-authors show that although linking can result in low-quality sites free-riding on high-quality content, “in settings where there are evenly matched competitors, the option of placing links across sites may lead to equilibria where some or all sites are better off relative to a no-link setting.”
Links between peer content sites can increase profits by reducing competition, overproduction, and duplication. The intuition is that, instead of each site expending resources to produce what is essentially duplicate content, everyone can benefit if one site specializes in producing really good content and other sites link to it. Sites that invest in high-quality content benefit from additional referred traffic, while those publishing the links become trusted hubs that attract visitors without having to pay the cost of content production. Different sites might specialize in producing content on different topics, one on politics and another on sports, for example. Thus, all sites produce the type of content they are best at and link to the rest. In this scenario, consumers benefit all-round.
The authors point out that the above scenario can sustain the market entry of inefficient players, allowing them to free-ride on the success of other content sites by linking to them, potentially denting the revenues of target sites. Still, no content site would benefit from unilaterally blocking such links, because then free-riding sites would simply link to their competitors.
The Impact of Aggregators
Acknowledging that aggregators ‘steal’ traffic from content sites, the authors also point out that, “by making it easier for consumers to access good content, aggregators increase the attractiveness of the entire content ecosystem and, thus, also attract traffic away from alternative media.”
While aggregators may direct more traffic to high-quality sites, they also take away a slice of profits from content sites. This happens because some aggregator visitors check article headlines and snippets at the aggregator but never click through to the original articles. Furthermore, aggregators tend to increase competition between content sites. This may boost quality but reduce content producer profits.
See more about “Media, Aggregators and the Link Economy: Strategic Hyperlink Formation in Content Networks,” at Management Science.
Weiss shares inside story of Fenway Sports Group
Ed Weiss, General Counsel of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group, visited the School of Management in Spring 2012 and told Dean Ken Freeman the inside story about the Sox owners’ purchase of a famous soccer team in Liverpool, their investment in a NASCAR team, and NESN. Their discussion is part of our new “Conversations with Ken” video series.
Teach For America Recruits at Boston University School of Management
The dual degree, MD/MBA is one exciting and growing element of the Health Sector Management Program. It is designed to prepare medical students to become physician leaders, innovators, and agents of change and development within the health sector. It equips them to go beyond direct clinical practice to also develop and lead systems of care and organizations of practice.
Dual degree students take a full year off from their medical training and spend it at the School of Management, gaining a comprehensive set of basic skills around business and management. They also take part in focused training in the health sector. The summer following their coursework (or at another time, depending on their medical school schedule), they participate in a 400-week internship. They then return to medical school and finish with two additional courses in the health sector.
Marcel Tam, MD/MBA candidate, on why the dual-degree is key to both his career plan and medical care at large:
Now in the MBA portion of the five-year MD/MBA dual-degree at Boston University, I am preparing to fulfill my responsibility as a future Family Medicine doctor. I’ve come to believe that to do this, my medical school training alone is not enough.
“My medical school training alone is not enough.”
It is incumbent upon me to learn the management skills necessary to practice primary care effectively and efficiently using what will likely be new business models. These models of health care delivery will require teamwork, performance improvement processes, and financial decision-making among other leadership and management skills.
My Value Proposition
Some view the field of Primary Health Care as a dying profession. Primary care physicians are working more hours with less patient contact, more paperwork, lower job satisfaction, and less pay versus their specialist peers. As the U.S. General Accounting Office has pointed out, by 2020, the projected number of primary care practitioners is expected to fall short of the increasing need.
For medical students with increasing loans and other external stressors, practicing primary care can appear to be the worst option for pursuing their dream of positively impacting the health of their patients. Indeed, Family Medicine (a primary care-focused specialty) isn’t even included in a much-circulated unofficial guide to selecting a specialty for medical students… a virtual non-option. Yet, while it may appear to be a waning field for physicians, Primary Care is in fact one of the most exciting opportunities to create high-impact, disruptive innovation in health care.
“The physician’s pen remains the most powerful lever for change in the industry.”
The reasons for this opportunity are clear. There is a pressing need (ex. a growing population with chronic disease) and there is money available to help meet this need (16% of national GDP is spent on health care). But why hasn’t there been more change in health care? The health care industry is fragmented and misaligned. Attempts to improve the system have been limited by systems and policies that promote conflicting incentives for multiple powerful players with complex relationships and with inadequate outcomes metrics. In order to be successful, new solutions need to satisfy this complex mish-mash of forces, and that is extremely challenging.
Despite these limitations, however, recent innovations show that disruptive change is possible. Retail clinics, like the MinuteClinic, are an example of a value-adding business process that improves outcomes while reducing cost. Qliance Medical Group, a direct primary care medical home spearheaded by physician Garrison Bliss, provides an expanded spectrum of affordable primary care services at a reduced cost while increasing the satisfaction of both patients and their care providers.
“I’m getting an MBA because I want to practice primary care the way it should be practiced.”
These innovations indicate that the patient-provider relationship is at the core of true systemic reform of health care. In fact, the physician’s pen remains the most powerful lever for change in the industry. Leaders like Dr. Bliss (Chief Medical Officer at Qliance Medical Group) and Dr. Andrew Sussman (President of MinuteClinic & an alumnus of the Boston University School of Management) show that physicians are still in an influential position to act as agents of change on behalf of patients.
That is why the knowledge, skills and behaviors that I am learning from my MBA coursework in organizational behavior, finance, strategy and more are essential components of my career development. Not because I want to be an administrator or because I want work in health care consulting. No. I am getting an MBA because I want to practice primary care the way it should be practiced: with the collaborative diligence and care necessary for maximizing health for individuals and for society. That is my value proposition.