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Match Your Personality With B-School Teaching Style

Many MBA applicants make the same wrong assumption: No matter which top business school you attend, its teaching style will be more or less the same.

While there are similarities across the top-tier programs, each school has a different teaching style. There’s the case method approach; lecture-based instruction; and the experiential learning and team-based focus approach. Some schools concentrate almost entirely on one style, while others employ a mixture.

Finding a fit in teaching style is important, and I advise clients to seek out a program where they can thrive and feel comfortable. However, I find that this piece of the puzzle is often pushed aside, with more weight placed on factors like rankings, career center offerings, location and culture.

In fact, teaching style is often one of the last things applicants focus on. Although there are many different aspects of a program to consider as you select your target schools, I believe this one should have more weight, as it not only directly affects your enjoyment of your two-year investment, but the quality of knowledge that you walk away with.

• Case method: The case method approach was established by Harvard Business School more than a century ago and is still widely used at top MBA programs worldwide. With this method, students analyze and debate authentic management scenarios to create recommendations that the firm in question should employ in the future.

Harvard relies on case studies for approximately 80 percent of its instruction, and students at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business are exposed to more than 500 cases in a variety of industries and functions during their two-year program.

Considered by many to be the gold standard in management education, the case method relies on lively class discussions with myriad points of view. A good case analysis requires a lot of preparation from students, who must feel at ease sharing their ideas in front of large groups.

Gregarious personalities will thrive in this environment, while shy individuals may cringe at the thought of showing up to class. This is not the learning environment for those uncomfortable speaking in front of strangers or those who fear they might say something embarrassing.

“Ask yourself if you find this method of learning intriguing and exciting,” Harvard Business School’s Director of MBA Admissions Dee Leopold advised applicants last fall. “If it’s not for you, choose another school now vs. later.”

• Lecture: All top MBA programs include courses taught using a lecture format, though some schools stand out for their significant use of this traditional pedagogic technique. According to the MBA-focused website Poets & Quants, Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business tops the list with approximately 50 percent lecture-based instruction, while the lecture format at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business comes in as a close second at 48 percent.

The Anderson School of Management at UCLA, Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and Said Business School at the University of Oxford use lectures about 40 percent of the time.

Fans of the lecture method believe this is the best way to concretely teach students the business concepts and theories they will need once they’re back in the work force. This environment may also be more comfortable for introverted students, as well as those who enjoy absorbing the wisdom of a seasoned professor.

In some instances, the lecture approach is simply the most expeditious way to get the information across. Columbia Business School devotes about 40 percent of class time to lecture and 40 percent to case studies.

Vice Dean Amir Ziv tells MBA Channel, “If you teach something really simple, cases are much too time-consuming. In the same time frame you can either cover two cases or six other things when lecturing.”

Experiential approach: In recent years, more and more schools have expanded the experiential components in their curricula, adding in more team challenges, simulations, field work and extracurricular activities. Poets & Quants reports that Vanderbilt’s Owen tops the list at 30 percent of courses using experiential instruction. At Owen, students have access to industry-focused immersion experiences, conferences, career treks, case competitions, entrepreneurial opportunities and more.

Another leader in this area of action-based learning is the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor’s Ross School of Business, which has a seven-week, full-time consulting project known as the Multi-disciplinary Action Project. Ross connects first-year MBA students with corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit projects both in the U.S. and abroad that require thoughtful recommendations on organizational challenges.

Even Harvard got into the act in fall 2011, launching the yearlong Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development course for first-year students, which offers small-group learning experiences that are experiential, immersive and field-based.

This hands-on approach to learning benefits those with an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as generalists who enjoy working in groups and want to learn how to get things done. Unlike the lecture and case methods, which focus on theory, experiential learning encourages students to learn by doing.

As you can see, there is significant variation in how material is presented in an MBA program. Take a close look at your personal preferences and learning style to find the business school that’s best for you.

Taking Restaurant Management Courses Through Top Culinary Schools

Even though restaurant managers tend to work long hours, they also tend to make good money. In fact, in 2009, the average manager made more than $47,000 a year. To enter into this line of work, a person will need experience in the culinary industry, and depending on the employer, he or she may need to complete restaurant management courses.

To make sure that a person obtains the best formal education possible, it is important to take courses through top culinary schools. In the U.S., there are many top restaurant management schools, making it simple for a person to find a program that will meet his or her needs and preferences.

Types of Programs

When attending top schools, a student will have the option to obtain either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Either type of degree will lead to a wide variety of job opportunities; however, a bachelor’s degree will, of course, open more doors. During the completion of a degree, students will take courses in English, psychology, restaurant management, food safety and much more. Some management training programs will require students to take courses in science and history too.

Associate’s Degree in Restaurant Management

To obtain an associate’s degree, a person will need to complete at least two years of studies. Some top culinary schools will offer accelerated programs, enabling students to graduate with a degree in as little as 15 months. During an associate’s program, students will complete general education courses as well as learn the basics of management, bookkeeping procedures, catering services, food sanitation and much more.

Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Management

When taking the courses to earn a bachelor’s degree, a student will have to take part in at least four years of study. As before, accelerated programs for bachelor’s degrees can be taken part in, allowing students to complete their restaurant management training programs in as little as 30 months. A bachelor’s program will provide students with much more in-depth knowledge than an associate’s program. Courses taken in a bachelor’s program usually include those that focus on the following topics:

- Advanced accounting
- Hospitality law
- Marketing
- Tourism management
- Multiple restaurant management

People who are looking to manage a chain of restaurants will benefit the most from obtaining at least a bachelor’s degree.

On-the-Job Training

Much of the training that managers need cannot be learned in a classroom setting. It has to be learned through on-the-job training. This is one of the main reasons top culinary schools require students who are obtaining a degree take part in a wide variety of internships. While in school, if a student knows the type of restaurant he or she prefers to manage, it is best to take part in internships that will provide the student with the appropriate type of experience. In doing this, a student will be well-prepared upon completion of the internships to obtain the job of his or her dreams.

Certificate Programs

If a person does not have a desire to earn a degree, there are some schools that offer certificate training programs in restaurant management. Such programs can usually be completed in 12 months or less, with most of the coursework directly focusing on restaurant industry topics. Earning a certificate can help broaden a person’s employment opportunities; however, to work in a higher-end dining establishment, a person will most likely need to earn a degree from top restaurant management schools.

Healthcare Schools Online – Call the Shots on Your Career

As demand for healthcare services continues to increase, it takes a specially trained person to run the oft-overlooked position that some people don’t think much about – that of a healthcare manager. That’s where healthcare schools online come in: they offer courses that train a person to be management material when the time comes for a promotion or a new job. Healthcare managers are the brains behind the operation and they ensure that things run smoothly. Healthcare schools online are a great resource for a person that needs the training, but may not have the convenient hours that other less demanding jobs can afford.

Those in healthcare management keep the day-to-day operations of any type of patient facility running efficiently. They make decisions on patient healthcare and treatment. They also work in conjunction with nurses and other administrative workers to ensure that the quality of healthcare is up to regulations and medical records and reports are accurately kept or given. These men and women must always be ready for new healthcare implementations – anything from new technology to new methods of patient care. They are typically very busy and may be called upon at all hours for advice and/or assistance in a problem. They also travel to attend healthcare conferences, or to meet with the government or private affiliates and owners of a company.

Healthcare managers work in all sorts of environments. Anywhere there is a facility that treats patients, no matter old or young, in-patient or out-patient, there is a manager that makes sure everything is carried out in a respected and efficient manner. Managers can work in hospitals, for example, but there is probably one that works in every ward who also answers to the manager in charge of the entire hospital. In a nursing home, there is one main manager, and a few managerial assistant managers to help keep the workload manageable. This type of management system is seen in all aspects of healthcare.

On a day-to-day basis, the variety of people whom a healthcare manager works with is vast. They work with nurses and nurse’s aides, medical recorders and information analysts. Every day brings a whole pack of problems to solve, but also an equal amount of reward. A great hospital with satisfied patients and workers is a sign of a great healthcare manager, who at the end of the day, is a people-person that aims to make everyone happy while keeping care effective and up to standards. Healthcare managers also have to answer to their own bosses. They must attend conferences that inform and advise them on new and effective ways of managing and on the developments that constantly happen in the healthcare industry.

Getting into this oft forgotten administrative job usually requires a master’s degree at minimum. It can be in healthcare administration, but there is also a combination of other degrees that could put the candidate in the right spot for a promotion. This could be an MBA with combined experience in the nursing field, for example. Another good example is experience and an advanced degree in a specialized field, combined with a graduate certificate in healthcare administration.

This combination of degrees and experiences places a candidate in a good position. Another common route is earning the Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) through an accredited college. Nowadays, more people than ever are turning to the benefits of healthcare schools online to gain this degree. With the work load and schedule of a normal healthcare employee often times unusual and demanding, many, if not all, healthcare employees would not be able to attend a traditional ground school without having to cut hours (something they may not want to do for financial reasons). Healthcare schools online offer healthcare management degrees at the graduate level for these ambitious, but time-pressed, individuals.

By earning your healthcare management degree online, you’ll prepare yourself for an exciting and rewarding career in healthcare management. It’s definitely as demanding as the nursing or patient-care professions, but it has other added benefits like seeing employees succeed and having your place of employment ranked well amongst others. Healthcare schools online is a great way to earn a degree that will have a lasting impact on your career and ultimately, the well-being of others.