For second-year MBAs
Convergence Week brings together all the lessons of the full-time MBA program, asking second-year students to apply their knowledge and skills in a simulated business environment. The simulation presents students with disorienting conditions that prompt them to answer three questions:
1. As the context changes, what can I constructively apply from what I know? (framing and synthesis)
2. In the present context, what must I “unlearn” about what I know? (self-critique and adaptation)
3. What new skills and new knowledge must I acquire to be effective in this context? (humility and curiosity)
Performing well in the simulation requires:
- Analyzing data related to the internal condition of a hypothetical firm and its external environment
- Developing and executing annual plans for the firm across several years
- Discerning the consequences of decisions as the market evolves and as other teams also make decisions
The primary learning goal is the ability to broadly incorporate lessons from across the MBA coursework to steer the hypothetical firm.
Convergence Week is a mandatory element of the full-time MBA program. Here is a brief overview of the features of the simulation that students can expect:
- The product-market context has both vertical structures (i.e. upstream and downstream) and horizontal ones (i.e. a variety of market segments at each level).
- In commercializing any product or service, the management team must understand how to coordinate between operations, marketing, and managerial accounting functions within its overall strategy.
- Commercialization is constrained by the capabilities of the firm. Managing the acquisition of basic know-how and capacity-at-hand is key to growing the firm long-term.
- The capital markets and the information they generate influence decision-making at the executive level.
- Budgeting decisions entail both a capital budget and an operational budget.
- Management teams must resolve basic questions about division of work and authority in managing an increasing volume of information as the exercise unfolds. In short, the group must tackle the “role of roles” within the upper management.
For more information about convergence week, please contact the director of the full-time and Professional MBA programs, Associate Professor Benjamin M. Cole, at firstname.lastname@example.org .