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A new model

The recent bankruptcy of leading U.S. financial firms and a possible federal bailout plan have led business schools in Boston to modify their teaching strategies and reassess student job options after graduation.
Professors from leading business schools at the Boston University School of Management, Harvard University Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management said they are putting more emphasis in their curricula to educate students about the current stock market situation.
SMG finance professor Rui Albuquerque said it is important to inform students about current events within the marketplace in order to provide them with an advantage when they enter the job market.
‘What I do in class is I try to keep them up to date in whatever happens and informed, so that when they go on job talks they are able to address these issues and speak as an informed person,’ he said.
At Harvard, the impending market crisis has added new twists to many of the case studies students are asked to solve.
‘With this crisis, clearly [instances] have popped up in cases where there will be a break in the action, where people talk about the impact of the crisis, so it is making its way into business classes,’ said Harvard Business School spokesman Jim Aisner.
Last year, about 10 percent of Harvard Business School’s 900 students went into investment banking, but Aisner said this statistic will most likely decrease because the job of investment bankers have depleted since the collapse of large institutions.
‘We’re helping students to look outside of investment banking on Wall Street,’ he said.
BU SMG Dean Lou Lataif said that, unlike schools that serve as ‘feeder’ schools for Wall Street, SMG’s purpose is not to prepare students for the capital market, but to prepare them for ‘a business structure that adds material value.’
‘Our focus has long been on educating and training ‘builders and leaders’ whose orientation is to create organic growth, not simply ‘managers’ who move other people’s money around,’ he said. ‘We think we serve society better by developing graduates who create and operate real businesses that produce things of value . . . if our country is to compete globally, we must maintain a business infrastructure that adds material value.’
Last week, SMG professors held a forum on the Wall Street financial crisis. SMG junior Brendan McCann said he attended the forum and learned that the U.S. economy affects the world more than he knew and may affect his future plans more than he thought.
‘If the market continues to suffer, it is a better idea to go to graduate school than to try and find a job directly out of college,’ he said.

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