Friday June 2nd Sessions MBA 50th Anniversary Celebration

Understanding the College Admissions Process with W&M Admissions

Attendees learned what to expect and how to help prepare students for success in the college admissions process across the country.

"Own It!" An Overview of Today's MBA with Ken White, Associate Dean of MBA & Executive Programs

Attendees received an update on today's MBA program and learned how the Mason School focuses on five professionalism pillars to differentiate its students from those in other MBA programs.

Navigating Digital Transformation with Bruce Weinelt, MBA '00

Digital innovation is profoundly reshaping the way in which people interact, work, operate, and communicate, presenting a series of opportunities and challenges for businesses, policy-makers, and citizens. In light of the accelerating pace of technology-driven change, we need a compass to navigate digital transformation. The World Economic Forum's Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) analyzes the impact of digital technologies on business, society and the individual, with the objective to transform the way public and private leaders think about their contribution not only to shareholders, but also stakeholders. This session examined some of the initiative's findings and introduced a pioneering framework to help executives to incorporate societal concerns into their decision-making.

Strategies for Navigating Wicked Problems with Professors Graham Henshaw &Jim Olver

New approaches are necessary to navigate an increasingly turbulent, complex, and ever changing business environment. The highly specialized functional skills offered through standard and traditional MBA curricula - while still absolutely essential- are no longer sufficient. When the past is a poor predictor of the future, you need tools that will help you discover the unforeseen problems and opportunities and develop original, useful solutions. You also need to be an integrative thinker: able to entertain multiple novel and conflicting viewpoints long enough to find solutions that resolve the paradox. The tools and processes we'll develop in this session are designed with those goals in mind.

Organizational Change - How to Make it Happen in Today's Workplace with Professor Ron Sims

This session provided participants with tips and ideas on how to successfully lead and manage organizational change.

Attendees were provided insights as well as practical tools that can be deployed to lead organizational change. In addition, participants better understood the critical components of change leadership or management as well as practical interventions focused on minimizing resistance and maximizing buy-in.

The Road to Business Analytics with Professor Hector Guerrero

Does the era of BIG Data have you scrambling to remain relevant? Well join the BIG Data club! This talk added some historical perspective and a parsing of the important elements of Business Analytics applied to BIG Data.

Let's talk about how we got here. It has been a long trip and the train has been accelerating from the time it left the station. During WWII, the need to make the most efficient use of resources and materials gave birth to a field of applied mathematics called now Operations Research (sometimes called Management Science). If it made sense for the war effort, then it certainly made sense post-war.

That was the beginning, and since then so much has happened that even experts find it dizzying - Artificial Intelligence, Data Warehouses, Machine Learning, Algorithms, Optimization, and Data Visualization. Professor Guerrero put these emerging fields of Data and Business Analysis in some order and context. And finally, we'll talk about the technology that made it all possible - The Computer.

Business Strategies of the Past and Future with Professor Bob Williams

When the recession of 2008 hit, many things changed. Business models were reinvented, companies created, Kodak retreated into history; many things changed...and it continues. Artificial intelligence promises to reinvent industries. Convergence of Al technology with robotics continues as a catalyst for faster and additional change in many businesses.

How do you strategize amidst all this? How has strategy changed in the way we think about businesses an their structures? How will leadership be impacted? These and other questions were addressed by Professor Bob Williams.

The Importance of Branding with Professor LD Metcalfe

Branding and brand management have become a critical feature of successful business strategy. Developing brand strategy and brand identity are some of the most important steps of marketing a product. Attendees learned what branding is, the importance of brand equity, and what it has to do with dating and vodka.

The Importance of a Professional Online Presence with Professor Dawn Edmiston

This session outlined how to leverage the power of digital branding and make a positive first impression. Attendees learned about changing market dynamics that impact how we communicate and will examine tools that can be leveraged to create and sustain a professional online profile. The insights and resources shared in this presentation were valuable to attendees in understanding how marketing trends can be applied to advance both their professional roles as well as their personal brands.

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