I have been fortunate to have multiple careers—from working in the university setting to the buy-and-sell side of the financial industry to the product development environment. Making the transition from a technically oriented academic career to a practitioner is definitely a humbling experience in the business milieu.
Acquiring a commercial perspective was important to my career, which is why I went to business school to get my MBA, sponsored by my company. However, more than 10 years later, times have changed, and business-oriented instruction is becoming less available for technical staff, both because of constrained resources and lack of time. Numerous articles in publications like MIT Sloan Management Review and the Wall Street Journal have commented on the “commoditization” of the B-school degree, noting that companies are becoming reticent to spend dollars and time on MBA programs.
Is there a way to get what is needed within the forum of a B-school, but without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and years in school? Executive education programs, concentrating on areas as diverse as negotiation, improvement strategies, and product development, have recently been emphasized as meeting the needs of technical personnel. They provide a level of updated information that can directly and practically address key issues that face the emerging or established technical executive first-hand; moreover, the opportunity costs are relatively low, given the two to five days needed to participate. If more time is available, enrolling in more immersive programs (such as MIT Sloan’s Advanced Management Program) or completing an executive certificate can provide additional hands-on learning experiences and are viable alternatives to full- or part-time MBA programs.
It’s one thing to be recognized for accomplishments earned over a long and illustrious career. It’s quite another to receive similar kudos at the young age of 39. Such is the case with Justin Hutchens, who for the third consecutive year was named to America’s Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under list, published by Forbes. To make this list, you had to be the chief executive of one of the 20 biggest publicly traded companies in the U.S. that have CEOs aged 40 or under.
Hutchens is the CEO and President of real estate investment trust National Health Investors (NYSE:NHI), as well as an MIT Sloan Executive Education Certificate holder. In this interview, the successful businessman shares his thoughts on why he chose MIT Sloan Executive Education, the challenges he faces as a young CEO, and some advice on starting out in business.
Gustavo Pospischel, Senior Director of Core Mobile Engineering at Sears Holdings Corporation, spoke recently with MIT Sloan Executive Education about his experience on campus, why he chose MIT Sloan, and the benefits he received from the programs.
What executive education courses have you taken at MIT Sloan?
I’ve taken so many executive education courses at MIT Sloan, I don’t remember them all. But, the two I found very valuable were those taught but Professor Arnoldo Hax and Duncan Simester. One focused on the Delta Model and the other on technical marketing. Hax was amazing. It was a true eye-opening experience.
How have you applied what you learned during the courses back at your workplace?
Aside from expanding my knowledge base, I found the methodologies and business cases very beneficial and was able to apply what I learned to great success.
Younger than their tenured colleagues, only a few years older than their students, and still having to prove themselves both as professors and leaders in their field, young professors face added stress. However, a select few thrive in this pressure cooker, outperforming senior teaching staff, winning the admiration of their students, and producing standout scholarship.
Poets&Quants’ “Top 40 Under 40″ recognizes these rising stars—young professors who represent elite schools from around the world. These uncommon professors have excelled in research while overcoming the green-professor label in the classroom. MIT Sloan Executive Education is proud to announce that our own Catherine Tucker is among their list of the world’s best b-school professors under the age of 40. The 36-year old MIT Sloan Associate Professor of Marketing and Mark Hyman Jr. Career Development Professor is recognized for her ability to excel in research, win the admiration of her students, and produce outstanding scholarly work. Read her profile on Poets&Quants here.
Nancy Wine, Director of Marketing at O’Connor & Drew, P.C., in Braintree, Massachusetts, spoke recently with MIT Sloan Executive Education about her experience at the School; the benefits of networking with peers from all over the world; and why MIT is still “ahead of its time.”
What executive education courses have you taken at MIT Sloan? Understanding and Solving Complex Business Problems; Intelligent Organizations, Collaboration, and the Future of Work; Transforming Your Leadership Strategy; and Managing Complex Technical Projects. As a result, I received an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership in 2011.
How have you applied what you learned in the courses back at your workplace?
As a leader, myself, I’ve learned that everyone in the professional services firm I work with is also a leader in some capacity. Every day, I try to demonstrate those leadership skills to set an example. What I learned in the courses gave me affirmation and confidence that, as a leader and manager, I am on the right track, and the importance of paying close attention to the insights and differences in perspectives of those around me.