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Growing a new breed of business student

Carey Business School Global MBA
Sabena Carim, right, and Vasileios Ioannitis work at The Samaritan Women's farm
in West Baltimore as part of the Global MBA orientation program.
Photo: Will Kirk/Homewoodphoto.jhu.edu

In the best Johns Hopkins traditions of service and international outreach, the Carey Business School has created a program that will focus, not on how to make a quick killing on Wall Street, but on how to cultivate business practices to help heal a troubled world.

In summer 2010, the 88 members of the charter class of the full-time, two-year Johns Hopkins Global MBA arrived at the school's new Harbor East campus for orientation. The three-week session was as unique as the program itself, ranging from a trip to the World Bank and the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington to a lecture from Nobel laureate Peter Agre of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and a full day's work as volunteers at The Samaritan Women's farm in West Baltimore.

As Yash Gupta, dean of the Carey Business School, notes, "These are tough times for leaders in business. Our current financial and philosophical challenges demand exceptional people, game-changers who will extend the boundaries of knowledge to address ever-increasing business complexities. Ours is a curriculum for people who are dedicated to nothing less than advancing humanity for the betterment of our world."

Deasy Priadi is an example. The native of Indonesia has a bachelor's degree in psychology and works for the World Bank in Jakarta. "Growing up in Indonesia, where many people live on less than $2 per day, has informed my future goals," she says.

Key among those goals, she says, is improving the lives of the poor. She aims to turn some family-owned land in West Java into a model farm that would demonstrate the best agricultural methods and treatment of farm workers in a nation that sometimes lacks these elements. "Business can create jobs and reduce poverty in the long run," Priadi says.

Student Jack Hirsch was born in Israel and has lived in Africa and the United States. Befitting someone so well-traveled, he says he was drawn to the international orientation of the Global MBA program, which, in the intersession of year one, will send students on an overseas project, Innovation for Humanity, in which they will work on a business problem within a community in a developing nation.

Hirsch's professional career has been marked by experiences with start-up ventures whose "dynamic environments" have proved excellent laboratories of learning, he says, adding that he sees this same "enterprising spirit" in the Carey School.

The students range in age from early 20s to early 40s, and their professional experience ranges from none to 15 years. The countries from which they hail include the United States, Canada, Ghana, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. Fifteen of the students in the class have master's degrees in fields such as engineering, public health, biotechnology and social work. Those who did not previously pursue post-graduate studies have bachelor's degrees in areas that include psychology, sociology, biology, nursing, physics and computer science.

Among the universities they attended are Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Northwestern, Oxford, the London School of Economics and Johns Hopkins University.

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