Kelley’s Feedback: What Elon Musk Does not Perceive About MBAs

Tesla founder Elon Musk would not like MBAs a lot

Seek for Elon Musk’s “MBA-ization of Company America”. Right here you may discover an amazing variety of articles concerning his stance on the (lack of) worth of an MBA. Particularly, he argues that an MBA teaches college students to create spreadsheets and displays for board conferences. Nevertheless, they don’t put together college students to excel in product innovation or buyer satisfaction initiatives.

With just one semester in my Kelley MBA journey, I will not attempt to disguise my bias for the worth of an MBA. Creating spreadsheets linked to a number of tabs or meticulously designed, formatted and animated displays is a part of being an MBA scholar. However these abilities are solely desk stakes. Because of this I needed to share my expertise in case you’ll be able to see how product innovation and innovation within the buyer mindset is the specific emphasis of an MBA.


Cait Hickey, Indiana College (Kelley)

I’ve taken programs corresponding to New Product Growth, Design Dash, Enterprise Technique, and Enterprise Innovation. Every class challenged us to conceptualize, check and iterate merchandise and companies. For instance, as a part of new product improvement, my workforce conceptualized an athleisure model extension for Allbirds. The undertaking included market measurement, pricing modeling and model positioning. However probably the most rewarding a part of the undertaking is that, a couple of weeks after the semester ended, Allbirds really launched a sequence of fundamentals that mimicked our undertaking.

An MBA doesn’t present college students with all the proper solutions. It is really the other in that you simply study to ask higher questions: What’s the buyer speaking via buy knowledge or the voice of buyer analytics? What does this buyer journey map seem like and the way can we create more practical touchpoints? What are you able to add, subtract, or incrementally change a present product to make it exponentially extra environment friendly? How can we expect with a workforce to essentially obtain our objective?

For this final query, group work is an important a part of any MBA program. However innovation can usually be clouded by group pondering, charismatic persuasion, and a desire for cohesion. That is why one in all my favourite programs was Creating and Producing New Enterprise Concepts – a course for studying and designing Design Sprints. I used to be lucky sufficient to have the ability to put this course into apply instantly by taking part in a Dash representing the coed physique. For per week, I labored with this system workplace, profession steering providers and the school to design and develop methods to additional enhance Kelley’s MBA program, with outcomes that had been applied this college yr.


MBA graduates are anticipated to have the construction and class of a administration advisor, the worldwide mindset of vacationers from all around the world, and the management abilities of the leaders of the next. In case you are questioning tips on how to finest develop the talents to be your most revolutionary self, ask your self: is it extra helpful to remain in my present position or an analogous position or to make an uncomfortable and unfamiliar change? For me, that reply was an MBA. The outcome was two years to synthesize all of the concepts and ideas realized from a various group of individuals: publicity to range of ideas elevates a way of curiosity and inclusion. These abilities are instantly relevant to understanding and delivering the services and products that finest meet buyer wants in a world the place revolutionary and truthful outcomes are extra vital than ever.

Previous to attending Kelley, I could have endorsed Elon Musk’s name for Company America’s de-MBA-ization. However my expertise has proven me that the shopper is the supply of each classroom dialogue and that product innovation is critical for any post-MBA place. However if you happen to ever want a spreadsheet system or presentation design assist, go discover your nearest MBA buddy!

DON’T MISS: Kelley’s feedback: by no means return to ‘regular’

Cait Hickey is in her second yr on the Kelley College of Enterprise at Indiana College. Previous to becoming a member of Kelley, Cait had 5 years of expertise in excessive progress start-ups, most not too long ago in a well being intelligence software program firm the place she managed strategic partnerships. She research innovation and company advertising and is vice chairman of promoting and communication for the coed physique, Hoosier Host, and analysis assistant for the administration and technique division. This summer season, Cait did an internship at Humana. Working with the digital transformation program administration workforce, she supported each change and product administration workflows. Outdoors of college, she enjoys biking the B line, working and learning at HopScotch, and planning her subsequent journey.

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