ELSPETH Bentley has been appointed as the Director of the Graduate School of Business' MBA programme as of January next year, and as tentative as she may be about taking charge of the School's â€œflagshipâ€ attraction, she also hopes to bring a fresh new twist to it.
After nearly four years as Director of the Administration in Management (AIM) programme, Bentley was considering leaving the GSB, but was approached by both the current MBA Director, Professor Thomas Koelble, and GSB Director, Professor Nick Segal, to bring her special touch to the MBA. After some deliberation, Bentley accepted the offer.
Part of the appeal of the MBA job – jitters notwithstanding – was the chance to give the programme a new face, she notes.
â€œOne of the things the School wants me to do is review the curriculum, and that excites me. I think we need to look at what is appropriate for an MBA programme in terms of today's world, at what makes an MBA graduate employable, keeping in mind that it's an international MBA in Africa.â€
Working with a curriculum review team that she will set up, Bentley hopes to introduce some important changes to the MBA come 2004. A more integrative approach to its courses and a focus on â€œfuture businessâ€ are some of the modifications she has in mind.
She does, however, intend to consult widely about these changes, Bentley points out. â€œIt's important that the MBA curriculum doesn't end up just with my label on it, but that it's something that all stakeholders have contributed to.â€
But won't she miss AIM? â€œYes. Definitely. But AIM needs new ideas, fresh inspiration,â€ she says modestly.
â€œBut it also gives me a sense of achievement that the applicants for the AIM directorship are very strong, and that people with serious academic and work backgrounds are interested in the post.â€