Business school is not only about case studies and onerous calculations. It’s also about fostering creativity and entertainment in a business environment; for example, simulating what we learn in real-life situations to understand better what we study in theory. Also we tend to retain our learning for a longer period if we actually experience it as we go along!
We had this instance in MBA 8115 (Strategic Communication) where we had to pick an abstract topic and present it to class in a creative fashion. I picked Maslow’s Hierarchy. It preaches that human beings must satisfy lower level basic needs of hunger and shelter, etc., before progressing on to meet higher-level growth needs like education. Once basic needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization. My translation was very simple — you can’t study or absorb concepts if you are hungry. I needed a creative way to drive home this point.
Our class met at 4:30 pm at the Brookhaven complex, and everyone came in from work directly and barely had time to grab a bite. So, I offered each student a pack of chips and then began the presentation where we all climbed the pyramid up to self actualization. The audience actually experienced the concept in action. The idea was to use creativity and make a memorable presentation. Another student played “Where’s Waldo” with the class at the beginning of her presentation and that was a hit as well! Our professor encouraged us — she videotaped our presentations and offered good feedback.
This instance and other similar experiences at Robinson during my MBA have strengthened my belief that, while lectures and case studies are good ways to impart knowledge, encouraging use of that knowledge within the classroom leads to much better learning and retention — at least for me!