You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / March / 'First Friday Think Tank' Provides EMBA Students Forum to Share Business Ideas

'First Friday Think Tank' Provides EMBA Students Forum to Share Business Ideas

A new initiative in the Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA Program provides students the opportunity to draw on their classmates’ talent and expertise in a student-led forum to develop entrepreneurial ideas and business strategies.
March 25, 2013

A new initiative in the Penn State Smeal College of Business Executive MBA Program provides students the opportunity to draw on their classmates’ talent and expertise in a student-led forum to develop entrepreneurial ideas and business strategies.

At the First Friday Think Tank forums, students present their ideas for new business concepts, product development, entrepreneurial ventures, and workplace innovations. Then, in a collaborative discussion, their classmates apply their unique skills and perspectives to analyze the opportunities and challenges and develop possible solutions.

“This is a fairly unique opportunity among EMBA programs,” said Gwen Cohen, associate director of the Smeal EMBA Program. “EMBA students come to the program with a vast range of expertise, and Think Tank forums provide students with an additional way to benefit from all that expertise and learn from each other.”

Ben Rice is an EMBA student who has participated in the Think Tanks since they began in January. At a recent forum, he presented an idea to expand his family’s apple business.

“I think the most significant value for me is the opportunity to apply classroom concepts in a live environment while still feeling like I’m in the safety of a learning context—and am allowed to make a mistake or two,” said Rice.

Students in the EMBA Program come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professional experiences, so both presenters and panelists benefit from the collaborative exchange of ideas.

“It’s easy to daydream about the power of an idea, but when you put it forward to a group of very smart people who have a lot of experience in business, they start teasing out the nuts and bolts of building that idea into something real,” Rice said. “It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from my classmates.”

About the Penn State Executive MBA Program
Launched in 2001, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program is a 21-month program designed for working professionals with classes held on alternating weekends at the ACE Conference Center in suburban Philadelphia. The program features personalized executive coaching, intensive communication training, a weeklong international residency experience, and coursework focused on the unique challenges of the students’ firms. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/execmba.

Filed under:
Recent News
Management and Organization's Gioia Reflects on GM Crisis 11 Jul

When GM began recalling vehicles in February because of an ignition-switch problem, the situation brought back early career memories for Denny Gioia. Currently, the Robert and Judith Klein Professor of Management and chair of the Department of Management and Organization at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, Gioia once worked as recall coordinator for Ford Motor Company.

Inaugural Executive MBA Leadership Forum Addresses Issues in Health Care 09 Jul

Early last month, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program hosted its inaugural Senior Leadership Forum, an opportunity for current and prospective students as well as program alumni to come together to discuss business and leadership.

Ghadar's Recent Book on Immigration's Benefits Garners Media Attention 08 Jul

Becoming American: Why Immigration is Good for Our Nation’s Future, authored by Penn State Smeal College of Business’ William A. Schreyer Professor of Global Management, Policies, and Planning Fariborz Ghadar, has garnered much media attention since its release in March of this year.

Smeal's Lilien, ISBM Cofounder, Earns Lifetime Achievement Award from AMA 03 Jul

Gary L. Lilien, distinguished research professor of management science at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has earned the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Marketing Association (AMA) Interorganizational Special Interest Group (IOSIG) for his more than 40 years of high-level scholarship in business-to-business marketing.

Smeal's Terrence Guay Authors Textbook on European Business Environment 02 Jul

Cambridge University Press has just released a new textbook, The Business Environment of Europe, written by Penn State Smeal College of Business’ Terrence R. Guay, clinical professor of international business.

More Recent News... More Recent News...