July 28, 2014

MBA Programs - Continuing Education in Florida

Florida's MBA professors are pushing the limits

Professors talk about their approaches to teaching leadership skills.

Peggy Golden
Professor and Department Chair, Management Programs
Florida Atlantic University College of Business
Courses: Executive Forum Speaker Series; Global Strategic Management

In Peggy Golden’s class, students have to be ready to ask questions — whether to CEOs such as Jim Robo of NextEra and its FPL subsidiary or to other students with whom they’re collaborating on a problem-solving exercise. They also need to know their way around YouTube. Golden likes to show videos to spark discussion. In Golden’s spring semester Executive Forum Speaker Series, students hear weekly from business leaders and entrepreneurs. That class ends with an assignment that elicits students’ insights after reading a business leader’s biography, most recently that of Steve Jobs.

In the summer or fall — either on campus or online — Golden’s courses focus on global strategy management, learning how to identify business problems.

“I try to keep all my classes very friendly,” Golden says. “Students learn better in an environment where they are not intimidated.” Golden says the material she covers is challenging. However, “my students don’t come away saying it was a hard class. I keep the content interesting and get them to hone in on problem-identification skills.”

One focus for Golden is making students aware of the biases they can bring to identifying and solving problems. Golden says her students scrutinize why companies merge, diversify or change management. “I’ll ask them hard questions about the problem and the solution.”

Course materials range from articles in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal to those YouTube videos. Golden wants her students to think innovatively about what’s coming next in various industries. She says her main goal is to impart on her students that regardless of what level of management they are in or what type of organizations — public, private, non-profit — they will confront problems that need to be identified correctly and solved.

Golden says she enjoys teaching at the graduate level because students can make the connection between classroom learning and business, which often creates great group discussions. “We have an information lock-down agreement. What happens in the classroom stays in the classroom. Nothing leaks back to an employer.”

Tags: Trendsetters, Education, Continuing Education

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