Recently The Wharton School hosted a summit that brought together the outgoing and incoming student government leaders at seven of the United States’ top business schools. Called the MBA Peer School Forum, the summit brought together representatives from Chicago Booth, Columbia, Kellogg, Harvard, MIT Sloan, Stanford and Wharton, and is dedicated to fostering cooperation among the student bodies of these elite programs.
While the event is not completely new (it follows in the footsteps of the Seven School Forum, hosted by Kellogg last year), the MBA Peer School Forum marks the beginning of more formal collaboration between the student government at these schools. Over three days, the Forum representatives discussed a wide variety of topics, including academics, alumni relations, career prospects for grads, alumni relations, and diversity issues in management training.
Its good to see that the administrations at these schools are also showing support for this effort. According to The Wharton Journal, Wharton Dean Thomas Robertson had this to say about the renewed effort to collaborate:
The best ideas are most effective when they are shared widely, and that is why this Forum is such a worthy development. In collaborating across student bodies you are building a mission for MBA students nationwide and an important professional community for the next generation of business leaders and innovators. This is an endeavor I will be following with great interest, as I know all my fellow deans will.
We love the idea, and we hope it sticks. It will be interesting to see see if it has staying power as student bodies (and governments) turn over, job hunting and classes take over, etc. We think it will, but it will take some effort on the part of the incoming leaders to make that happen. Also, the impulse for many of these student leaders will be to put their own stamp on the event year after year… For their sake, we hope they can keep things fairly consistent in the name of getting things done. If they do, the potential for cross-pollination of ideas (and actual implementation of those ideas) is terrific.
If you would like to see photos from the event, you can see some on Flickr.
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