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MIT Sloan School of Management welcomes inaugural Asia School of Business class to Cambridge campus; Students meet with former governor of Malaysia’s central bank

Month-long visit illustrates ASB’s practice-oriented approach to management and ties with MIT Sloan community


 width=CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As a part of a six-week program in the United States, the inaugural MBA class of the Asia School of Business (ASB), located in Malaysia and established in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management, is visiting the Sloan campus for one month where they will enroll in courses taught by the top-ranked School’s faculty.

The ASB students will visit companies in the Boston area and learn about MIT’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Their arrival was marked by a visit with Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the former governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, the nation’s central bank, who is Co-Chair of the ASB Board of Governors.

The ASB, which was established in 2015 through collaboration between MIT Sloan and Bank Negara Malaysia, launched its inaugural MBA program in August 2016.

The students’ visit exemplifies the ASB’s practice-oriented approach to management, which is one of the hallmarks of MIT Sloan. Through semester long Action Learning projects, students apply business management theories in a broad range of real-world organizational and institutional settings.

During the first year of its 20-month long program, the ASB students embarked on a transformative journey to Malaysia, Timor-Leste, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, India, and Mexico. They have worked on action learning projects with companies such as Citibank, Prudential, MasterCard, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, PwC, AirAsia, Morgan Stanley, Google, and Microsoft.

The entire class, accompanied by ASB faculty and staff, kicked off a six-week journey across the U.S. last month, which started with a two-week trek to explore the entrepreneurial environment in Silicon Valley, the public sector in Washington D.C. and the vibrant business scene in New York. The trek has culminated in the four weeks of intense courses at MIT Sloan, being taught by resident MIT Sloan and MIT faculty.

Charles Fine, founding President and Dean of ASB and the Chrysler LGO Professor of Management and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan, says, “Just as MIT transformed Cambridge, Massachusetts from an industrial zone into a vibrant destination for high tech, bio tech, disruptive entrepreneurship, and world-class academia, ASB aims to do the same in the region. We simply want to turbocharge the ecosystem.”

Loredana Padurean, Associate Dean at ASB, and International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan, adds, “Action Learning is at the core of the curriculum, and is the ASB’s differentiating factor. Our students spend, on average, four weeks each semester working on-site with different companies on live projects across South East Asia. They can immediately apply what they’ve learned into those businesses.”

The ASB MBA cohort is comprised of 47 talented and unconventional students from 26 industries, six continents and 13 countries: Malaysia, the U.S., Russia, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Australia, and Peru.

Commenting on the upcoming coursework at MIT Sloan, Katherine Taylor Robinson, 24, ASB MBA ’18, from New Orleans, says: “Coming here has allowed me to reflect on how my perspective has changed because of the ASB: I’m more globally-aware and introspective than ever before. I have already started applying my learning at MIT Sloan to issues such as the refugee crisis and economic development. As part of my visit to MIT Sloan, I’ve met with former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Jim Womack, the father of lean manufacturing.”

Crystal Cha, 27, ASB MBA ’18, from Malaysia, adds: “I am grateful to have had such an immersive learning experience at MIT Sloan. The visit was the turning point in my MBA journey. Different subjects such as corporate finance and entrepreneurship have started to click into place. I was also able to reflect on the early stages of my career, and see, clearly, how I could have approached situations from a different perspective.”

S.P. Kothari, the Gordon Y Billard Professor of Accounting and Finance at MIT Sloan, who has taught the ASB students and serves on the ASB Board of Governors, shares his enthusiasm and confidence in the quality of the ASB students.

“The students excelled in their enthusiasm, communication, class participation skills, and attitude. The diversity of ethnic and geo-political backgrounds is impressive. The overall intelligence and leadership potential is among the best I have seen in my 30 years of teaching MBA students in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world,” he says.

Dr. Aziz’s vision is to build a school that is Asian in focus and global in its population of students, staff, faculty, and its impact. “As Asia becomes more integrated with the rest of the world, there is increased interest for a greater understanding of AsiaÑthe economies, the businesses and the people of the region,” she says. “The establishment of the ASB is based on our conviction that the next generation of talent needs to recognize and understand the dynamics and dimensions of this phenomenon.”

The inaugural ASB student class’ arrival in Cambridge is a successful extension of the relationship between MIT Sloan and the ASB communities. These exchanges aim to increase MIT Sloan’s knowledge of ASEAN, and deepen its ties with the worldwide academic community.

“We are all excited to be part of something new,” says Ponce Ernest Samaniego, 27, ASB MBA ’18, who is from the Philippines. “Together, we are building a top business school, and a legacy. We are changing AsiaÑone of the fastest-growing and most exciting regions in the world.”

The MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at http://mitsloan.mit.edu/.

For further information, contact:
Paul Denning
Director of Media Relations

Patricia Favreau
Associate Director of Media Relations

SOURCE: MIT Sloan School of Management

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