Rajendra Shirolé

UConn Full-time MBA Program Relocates to Hartford

GBLC HartfordThe School of Business has relocated its Full-time MBA program to Hartford, a move that will give students more professional opportunities as well as the chance to learn alongside other UConn graduate students.

“We are thrilled that the UConn Full-time MBA will be part of the Hartford business community, allowing for the program to continue its tradition of providing excellence in graduate education,” said Rajendra Shirolé, director of UConn’s Full-time MBA program.

In the past, the students took their first-year courses in Storrs and completed the program in Hartford and sometimes Stamford. The dual campus set-up wasn’t popular with MBA students.

“The biggest reason for the move is to put first- and second-year students together,” said Professor Mary Caravella, who chaired a task force that recommended the consolidation.

“We chose Hartford because we wanted to put them together with students from the part-time and specialized masters’ degree programs. By working together, on the same campus, it gives them all the means to be successful.

“Both Storrs and Hartford are great locations, each with many strengths,” Caravella said. “But Hartford offers both close and broader connections with the business industry, and will certainly help our students with job placement.”

The program will be housed in the Graduate Business Learning Center in downtown Hartford, and its new offices can be reached at (860) 728-2440.

“This is a positive move on multiple fronts, including networking among all graduate business students and also engaging with alumni and employers in the Hartford area,” said Meg Warren, assistant director of the Graduate Career Development Office (CDO). “Our students are excited about it. There’s now an opportunity for the Full-time MBAs to network with professional students in the Executive and Part-time MBA programs as well as the MS in Business Analytics and Project Management and MS in Financial Risk Management programs.

Warren has met with representatives from Cigna, Aetna, Prudential and more, and all are pleased that the Full-time MBA program will be housed so close to their workplaces. In addition to hosting corporate information sessions and interviews in Hartford, the CDO and MBA Program Office work closely with the School of Business Alumni Relations Office which offers a number of alumni networking events running from August through March. Warren said, “Having the Full-time MBA Program in Hartford makes it much easier for students to attend these important programs where they can connect with alumni from target companies they want to learn more about. Building relationships with our School’s alumni is a vital part of our program.”

Alumni and other executives can visit for coffee, lunch, or for more structured programs in the evenings that will interest all graduate business students. Meanwhile the Full-time MBA students can easily go on corporate site visits from the downtown campus. “Overall, the employer’s ability to engage with our students has just become a lot easier. Storrs may only be a forty-minute drive, but it’s much easier for a hiring manager or an alum to have morning coffee before the workday begins or come by the GBLC for their lunch hour than it is to ask them to take a half-day from work to venture out to Storrs,” Warren said.

“From the moment they arrive, we tell our students that networking is critical for an effective job search. Students must start having conversations with people from industry or job functions that interest them,” Warren said. “This is necessary as 75-80% of jobs are filled as a result of networking. Being in Hartford allows us to offer more built-in opportunities for student and employer engagement.”

With the arrival of the new academic year, the School of Business is hosting an Alumni and Student Networking Reception at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Society Room of Hartford, 31 Pratt Street. Melinda Brown, ’77, ’85 MBA, senior vice president and corporate controller for Coach Inc. will be the guest speaker. Brown joined Coach Inc. in 2012, after a 29-year career with PepsiCo.


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Making Sure Global Brigades Does Well, So It Can Continue to Do Good

UConn MBAs Provide Operational Guidance to the World’s Largest Student-Led Social Responsibility Movement.

When you’re the world’s largest global health and sustainable development organization empowered by student volunteers, challenges arise. Fortunately, the UConn MBA program excels at approaching these types of challenges as opportunities for experiential learning, business process improvement, and making a positive impact.

The UConn MBA Case Challenge gives students the opportunity to strengthen their strategic decision-making skills as managers, understand and reflect the interplay between organizations and their environment in the formulation and implementation of strategies, and learn how an organization integrates strategic management with its operational functions.

For 2014, the Case Challenge focus was on non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). Invariably excluded from the mainstream world of corporate diaspora, NGOs are increasingly playing a vital role in providing support to communities which otherwise remain neglected and unable to sustain themselves due to the lack of access to basic necessities to engage in business or care.

Global Brigades has mobilized almost 30,000 graduate, undergraduate students and professionals through nine skill-based programs that work in partnership with community members to improve quality of life in under-resourced regions of Africa and Central America. The task for UConn MBA teams was to think through some of the implications of the complexity Global Brigades endures in its operational space and to review the following:

  • Recommendations on improving the Global Brigades model in a framework of their mission, considering both financial and humanitarian objectives.
  • Recommendations on strategic management of Global Brigades and potential growth and expansion tactics.


The winning team, Jaimin Bhatt ’15 MBAXiaoying Gan ’15 MBAAshish Kumar ’15 MBA, and Carlo Rivieccio ’15 MBA, presented Global Brigades with recommendations for segmenting its services into three distinct categories based on its core competencies, creating a stronger value proposition for donors, and diversifying income and investments.

“Our client representatives [Tanya Svidler, director of impact investing for Global Brigades, and Cole Hoover, director of the Global Brigades Institute] were very impressed with the quality of students’ presentations and recommendations,” said Rajendra Shirolé, MBA program director.

The Case Challenge is a program requirement for UConn MBAs. “In this exercise we were able to bring together all our newly learned academic knowledge and combine it with our practical experiences in order to deliver valuable recommendations to Global Brigades. I hope that we can continue to participate in such experiential activities as they solidify class learning,” said Kumar.

Bhatt added, “This was really a very exceptional experience.”

Rajendra S. Shirolé Appointed New Director for the UConn Full-time MBA Program

After a global search we are pleased to announce that Rajendra Shirolé will be joining UConn on July 1, 2013 as the Director of the Full-time MBA Program. Rajendra has most recently been Director of the Kent MBA Program at the Kent Business School in Canterbury, UK.

In his Kent MBA Director role, which he has held since 2008, Rajendra has instituted innovative opportunities in cross-cultural research, teaching and learning, including ‘live’ case studies and engagement in corporate consulting for MBA students. He designed a policy and practice focused study program supported by EU based policy makers and global corporations including HSBC, Delphi, Cummins and Schlumberger. He passionately believes that MBA program content should facilitate learning in a creative environment focused on a global perspective, grounded in practical application, embedded with an approach to management decision making which incorporates issues such as managing resource scarcity and sustainability.

Rajendra’s career has spanned academia and industry in multiple disciplines, including management, software development, infrastructure design and international service delivery. His research interests are in IT outsourcing and he is currently working on a research project entitled, “The emerging role of hinterland networks in IT outsourcing service delivery – a vendor perspective.” Recently he has completed a highly commended project for the Kent County Council exploring the effective use of mobile technologies in remote working. As a consultant he has worked with global organizations in facilitating partner relationships and post-merger integration support. He has also directed substantial infrastructure projects in Eastern Europe, financed by the European Union. He has also been a visiting professor in corporate strategy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Rajendra is looking forward to leading the UConn MBA Program and working with colleagues to engage students to be dynamic, creative problem solvers and supporting them to find efficient ways of turning complex challenges into robust opportunities for sustainable competitive advantage. His experience and perspective will be a substantial asset to us as we evaluate and move forward on changes to our MBA Program.

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