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MBA Students Set to Study Businesses in Public Sector and to Visit Government-Affiliated Organizations in WDC

Feb. 2, 2006

Baylor's Hankamer School of Business heralded the start of the 2006 spring semester with novel initiatives carefully planned for the full-time MBA students. This semester all 43 MBA students engaging in the Focus Firm project will have the opportunity to gain exposure to businesses in the public sector while working with for-profit, not-for-profit or government-affiliated organizations. Students will also have a chance to experience the political environment first hand during a trip they all take in April to Washington D.C.

The Spring 2006 Focus Firm project involves nine teams made up of four to seven students from all three locksteps. Two teams are working with iCyt Visionary Bioscience Inc. to study intellectual property issues and the impact of bio-ethics on business. Three teams will take part in the disaster preparedness agenda of Lorena School District, formulating plans, motivating change in behavior and utilizing technology in crisis situations. A universal healthcare plan will be prepared by three other teams, whose project in aggregate form will focus on the development of a universal coverage plan, its implementation and cost management. The remaining team will take on challenges faced by the National Science Foundation in improving university-based research technology transfer process.

The attempt to address social concerns by focusing on healthcare projects, disaster plans, and IP issues is geared toward promoting social welfare. Such effort bears well with Baylor's image and with the institution's conviction of setting values to education. Issues of intellectual property, disaster preparedness, and healthcare costs have garnered increasing attention worldwide and provoked heated debates across borders, driven by their increasing impacts on citizens of the world.

According to Dr. Kayworth, associate professor of information systems, as students immerse themselves in the projects, they will be developing a skill set that is "not US centric but rather one that is transferable across culture."

The Focus Firm initiative has proven to benefit students in many levels. This semester, by adding a political dimension to the understanding of businesses, students will gain more insight in the political environment and public policy decision making process. This expansion of knowledge will help produce more well-rounded MBA candidates, who will in turn shed positive light on Baylor.

Such one-in-a-lifetime opportunity will also provide students with invaluable networking channels as acknowledged by Kevin Hutchison, a lockstep 1 student, "it appears as if the FF project will be a phenomenal opportunity to network with key decision makers and also prove an invaluable opportunity to showcase Baylor's unique student creativity."

See details about the Focus Firm project at www.baylor.edu/mba/focusfirm

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