Q&A with VIP Guest Mary C. Gentile

Don’t miss Mary leading a discussion on fostering ethical leadership on 10/1 at 6 p.m. EST.

Mary C. Gentile—Director of Giving Voice To Values, Babson College—talks with the Jam Team:

How would you describe industry/academia relationships today? How do you hope to describe them in five years?

There is a lot of room and need for more collaboration. Too often the realities and demands of faculty publishing requirements can lead to research that is not presented in ways that are most accessible to practitioners and in the failure to focus on questions that are perhaps more difficult to research but also more critical for businesses to function effectively. I would hope that there will be opportunities for more productive interaction.

What are the three most important things institutions must do in order to remain relevant to industry—both now and well into the future?
  1. Define research topics that address important real problems, not simply intellectual fads.
  2. Develop methodologies for cross-functional integration in the curriculum, including, and especially around, preparing graduates to effectively enact values-driven leadership.
  3. Reward faculty for creativity and relevance in their teaching.
What is the one piece of advice you would give students as they pursue business education?

Consider a historical perspective on business and its impact on wider society—both for good and for ill. Allow yourself to take a wider perspective in some of your coursework.

It is critical to gain skills but your business education is also a valuable opportunity to think more broadly and to feed a deeper vision for your own professional impact.

What do you think the most exciting thing about the Business Education Jam is/will be?

I want to hear what practitioners are saying about what they really need from new business graduate hires; and I am eager to hear what students are satisfied—and dissatisfied—with in business education.