This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse

4 December 2007 at 10:05 am 4 comments

| Peter Klein |

The University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business now requires prospective students to submit a PowerPoint presentation as part of their applications (via Cliff). “We wanted to have a freeform space for students to be able to say what they think is important, not always having the school run that dialogue,” says Rose Martinelli, associate dean for student recruitment and admissions. “To me this is just four pieces of blank paper. You do what you want. It can be a presentation. It can be poetry. It can be anything.” I suppose requiring a written essay, in English prose and following conventional rules of grammar and style, would be unduly confining.

According to Dean Martinelli, as reported in the Washington Post, students “won’t be judged on the quality of their slides. Rather the slides are an outlet for judging the kind of creativity the business world needs.” Adds second-year MBA student Michael Avidan: “If there’s one foundation of business, it’s innovation, and this is your chance to elevate yourself and show you can do something innovative.” Huh?

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Education.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Jaminet  |  4 December 2007 at 10:44 am

    Heh. The newest thing in venture capital — funding for innovative PowerPoint slides.

    This suggests exploring the difference between innovation and creativity. I propose to start: Innovations are of interest to other people besides the creator.

    This also makes me wonder if business schools may not be too socially atomized in their selection and teaching processes to effectively teach students about the highly sociable character of the business world.

  • 2. The Graduate School of Power Point at Jacob Christensen  |  4 December 2007 at 11:47 am

    […] Organizations and Markets: …at one of the world’s top business schools, such slide shows are now an entrance […]

  • 3. Twofish  |  4 December 2007 at 4:47 pm

    That’s really awful since it focuses creativity on the wrong things. The form shouldn’t be creative, and emphasize creativity in form detracts from creativity in substance.

  • 4. Kevin Feasel  |  4 December 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Don’t forget that Chicago was also the home of Leo Strauss, so you have to ask what the person really meant when he said that.

    My guess: replace “innovation” and “innovative” with “BS” and you get the real meaning of the quotation…

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