alums bring leadership to public schools
The Broad Foundation, through its Broad Residency initiative, taps top MBAs
to participate in an elite, two-year intensive development program that gives
these business leaders the immediate chance to assume managerial positions
in urban public schools.
accepts fewer than 5 percent of applicants to the residency
program, yet selected three recent Kellogg School alums
for the 2003 term. Laura Smith, Albert Hwang and Jed Wallace,
all ’02, spoke with Kellogg World about
their passion for education.
World: Why have you chosen to use your MBA degrees to advance
Hwang: An educated workforce is critical to an organization’s
success. A company that has to manage its business, and
also teach its employees basic literacy, math and problem-solving,
is asking a lot of its leadership. My goal is to instill
strong business management skills within school districts.
Historically, district employees utilized a “scattergun” approach,
throwing things against the wall and hoping they stick.
We can’t afford to rely on hope while wasting our
Smith: In a mature bureaucratic organization, it’s
difficult to untangle the existing systems that have evolved,
often in response to short-term priorities. Kellogg taught
me the questions I should be asking to understand not only
the problem, but also the possible solutions. I can’t
imagine a problem more important for our society to fix
than public education.
KW: What are the most pressing challenges for education today?
Smith: Large urban districts are failing as educators struggle
to reverse the widening achievement gap between different
student populations. I’m hopeful because a new generation
of leaders is dedicating themselves to reform that builds
accountability into these ailing systems and helps educators
monitor their progress.
Hwang: The challenge is getting these educational
institutions to manage their organizations more efficiently.
know how and they don’t have any incentive to change.
Until the incentive system is changed, education will continue
struggling to consistently recruit and retain talented,
Wallace: Many urban school districts have few managers
with formal business training. At the same time, many of
our top business schools fail to see how the expertise
they offer can make a difference within the schools. Fortunately,
forward-thinking schools such as Kellogg are forging important
relationships that transfer managerial expertise to education.
Broad Foundation looks to expand its residency program
in 2004. Interested MBAs may visit www.broadresidency.org for more details.