What is the impact of coronavirus on business schools? We bring you the latest updates including campus closures, changes to MBA admission requirements, and more

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GMAT Testing Updates | Coronavirus

2020 MBA Application Deadlines

GMAT Test Centers Reopen & B-School Coronavirus Stories

Midweek Roundup

Latest GMAT testing updates 

As governments continue to enforce lockdowns and social distancing measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic, the epicenter of the crisis has shifted away from Asia, through Europe, and now to South America.

Consequently, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner and administrator of the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), has closed test centers and suspended test taking in locations around the world. 

In much of Latin America, testing is now suspended through June. In Europe however, testing has resumed with test centers reopening in much of France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. In the US, testing is suspended in most test centers. 

Check GMAC's US Testing Center updates page for up-to-date information.

See the latest worldwide GMAT testing updates

GMAC has also launched the GMAT Online Exam as a temporary at-home testing solution.

Detailed Updates: GMAT test centers reopen in India

Bangalore – Testing resumed

Bahopal – Testing resumed

Bhubaneswar– Testing suspended through June 17

Chennai - Testing suspended through June 1

Cochin -Testing suspended through June 1

Dehradun - Testing suspended through June 1

Gujarat -Testing resumed

Gurugram - Testing suspended through June 1

Guwahati - Testing suspended through May 21

Indore - Testing suspended through June 16

Jaipur - Testing resumed

Kolkata -Alile Technologies & Solutions - Testing resumed

Kolkata - Brainware University - Testing suspended through May 31

Lalitpur - Testing suspended through June 3

Lucknow - Testing suspended through June 6

Manipal - Testing resumed

Mumbai - Testing resumed

Mysore - Testing suspended through July 31

Nagpur - Testing resumed

Patiala - Testing suspended through July 1

Pilani - Testing suspended through May 24

Pune - Testing suspended through June 1

Raipur - Testing suspended through May 31

Ranchi - Testing suspended through June 1

Sura - Testing suspended through May 23

Tiruchirappalli - Testing suspended through June 1

Vellore - Testing suspended through June 1

Vijaywada - Testing suspended through May 25

Visakhapatnam - Testing suspended through May 20

Check out the latest GMAT testing updates

Value of an MBA in 2020

Financial insecurity and job uncertainty lies ahead, even after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed its peak and lockdown has been lifted. Many will question the considerable investment of an MBA or Master's degree, but could now actually be a good time to apply for business school?

We interviewed several graduates from around the time of the last financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 and asked: What is the value of an MBA in a crisis?

REPEAT: The Cambridge MBA is NOT going fully-online

Read: Why Online Learning is good news for MiM students

Georgia State Introduces South’s ‘Most Advanced’ Education Platform

Students in select programs at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business will be able to complete their courses through Robinson Anywhere, a digital teaching facility that provides high-quality remote access to Robinson’s graduate programs, beginning in the fall.

The centerpiece of the college’s new virtual capability is its Digital Board Room powered by mashme.io technology, a learning platform comprising 27 high-definition (HD) video screens, HD robotic cameras that follow instructors around the room and technology that generates augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, student polling, virtual breakout rooms and digital whiteboards. 

Robinson is the first school in the South and the third in the US with a classroom incorporating mashme.io technology, which the school says is the most advanced platform out there, following Colorado State University’s College of Business and New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Read: MBA life under lockdown

3 Supply Chain Lessons From The Coronavirus Crisis

For the past few months, supply chains around the world have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.

Protective equipment, testing kits, and even basic food goods have been in short supply as panic-buying and social distancing policies have kicked in.

For Marianne Jahre, logistics professor and associate dean for the MSc in Business at BI Norwegian Business School, the crisis has raised some important questions about how supply chains can be made more robust.

She says business schools are well-placed to equip future leaders with the insights they need to make this happen. 

“Schools need to understand that we have a big role to play in helping society develop more resilience and better preparedness.” 

To help students do just this, Marianne is developing a new course in crisis management, so MSc in Business students graduate with a better understanding of how to manage future disruptions.

Here’s three supply chain management lessons from the coronavirus pandemic:

1. Build in redundancy

In the past few years, supply chains have become increasingly lean, says Marianne. Although these systems cut costs, they leave little room for error when disaster strikes.

“In the complete lockdown that’s happening now, one thing to learn is that we need more redundancy built into the supply chain,” Marianne explains. “They need to make those trade-offs between cost and preparedness.”

One way to build this redundancy is to stockpile supplies in strategic locations. Since we can’t predict where goods might be needed in an emergency, however, this method does have its limitations.

It’s impossible to “prepare yourself out of the problem,” Marianne warns, as new challenges arise all the time. Along with strategic stockpiling, she advises, companies could improve their emergency response by training staff in how to handle such situations.

One sector to have done this well in the past is Norway’s oil industry. 

“They have always been scrutinized when it comes to security management, and are required to have an emergency system,” Marianne explains.  

Other industries could follow this example, and build their own emergency response strategies in advance. 

2. Create flexible supply chains

As well as creating redundancies, supply chains must become more flexible to deal with future crises, Marianne believes.

One way to do this is to work with multiple suppliers, and build emergency response agreements with each of them. 

“Collaborating with your suppliers is important,” says Marianne. “You can build framework agreements with them than when something significant happens you can access more supplies.”

Transparency is crucial to this collaboration, she adds. Without familiarity of your entire supply chain, pinpointing and resolving issues can be tricky and time consuming.

“If something happens upstream, it could take months to get that information,” Marrianne explains.

Transportation methods, too, must be flexible if supply chains are to remain strong in a crisis. As coronavirus prevents many freight flights, for instance, companies have had to act fast to find other solutions. 

“If one [transport method] breaks down, you need to have your system set up so you can easily shift,” Marianne explains. 

Preparing to make this shift more quickly will help organizations better deal with disruptions in the future.

3. Think cross-functionally

Improved communication within an organization could equally help to build better preparedness.

Many corporations have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm, for instance, which tackles humanitarian crises. If these organizations looked to their CSR component as an example, it could help them develop their own disaster strategies, Marianne believes.

“I think that if these big logistics service providers, who have a whole roster of people in CSR, take those learnings into their normal business right now, they might have a big advantage,” she explains. 

Communication between different areas of the supply chain is equally important when it comes to building a robust system.

“We need to have good cooperation along the supply chain, so it’s easy to talk to suppliers and come up with innovative solutions,” Marianne adds.

This cross-functional communication is fostered by programs like the MSc in Business at BI. On the new crisis management course, students learn about the subject in a cross-disciplinary environment.

The course covers aspects of crisis management from communication, to organizational behavior, to supply chain research, to leadership. At the end of the course, participants select a real world research question related to the coronavirus pandemic, and put this knowledge to use in crafting their response. 

These lessons not only prepare companies for large-scale crises, but can also shed light on day-to-day issues.

“If you can tackle these big disruptions better, you are also better able to tackle small disruptions, which are much more common and can be costly,” Marianne concludes. 

Wharton, Columbia, LBS To Reopen Business School Campuses By September

End of week roundup:

Top business schools plan campus re-openings

US business schools:

Wharton, UC-Berkeley Haas, and UCLA Anderson are among a number of US schools planning to re-open their campuses in August and September this year. Classes will be held in a hybrid format—a blend of on-campus and online learning. 

Incoming MBA student can plan to join the student community on-campus this year although what that MBA experience will look like still remains to be seen.

UK business schools:

Cambridge Judge 

While reports claimed Cambridge University was set to move all face-to-face lectures online for the full 2020-21 academic year, this plan doesn’t extend to students at Cambridge Judge Business School. A statement from the school reads:

We are making plans to offer smaller classes with appropriate physical distancing, blended with online learning, in order to safeguard wellbeing. This blended approach will provide the flexibility to adjust our approach as the academic year progresses and according to the evolving context of the global pandemic.

London Business School

London Business School this week announced that it plans to open its campus on September 7. The school will first run online classes before moving to a hybrid model of teaching two weeks later on September 21.

Warwick Business School

Warwick is planning to start teaching as initially intended, with classes expected to start in the week of October 5 2020. This will be done through a blend of face-to-face and online learning, following an induction period for new students.

MBA application latest

Harvard releases new MBA application deadlines

Harvard Business School has announced a round one deadline of September 8 to apply for its Class of 2023. The second and final deadline at HBS is January 5th. For candidates who apply by the R1 deadline, Harvard is guaranteeing a final decision by December 10th for applicants who gain an admissions interview. For those who meet the R2 deadline, decisions are released on March 30. 

Harvard is typically the first school to release MBA application deadlines. In fact, many schools are still recruiting for the 2020 intake. Check out our list of 2020 MBA application deadlines, extended by coronavirus:

2020 mba application deadlines

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