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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Impacting MBA Students

From robo-teachers to dealing with job displacement, artificial intelligence is set to affect waves of MBA students

Tue Dec 3 2019

Autonomous vehicles, autonomous weapons, autonomous home appliances. And that’s just a drop in the ocean. Artificial intelligence has gone beyond science fiction in recent years and will revolutionize the way we live our lives.

Business is being affected left, right, and center. 54% of executives say artificial intelligence tools have boosted their company’s productivity. Add to that the projected 40% increase in labor productivity from AI use, and the 61% of business professionals who say machine learning and artificial intelligence are their organization’s most significant data initiative. 

Artificial intelligence is creeping into the everyday life of today’s MBA student too, and sometimes in surprising ways. 

Here are five ways artificial intelligence is impacting MBA students:

1. Robo-teachers 

Business education has so far avoided the massive digital disruption witnessed in other industries like media: the MBA is still largely campus based. But technology is changing how students learn. 

One example is AI tutors. London’s Imperial College Business School uses an AI chatbot that answers students’ questions more quickly than human professors can. Georgia Tech uses a robot that assists teaching entire computer science classes. 

“AI’s ability to analyze large amounts of data in real-time helps to meet MBA students' need for continual, targeted practice and personalized feedback,” says Margherita Pagani, director of the research center on Artificial Intelligence in Value Creation at Emlyon Business School in France. 

“It also allows professors to better understand student performance and orchestrate more effective personalized learning plans.” 

2. Student recruitment 

Artificial intelligence could also be used to recruit students, according to Steve Muylle, academic director of the Online MBA at Belgium’s Vlerick Business School. He says an AI could be trained through listening to recordings of phone calls and interviews with students who have consented. 

It could then evaluate an MBA applicant’s speaking patterns and even facial expressions, to gauge how positively they are responding to human recruitment officers, and their genuine interest in the course. 

An AI could also reach out to potential applicants on social media based on search data, Steve says.   

3. Marketing 

AI is on the MBA syllabus too, with business schools providing plenty of fascinating use cases for students. 

Alain Goudey, chief digital officer at France’s NEOMA Business School, says AI has promising applications in marketing—it can be used to adapt the content of a digital screen to the customer. KFC and Baidu, for instance, have a menu that adapts based on an AI’s estimation of a customer’s age and gender. 

But this highlights obvious ethical implications. Artificial intelligence can, for example, potentially determine a person’s sexual orientation based on a picture of their face. Just because you can use AI for something, it doesn’t mean you should. 

“It’s important to make MBA students familiar with AI, as the technology is perfectible, and it’s easy to make the algorithm wrong,” says Alain. “Companies need managers with a critical analysis of where AI creates value, and how to ensure an algorithm is ethical.”  

4. Job displacement 

One of the biggest ethical dilemmas future business leaders will face with AI is the automation of jobs. 

AI-powered drones, for example, are replanting millions of trees in Myanmar, helping the environment. has a factory of robots that organize, pick, and ship 200,000 orders a day. It’s manned by only four humans. 

“AI-powered robots can do many physical tasks faster, more safely, and more reliably than humans can,” says Stephen Thomas, an assistant professor at the Smith School of Business in Canada, adding that managers should “automate boring and repetitious tasks to robots”. 

5. Career matchmaking 

Many people think robots will displace swathes of workers, but AI could in fact help them land jobs. That’s according to Steve at Vlerick. 

He says that, by gathering data from MBA alumni on their career paths, aspirations, and current employers, AI can identify the skills current students will need to succeed in their careers. 

AI can also direct MBA alumni to tailored, personalized learning programs by business schools. It could also connect them with employers, matching skillset and skill needs. 

Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano has pioneered this approach in business school with an AI search engine called Flexa that it developed with Microsoft. 

AI can also be used to help get people through the recruitment process. AI can analyze how a CV is written, how someone is presenting themselves with a video, and provide feedback. 

From AI-powered drones in Myanmar to robo-teachers in business school, there are plenty of surprising AI applications that can help MBA students. 

Student Reviews

emlyon business school




On Campus

Intense courses, helpful professors

I am an international student in my 3rd year and I love going to this school and do not regret chosing it for my BBA. The classes are helpful, professors are always there to help as well and we have a very understanding administration.




On Campus

Leadership in an amazing city

I decided to do my exchange in Emlyon because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and I found a space with very capable People.. participatory, empathetic and full of leadership. I will never forget Lyon, apart from giving me an unforgettable experience, he gave me great friends




On Campus

A lot of opportunities professionally and socially. A unique program in France.

You can choose your courses and do your internship, exchange whenever you want. It's flexible and adapted to the needs of each student. A great program and a great city! Professionally, it opens a lot of doors for you to find internships or jobs in France or abroad thanks to the network and career events.




MSc in Digital Marketing

Combining both worlds into one, this course gave me all the on-demand technical skills in data science while maintaining a business-oriented approach. Thanks to the strong academic profile of this university I was able to secure an internship and full-time job at Amazon.




Top Business School fostering innovative entrepreneurs

EMLyon is one of the best business schools. The campuses, associations and courses offered provide the students with the best options to build the future they have chosen. The various opportunities to study and work abroad also offer a deeper understanding of the world, not only economy-wise but social, which helps the student become as well a better individual and not only a pre-formated business school student.




Emlyon campus in Paris

It has a great international community and you have access to many international tools, courses and professors. I had many networking events and workshops for students. Campus and some details of the program could have been improved or need to be bigger in order to have a better student life.




On Campus


Overall good content and good activities. Lack of administration but still ok. Good flexibility and liberty offered to the students. Finally, the amount of internship is also a good way to improve qualifications.




Good Reputation and International Business School

The course was not well adapted but it was up to the mark. The professors are very well experienced and their experience comes in handy while working on assignments. The facilities on the campus are top class. Truly professional. I really like spending time in the learning hub and using all the available resources. Lyon is an amazing city. You will never get bored.




On Campus

MSc International Hospitality Management

The best educational experience of my life so far! It’s been full of exposure and great connections. From Lyon to London, Paris, Los Angeles and Las Vegas! Truly an exceptional way to discover the world of hospitality.




On Campus

Real networking opportunities

- meeting new people, specially professionals during seminars or evening meeting at school. - going abroad to study luxury - being involved as an ambassador to promote the school and the program I was into (MSc LMM) - having such a great professional core




On Campus

white baccalaureate in the world of work

I really appreciated the MS SDAI as a whole. The teaching staff, the different subjects, the university exchange, TEM... I started my internship in a consulting firm having acquired a solid foundation. Downside for CentraleSupélec, which I found far too academic for a program such as this.