The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

January 29, 2010

GWSB Jumps in Financial Times Rankings

GWSB has moved up in the ranks of the world’s top international business programs. A new report by the Financial Times ranks the School’s international business curriculum fifth globally, up from seventh last year. And the Global MBA program leaped 28 spots to finish No. 57 worldwide.

Among U.S. business schools, the GWSB Global MBA ranked 30th. Last year, it was 48th. And the School’s research ranking improved to 60th place, up from 82nd in 2009.

“The outstanding recognition of our international programs, and our progress among international and U.S. peers in this year’s report recognizes the effect of our comprehensive, full-time global MBA curriculum, which prepares our students for business in the worldwide economy of the 21st century,” said Dean Susan M. Phillips. “Our alumni are making great strides in the corporate world, testifying to and demonstrating the value of their GW experience.”

The rankings placed GWSB ahead of such highly regarded institutions as Notre Dame, Boston University, Thunderbird, the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin.

According to the Financial Times, GW’s MBA graduates also reported strong progress in the workforce: Despite the recession, their average salary has increased 97 percent over the past three years. The Financial Times found that alumni highly recommend the School.

“I am pleased with this significant increase on the Financial Times ranking, which validates the quality of the School and the tremendous efforts of our faculty, students, alumni and staff,” said Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean of graduate programs. “The GW School of Business is on the move with much more work to accomplish.”

Tarimcilar led the panel that redesigned the Global MBA program.

To view the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2010, visit

New Web site: GWSB Students Head to the Olympics

As she has for all the Olympic Games since 1992, Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti is getting ready to accompany a group of GWSB students to the monumental sports event. The goal is to give students an invaluable behind-the-scenes look at the business of putting on the games.

For the experience at the Winter Games in Vancouver, Neirotti has added something new: a Web site tracking progress of the trip. The site will host a live video blog.

Neirotti, associate professor of sport management at GWSB, has been described by Sports Events magazine as one of the top 25 innovators and influencers in the sports industry.

For the last 18 years, Neirotti has taken students to the Games for insider meetings with Olympics Committee staff and executives, as well as corporate sponsors. Prior to the trips, the students investigate the business side of the games.

GWSB Shines in ‘Battle of the Beltway’

The first place team of the Battle of the Beltway from left to right, Jason Katz, Steven Wujek, Sarina Rubin and Erik Haug.

The George Washington School of Business grabbed first place in the inaugural “Deloitte Consulting Battle of the Beltway,’ a case competition that saw D.C.-area universities vying against one another.

The final round of the public-sector case competition took place Jan. 21-22 and involved undergraduate students from GW, American University, Georgetown University and Howard University. The teams had been culled in fall 20090 through preliminary competitions within each school. Three each from American University, The George Washington University and Georgetown University and one from Howard University advanced to the final round.

The George Washington University emerged in first place, followed by Georgetown. American University took third place.

Members of the winning team from GW included Erik Haug, a junior economics major; Jason Katz, a junior finance and international business major; Sarina Rubin a junior international business and marketing major; and Steven Wujek a junior finance major. Members of winning team will receive guaranteed first-round interviews for a summer internship with Deloitte Consulting.

How Businesses Can Respond to Haiti’s Crisis

The business community has an important role to play in reconstruction efforts following the deadly earthquakes in Haiti, according to Tim Fort, executive director of the GWSB Institute for Corporate Responsibility.

Fort, a professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, said businesses can act philanthropically, leveraging their logistics capabilities to deliver supplies, providing critical supplies such as water, food and building materials or helping restore telecommunications. And they can embrace ethical practices as they do.

“When the time comes to rebuild, businesses can take great care to avoid taking advantage of a bad situation,” Fort said. “There are instances in the aftermath of hurricanes where some companies gouged suffering populations. The demand for building materials might provide a market incentive to raise prices, but other companies have refused to do this, acting instead with some solidarity for the affected and even discounting prices.

“Those same companies reported longer term profitability because suffering people remembered the difference between those two approaches,” he added.

The Jan. 12 earthquake that hit Haiti’s was the worst in the region in more than 200 years. It was followed by another quake and aftershocks, leaving an estimated 150,000 people dead and a wake of devastation in the already struggling country. Although the cleanup continues, discussions have begun on how to rebuild Haiti.

Fort said companies have choices about where they locate their offices and creating jobs in places affected by disaster can make an important contribution. “There are risks, to be sure, but businesses can make Haiti a place where they do business,” he said.

Fort is GW’s Lindner-Gambal Professor of Business Ethics.

Students Hone Their Interviewing Skills

For three days in late January, students stepped out in suits and resumes in hand to meet with more than 30 employers as part of the GWSB Inaugural Mock Interview Program organized by the F. David Fowler Career Center.

“I interviewed with a small company, Accounting and Management Services LLC in D.C.,” said Carrie Chen, a master’s of accountancy candidate. “Last year in the fall I had a real interview with Deloitte, also arranged by the career center, and I thought it was good to get experience interviewing for different sized companies.”

The mock interview initiative, designed to creatively connect high-profile employers with GW’s top business students, featured 152 interview slots that were filled the same day the sign-up process began. Chen said the CEO who interviewed her not only gave her high marks but encouraged her to apply for an internship that is opening at Accounting and Management Services.

Both graduate and undergraduate students were eligible to take part in the mock interviews. They were interviewed by CEOs, human resources directors and employment consultants.

Other employers taking part in the program included FINRA, Hilton Worldwide, Red Cross International, Target, Choice Hotels International, HSBC, MacNair Travel Management/American Express, Marriott International, GEICO Insurance, SIRIUS XM Radio, Kearny & Co., Verizon, Deloitte Consulting, the Ritz-Carlton, the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and KPMG.

MBA Students Visit Dubai

Professor Salah Hassan and a group of 20 MBA students undertaking their international residency program recently met with CEOs of several companies in Dubai. The business leaders speaking with the students included Mohammed Abdullah, executive director of Dubai Media City, and Jamal Al Sharif, executive director of Dubai Studio City.

Hassan is chair of the GWSB Department of Marketing.

The delegation was offered a presentation on Dubai’s status as a hub for several media clusters. The students’ goal was to understand synergies among the 11 free-zone clusters. Their discussions with the executives focused on local, regional and international business interests. The visit was covered by local media. Click here to see the stories:

Deadline Approaches for ‘Hot Mommas’ Nominations

Rand Construction founder Linda Rabbit is one of the supporters of this year’s Hot Mommas contest.

Successful women around the world are being nominated to share their stories with the Hot Mommas Project, a GWSB initiative showcasing women who are outstanding role models. The nomination deadline is Jan. 31.

Leaders in the business and entertainment communities have signed on as judges for the second annual Hot Mommas Project Case Competition.

The Hot Mommas Project is an award-winning online library detailing women’s personal and professional experiences. The stories are turned into case studies available to educators as teaching tools. The cases are judged on the quality of their professional and personal lessons and the learning points that are highlighted, as well as their discussion questions, teaching notes, appendices and links. The top three stories in the competition will be spotlighted in a Prentice Hall textbook.

“We all know the stories of the women close to us. Our project simply captures those stories, makes those stories teachable, and distributes them to a wide audience,” said Kathy Korman Frey, founder of the Hot Mommas Project and Entrepreneur in Residence at GWSB. “Our judging panel is extremely accomplished and is using its influence to help women and girls.”

The 20 judges include Amy Millman, president of nonprofit Springboard Enterprises, which matches female entrepreneurs with $4 billion in capital; author and networking expert Bob Burg, The Charles Schwab Foundation President Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz; Strategic Alliances USA President Christine Chen; Ellen Mishkind Thrasher, director for the Office of Entrepreneurship Education at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Entrepreneur Magazine columnist and Garage Technology Ventures Managing Director Guy Kawasaki; Marsha Firestone, president of the Women Presidents’ Organization for women with businesses annually grossing more than $2 million, Mary Ann Zoellner, Emmy Award-winning producer at the “Today” show, Mapquest Co-founder Simon Greenman; and Native American Management Services CEO Patricia Parker.

“What could be more satisfying than helping young women pursue full, successful lives, thanks to the Hot Mommas special blend of teachable stories combining experience, scholarship and friendship?” said Anita Blair, former acting assistant secretary of the Navy and one of the judges.

Within the competition, The Charles Schwab Foundation sponsors a special financial literacy honor for the woman who best addresses financial topics in the personal or professional section of her case study.

The Hot Mommas Project, an independent venture housed at GWSB, is included in the mission of the School’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The 2010 competition is supported by The Charles Schwab Foundation and Rand Construction Founder Linda Rabbit. To learn more or to nominate a dynamic female role model visit Winners will be honored April 28 at The George Washington University’s Women in Philanthropy Forum.

Professor Takes Grad Students to WMATA Training Facility

Marie Matta’s students get ready to go behind-the-scenes at WMATA.

A group of GWSB students can talk about how they drove city buses in a simulator room, scurried through a staged train crash site in a tunnel and felt what it was like to walk through a subway car that had left its tracks and rolled. Professor Marie Matta organized the hands-on outing so the 10 students could understand the operations of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

The behind-the-scenes program involved students from two operations strategies classes and two supply chain strategy classes. During the course of four hours, the students toured WMATA, including its training facilities in Landover, Md.

Matta, assistant professor of decision sciences, said the private tour started with overview by members of WMATA’s management team. The students then looked at Metro’s extensive system safety and operations training facilities, including a multi-story room containing a see-through elevator shaft and escalator where employees train for safety and mechanics.

Students taking part in the program were: Gian Piero Bassi Mazzini, Matt Hoffman, Kathleen Vokes, Robert (Travis) Wright, Peter Robinson, Joe Cozart, Catherine Lee, Amanda Marsh, Hung Nguyen and Deidre Frith.

Getting to Know: Mehmet Sekip Altug

Name: Mehmet Sekip Altug

Title: Visiting Assistant Professor

Job duties: This semester, I teach three sections of the undergraduate Operations Management course. Last semester, I taught the MBA core course Judgment, Uncertainty and Decision Making to two different groups in addition to one section of the Operations Management class. I am also working on my research projects and trying to find new opportunities with colleagues here.

Time at GW: Only 6 months.

Best part of working at GWSB: It is very accommodating and supportive. Even the first week I started here, I did not feel like a stranger. I also see that the School is open to new ideas and innovations, which creates a positive and exciting atmosphere for new faculty. The students are generally very receptive to what the instructor is teaching and that is encouraging.

What co-workers do not know about me: I did Turkish folk dancing for some time. It started out as a hobby back in Florida with a group of friends and turned into something serious – and even more fun – when our instructor realized we were very good at it. Eventually we found ourselves winning awards at competitions.

Family: My wife, Ed, and I went to same college, Bogazici U in Turkey, but we never knew each other. Years later, we met at a friend’s wedding party and now have been married for the past two-and-a-half years. If undergraduates are reading this, they should look around. Who knows?

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Go out and have fun with friends and family

Favorite vacation spots: The U.S. Virgin Islands! The first time we went there, we liked it so much that we ended up going back two more times. And Cesme, a small coastal town near Izmir, Turkey. We used to go there in the summer when I was a kid. It was a favorite of locals back then, but now it is one of the most popular vacation destinations. It has beautiful beaches and lots of activity.

Favorite book: Dan Brown’s series. (I’ll exclude the favorite books that fall in my area of research.)

Share the News of Your Career Success

The F. David Fowler Career Center will begin posting announcements of students who have found internships and jobs. The postings will be on monitors in the lobbies of Duquès and Funger Halls. Please report your success to the career center by sending an e-mail to or by calling 202-994-6704.


A research paper co-authored by Marie Matta, assistant professor of decision sciences, will appeal in the March 16, 2010, issued of the European Journal of Operational Research, (vol.201, no.3, 720-728). The article was written with Salah Elmaghraby and is titled “Polynomial Time Algorithms for Two Special Classes of the Proportionate Multi-Processor Open Shop.”

Getting Ink

GWSB’s jump in the Financial Times rankings of business school programs grabbed a great deal of media attention. The Washington Post ran a story in its ,a Jan. 25 issue. And the Washington Business Journal had an article a day later, calling GWSB’s performance “the best rate of improvement among business schools in the Washington region.”

Hossein Askari, professor of international business and Iran Professor, was interviewed by CNBC about the merits of Islamic financing. See the video here.

Askari was also cited in a Jan. 25 column in The Washington Times.

BusinessWeek’s MBA Journal featured a first-year MBA student from GWSB. In the Jan. 14 issue of the magazine, Jeremy Dommu described his first day in the School of Business and gave high praise to the resources at the F. David Fowler Career Center.

The Washington Business Tonight program on WJLA featured a Jan. 18 segment on the Hot Mommas project at GWSB.


2010 ICSB World Conference: Call for Papers!

The International Council for Small Business (ICSB), which is housed in GWSB’s Department of Management, is currently accepting paper, workshop and symposium proposals for the ICSB World Conference, which will be held in Cincinnati from June 24-27. The theme of the gathering is “Entrepreneurship: Bridging Global Boundaries.” For details, visit

UK High Fashion Goes High Tech: 2009 Global Winner

A Suit That, a UK-based small business that designs and sews high-fashion custom-tailored suits at affordable prices, has won this year’s Dell Small Business Excellence Award. The annual award recognizes small businesses for their innovative use of IT to improve the customer experience. The contest is sponsored by Dell Inc. and coordinated by ICSB) within the GWSB Department of Management. Click here to read more:

Submit your News to ICSB Today! ICSB is proud to introduce its new, online news form to collect and publish your news stories each month. The form is easy to use. ICSB members from around the world are encouraged to submit news items. The form is found at:

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