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Students learn from the creator of the “balanced scorecard”

June 17, 2016

More on the two-week study trip to Boston, Cambridge and Harvard

A core element of the WU Executive Academy's Professional MBA Finance is a two-week study trip to Boston, Cambridge and Harvard. There, participants get not only first-hand insights into the American way of doing business, but also intriguing input from lecturers of international renown. The highlight of this year's residency in one of the USA’s most important financial centers was a lecture by no less an authority than Prof. Robert S. Kaplan, emeritus professor at Harvard Business School and creator of the “balanced scorecard”.

There is arguably no business person or student of business administration in the world who has not heard of Prof. Robert Kaplan and his contributions to economics. The former Harvard professor has developed not only activity-based costing, but also the “balanced scorecard”- a controlling instrument that, today, is the international standard tool for measuring, tracking and managing business activities.

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Prof. Robert S. Kaplan, creator of the „balanced scorecard“ at the International Residency.

During their US residency, the current class of the Professional MBA Finance had the unique opportunity to meet this leading pioneer in the field of managerial accounting in person. On the occasion of a gala dinner at Harvard Faculty Club, Prof. Kaplan afforded exclusive insights into his remarkable career. In his keynote speech, he talked about how he and Dr. David Norton developed the “balanced scorecard” together in the 1990s. He also illustrated why it has gained international acceptance.

“Apart from his enormous achievements in economic science, Prof. Kaplan is also very experienced in teaching, especially in executive education, and consulting, as can be seen from the numerous awards he has obtained,” says Prof. Manfred Frühwirth, Academic Director of the Professional MBA Finance, referring to the preeminent lecturer.

“For the students it was a great opportunity to get insights about the motivation of such a reputable and highly influential scholar and to discuss his scientific output with him. Interacting and networking with such a brilliant person in the atmosphere of the most prestigious campus of the world, Harvard, is definitely extremely rare for a European MBA program.”

Unique insights into the financial world in Boston

As part of their field trip, the current students of the Professional MBA Finance completed the “Fundamentals of Behavioral Finance” and “Hot Topics in Finance” modules, of which some classes were taught by leading Harvard professors.

Studying at the prestigious business school was not all the residency had to offer, however: The participants also visited leading organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (FED), Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), allowing them to take advantage of exclusive networking opportunities.

The Professional MBA Finance students made a highly favorable impression at these organizations: Michelle Friedman, Executive Director of MSCI's office in Boston, for instance, is thrilled by the brilliance of the participants, who, according to Friedman, have considerable subject-matter expertise, ask excellent questions and are definitely an asset to any business in the world.

“The US residency has become an integral part of the Professional MBA Finance's curriculum,” concludes Prof. Frühwirth. “After all, it provides our students not only with tremendous opportunities to broaden their horizons, but also with invaluable insights into the American way of doing business and the strong financial system in the Boston area, which is the 12th most import financial center in the world.”

For Tanja Spennlingwimmer, a Professional MBA Finance alumna and the Head of Commercial Project Management at Kapsch TrafficCom North America, her residency in Boston in Harvard was also a career highlight:

Tanja Spennlingwimmer

“I would not want to have missed out on the great time during the MBA and the intercultural experience I have gained in the course of the program in general and while studying at Harvard University in particular. It has really inspired me and my career and played a crucial role as far as my recent promotion to a management position at Kapsch in the United States is concerned.”

Career Story: Tanja Tanja Spennlingwimmer, Kapsch TrafficCom IVHS Inc.

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