UW Today

This is an archived article.

January 3, 2001

New MBA program puts high-tech spin on management degree

The University of Washington Business School today kicks off a new Technology Management MBA Program that creators say will help business leaders avoid becoming victims of “high-tech fallout.”

“So often in the New Economy entrepreneurs get a great technology idea and then they are suddenly thrown into a management position without the tools they need to carry their business over the long haul,” says Ann Lightbody, director of the Technology Management MBA program. “Our new program will give legs to some of these start-ups as well as enhance established businesses and the skills of working professionals.”

The 18-month evening and weekend program, with classes alternating in Seattle and Bellevue, offers a curriculum with an emphasis on high-tech business. Employees from 40 area high-tech companies are in the Technology Management MBA’s first section. They include biotechnology, computer science and dot-com companies such as the Immunex Corp., Microsoft and Wild Tangent.

The program begins with students meeting for three days, Wednesday, Jan. 3, through Friday, Jan. 5, at the Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie. While there, students will get a class overview, listen to high-profile business leaders speak and form study teams. Classes resume next Monday, Jan. 8, in Bellevue at the UW Continuing Education Center. Saturday classes will be held in the Seafirst Executive Education Center on the UW campus.

Initial response to the new program was high with more than 1,500 inquiries soon after UW Business School Dean Yash Gupta announced the new degree last May. Members of the first class of 53 were selected following careful evaluation of their scholastic achievement, test scores and work experience.

The program’s curriculum includes courses such as Internet and new product marketing, high-tech products and services marketing, as well as high-tech accounting and high-tech human resources management.

Gary Sundem, associate dean for the UW Business School’s master’s degree programs, says the Technology Management MBA will meet the needs of the area’s business community.

“Clearly Seattle has a large community of high-tech experts,” Sundem says. “Many of these professionals need this kind of education to help them make that leap from being a technology specialist to a manager.”

Bellevue-resident and student Chris Suh, a senior manager in the investor relations group at Microsoft, said he had an opportunity to attend an MBA program full-time out of state at a private university. He chose to stay in the area where he could continue working in the market full time while furthering his education.

According to Suh, the high-tech working environment has special management needs with managers facing rapidly changing products, high employee turnover and of late, falling stock values.

“The culture and work environment in the high-tech industry can be very different from traditional old economy companies,” Suh says. “The ability to act and react in that environment is useful.”

The new program is the most recent effort in the UW Business School to provide students with a background in technology as well as a strong foundation in business. This past fall, the school hired several new faculty with expertise in high-tech business.

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For more information call Lightbody at 206-543-2446 or 425-888-2556 (Jan. 3 – 5), Sundem at 206-543-9390, Gupta at 206-221-5749, or Suh at 425-562-9910. Visit the Technology Management MBA Program Web site at http://depts.washington.edu/tmmba/