Inaugural Dunton Family Dean of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Raj Echambadi is in his second month on the job at Northeastern University. He recently sat down with News@Northeastern to discuss his first impressions and his hopes for the future of the business school.
Q:Early on, what has stood out most about D’Amore-McKim and its students, faculty, and staff?
When I came to Northeastern, I was long aware of the university’s tradition of excellence, particularly with its co-op program, and its expanding global footprint. Northeastern has always been known as an innovator. What I’ve seen in the past few weeks has been beyond my wildest expectations. To me, it all starts with the people—including our extraordinary faculty and staff who ensure that student welfare and outcomes are our utmost priority. I’ve also been impressed with the quality of our students. We produce world-class students who are loyal, engaged, and passionate.
Q:What is your vision for D’Amore-McKim? What are its short- and long-term goals?
Our long-term goal is to be an elite business school. I’ve been meeting with and listening to our students, faculty, and staff, as well as external stakeholders. We’ll identify short-term goals that will enable us to reach this long-term goal.
To become elite, we need to continue attracting both top-notch faculty and quality students. We need to dream big, start small, iterate, learn, and then scale. Our DNA is about signature co-op experiences; we need to stay true to our roots and build upon our experiential learning strengths. At D’Amore-McKim, we’re also discussing how to reimagine MBA education—one that is differentiated, focuses on our signature strengths, and provides a terrific value proposition. There’s also an opportunity to meld our strengths with other colleges’ strengths to create new, interesting courses.
Q:How do you view entrepreneurship and its importance in business education today?
I think about entrepreneurship from a broad perspective. It’s not only about starting new ventures; it’s an attitude and a mindset. Entrepreneurship, to me, means thinking differently and doing more with less. It’s about being creative and accomplishing your goals. Every student should be exposed to entrepreneurship and be entrepreneurial in his or her own ways. You can bring an entrepreneurial mindset to any job, whether you’re working at Google or as a city mayor.