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jgourlay

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  1. Mfa ... The New Mba?

    I am frequently a "hiring manager". I personally value creativity in my staff to a high degree, and I do hire MBA's on occasion. I can say without hesitation that there is no competition between MBA's and MFA's, nor any serious view to the value of the MFA in the work world. Not that I am not in contact with the Sales/Marketing types. It may be different there. What I value, need, seek: 1. Yes, the person is creative. But they have to be smart, too. "Creative but smart" means that the person understands "the box" (I too hate that analogy). The box typically consists of understanding the social norms that cannot be changed in the time frame we are discussing, budgetary realities, etc. If you're very clever solution is going to require a restructuring of the management ranks, the finance group to issue a free pass on absorption, and a $100k IT project, that's not creative. That's unicorns and fairy dust. 2. The ability to work INDEPENDENTLY over long periods. 20 somethings often have this weird disease where they can't get anything worthwhile done over any significant time span unless they are working with 3 other like minded and like-aged peers. Totally unacceptable. I need people that can: take directon, be creative, work collaboratively, and then turtle off and work in a corner for 6 on ONE THING until it's completed. It's like the idea that 20 somethings are 'tech savvy'. They are not. They think because they can find a date on a social networking site, it makes them clever. Most "tech savvy" 20 somethings can't use excell, powerpoint, word, SAP, Oracle, CRM, Project or P6 at more than a 9 year old level. You're 'tech savvy' when you can use a computer to do something useful in generating money. 3. Plays well with others. The primary value of the MBA is that it 1) explains why the box is the size and shape it is and 2) teaches people to work the system, to work with peers, work with superiors in a way that makes them palapable to and successful in a large, complex, group of people. My few hires from what we might call "the art world" have utterly failed in this. Tender bruisables egos, little abitlity to horsetrade on the 'political level'. LOTS of ability to play the dark side of politics: lots of dead bodies, burned bridges, with little output. 4. Keep the candle lit, and keep it under a basket. The 2 MFA's I hired lost all credibility quickly by insisting on telling everybody about their weird, crazy ideas. One of them self destructed. The other put a lid on it and got promoted through the ranks. 6 years later she rose to a position where she was able to and without question should have put her weird, crazy ideas into motion. She had the power, and influence and the timing was right. However, by that time she so "in the box" that she wouldn't do it, even when I directed her to get moving on those things. Sigh..... MBA' don't suffer this, they'll quietly slow burn on an idea for a decade until they get in the chair, then they leap forward. The MBA teaches this.
  2. All, Could you please recommend some books for me? Two topics: 1. How to throw large pots and (less importantly) how to build up large pots? By "large" I mean anything around or larger than 12" across by 12" tall. I'm having severe slumping trouble.... 2. How to DRY tiles to prevent skrinkage/warping/cracking. And then how to fire tiles to prevent same. I know there are lots of books out there that deal with these, and I have a few. All the ones I've seen talk about those topics in a sort of handwavey way. I need something, especially on the tiles, that goes into deep, almost excessive detail.
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