San Diego Business Journal

MBA Students Populate Virtual World With $1.7M Grant

By Brad Graves Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The business school experience heads into cyberspace as part of an ambitious partnership between the UC San Diego Rady School of Management and Coronado-based management consulting firm Rembisz & Associates.

The partners plan to develop a virtual world — something similar to Linden Research Inc.’s game “Second Life” — to help business students on different parts of the globe work together.

The school announced April 17 that it received a $1.7 million grant from the Graduate Management Admission Council, the organization behind the GMAT, the standardized test used in business school admissions.

It is one of the grants awarded in GMAC’s $10 million Ideas to Innovation Challenge program.

To participate in the UCSD/Rembisz world, a student will create an online avatar to represent himself or herself. Then the student will be able to interact with others at the site, meeting, socializing, networking, receiving coaching or taking in seminars.

The project could easily cross international boundaries, backers said. Rady School Assistant Dean Clark Jordan also said the “world” could be a research vehicle.