Kellogg Launches Poker Program To Empower Future Women Business Leaders

Last Updated on June 7, 2021 Author:Gabrielle Monet

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern UniversityPoker is more than just a game that you play to pass your time. Its real-life applications make poker such a unique game for those who learn its nuances.

Knowing how to read your opponents, controlling your emotions, and being able to make informed decisions under pressure are poker-related skills that are also important in our day-to-day life.

This is the main reason why some organizations are now incorporating poker into their operations.

A business school in Chicago, Illinois decided to run an extracurricular program back in April, which involved introducing future female MBAs to No-Limit Texas Hold’em. The program wasn’t meant to transform them into poker professionals, but rather to teach them how to apply these poker skills in the corporate world.

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University recognizes the practical applications of poker in the different facets of life, including business.

Its pilot program, which ended in May, was conducted through a six-week course which taught a total of 99 women participants the basic concepts of poker and also allowed them to put their learning into practice by actually playing the game.

The program also included lectures from business leaders and successful female poker pros, including Melanie Weisner, best known for winning two Ladies Championship events at the European Poker Tour and Maria Konnikova, best-selling author and former PokerStars ambassador.

Following the success of the spring trial, Kellogg will be offering a similar program in January 2022, and it will now be conducted as part of its Executive MBA program.

Positive Results

The idea of introducing poker to future women business leaders came about when Gail Berger, Northwestern University clinical associate professor and the deputy director of the Kellogg Center for Executive Women, met with Erin Lydon, the managing director of Poker Powher, a women-led company that aims to teach women game-changing skills through poker. Both helped create the program and are very delighted with the results of the pilot run.

Poker is a great pathway for women to learn about strategy and leadership, as well as character building. The game allows them to develop confidence and find their own voice. With the program, Berger said the students are now aware of the traits that are required to find success in business.

Students have now learned to confidently express themselves to CEOs, while others were also successful in their interviews. Feedback from the participants have been positive so far, with some describing the program as “transformational” and “one-of-a-kind“.

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Gabrielle is our resident French author, as well as managing our French site she specialises in breaking the latest European poker stories whether related to France or not.

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