Past experiences and tomorrow’s needs as focus of the programs
Other interesting twists in postgraduate training
The key changes that some schools, especially North American ones, are carrying out in the last two years, in full-time programs, but which are undoubtedly perfectly adjustable to the online modalities that the circumstances imposed by Covid-19 have forced us to consider, go through:
– take advantage of all the past experiences of the school to provide students with a personalized experience.
– This solid functional education must also be integrated and experiential
This last point of integration implies the commitment to facilitate a personalization for each student through assessments, coaching and unique pathways, including access to academic advice, tutoring on career options and coaching to improve personal skills.
Therefore, schools whose pathways (flexible course sequences) are designed to customize the program to match student interests and span functional areas will have a significant advantage over other programs that have not had this sensitivity.
It will also provide broad access to experiential learning – the curriculum will need to be expanded to offer national or international experiential learning opportunities with for-profit or non-profit organizations.
Some of these opportunities have to be mandatory and others optional.
Why is the experiential challenge important?
We are talking daily about the impact of Covid-19 on society in general and very particularly, on the economy of companies.
There is no doubt that all the effort that companies will have to make during this 2021, is to rebuild their ranks and redesign their future.
The whole market has changed and will continue to do so, along with the fact that many of the players in this market will no longer be there.
Or also, that they may continue to be if they undergo a profound change that transforms their productive, commercial, financial structures, etc. 180 degrees.
This challenge is not for two years or one. It is right now. This challenge cannot be unknown and even less ignored by business schools.
Therefore, it is necessary to address from the schools, both the aspects of real projects that address genuine commercial and market problems, as well as that the students work on a project with social impact.
Understand the needs of tomorrow
And why is it so important? I would say that more than important it is vital.
Because if it’s been first to understand the needs of tomorrow, whether from the perspective of employers or students, in a world with rapidly changing businesses and demographics, significant effort has to be put into conducting research from multiple sources, summarizing the findings and incorporating them to redesign.
And to have this capacity for analysis in data and information management, students who are pursuing a postgraduate degree in critical and strategic thinking must be trained.
Because everything from now on, requires a different methodology, not a linear analysis from the simple to the complex, but an analysis based on quantum thinking, which addresses the infinitesimal (it is an interesting simile) of market behavior, companies, etc.
If we do not make a precise dissection of the body under analysis, it will not be possible to diagnose correctly, even less, to follow a corresponding decision-making process.
A redesign has many different moving parts, and when changes to the curriculum are needed, they can affect almost all curricular content.
Another substantial aspect that business schools must take care of is trying to maintain adequate communication throughout the redesign process between the different stakeholders, including professors, staff, corporate partners and graduates.
An issue that is sometimes not paid much attention is listening to the opinions of groups of teachers (also at the individual level) who investigate these areas that we are commenting on are subject to a very strong change and / or adjustment.
These suggestions are basic. And this process itself is important for a number of reasons. One, to get the participation of professors, particularly those who developed the existing MBA courses.
Another issue, that the school agrees with the changes in the curriculum and sees it as an integration of applied knowledge to which it can in turn give its different perspectives.
This makes the school prioritize learning about the current landscape of the MBA curriculum and understanding what the trends are in this space.
The space that each school wants and can occupy. Simple as that.
Auscultate the environment
We are bombarded by an excess of information, especially all that reaches us on mobile devices.
Therefore, any transformative impetus must necessarily have academic experience and great knowledge of the field (market, companies, etc.) that for any business school is its great asset.
Without a doubt, the authentic heritage that the program can offer, not only the program, but also how it operates in society, the market and even with the institutions of that country.
Participating in events, round tables, and sharing experiences with personalities from both the educational and business environments, is the chain of appointments that are required in this rapidly changing environment that will determine two things: the level of a postgraduate educational program, at the same time as its perfect perception of the usefulness it represents for a student, knowing that said program is in the hands of the school that is participating, that it is seen in the media, that there are teachers of it who are known for their studies, opinions, etc., it will surely also have a square or two of advantage over its direct competitors.
Therefore, I believe that when faced with the question: What is the future of business in your field like and what will it take to lead in that future?
We can give an answer: that knowledge, together with the comments of students and teachers and an evaluation competitive landscape, form the basis of the changes to be addressed.
Doing so is a political decision of the school leadership. Failure to do so is the direct path to exclusion from the postgraduate educational landscape.
For all that has been said, I believe that schools must build their own orientation but whose curricular contents are capable of leading students from data to decisions.
But in addition, experiential learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom also have to be present to link us to their business community.
And this is developing a broader training in leadership, collaboration and communication.
These changes are creating what we can call next-generation business leaders.
We must not forget either that the connections that students establish while they are studying an MBA are of the utmost importance.
In fact, all the conversations we have with alumni of any program, they rank connections and access to the community as key benefits.
And that starts at the beginning with orientation. Also, a unique aspect of our business community is that it is plagued with expansions or what we call “high growth companies.”
This is the product of constant technological innovation. The companies that have passed the stage of digital transformation and are growing rapidly, creating many jobs and opportunities, are those that have sophisticated business needs, such as developing their financial models, raising funds, professionalizing their organization, scaling operations and making decisions supply criticism. They are also very desirable places to work.
As can be seen, working in these companies for graduate students, they can see the impact of their work and increase their professional opportunities along with the growth of the same organizations.