“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. And you can be that great generation”, proclaimed Nelson Mandela.
Dr. Nagendra Chowdary, Dean, School of Management, Bennett University, explains, ‘how can old business schools continue to be relevant?’
At a recently organized convocation ceremony in a premier B-School campus, the young graduates were joyous. Their achievements in term of placements (read, median salary) showed no sign of jobless growth.
Data showed every day less than 2% of Indians who applied for jobs got them. So, what is there in these students which most others are lacking, or should we give credit to the premier B-School for making these students market-ready?
A short answer is that Business School’s students, like with other premier B-Schools students, are smarter than others, with better cognitive skills and an ability to work simultaneously in diverse fields – strategy, financial services, human resources, economics, and data analytics.
These students are forward-looking, progressive, risk-taking and can adapt themselves to changing scenario quickly than others, which makes them better equipped to get jobs in the age of 3D printers and robotics.
Most other business schools with average students take the path of rote learning. Ergo, the latter group either does not get jobs or get the ones which cater to lower echelons of the service industry.
The challenging aspect is ‘does a Business School can actually transform mediocre students into smarter ones’? For this to happen, code RED (Rigor, Engagement and Discipline) can be the starting point as the School of Management at Bennett University is a testimony to its efficacy.
As this space wouldn’t permit me to dwell at length the contours and connotations of each of these 3 dimensions, it would be sufficing to point that all these measures when conceived with alacrity and executed with precision, the results would be quite pronouncing.
To start with, the curriculum has got to be focusing on hard-outcomes rather than a mere confluence of courses. It’s extremely heartening to note that Bennett University’s School of Management (SOM) focuses on hard outcomes (competencies) rather than just offering a bouquet of courses term after term. The rigor is built into each course with clear learning and measurable outcomes.
For instance, SOM follows a 4-layered CASE approach for its MBA program – with Core Courses, Attitudinal Building, Service Orientation, and Experiential Learning – to have pronounced outcomes that can complement companies’ requirements. Several experiential learning initiatives – driven through PEACE (Personal Effectiveness Alignment for Career Enhancement) and CLASS (Career and Leadership Alignment for Students’ Success), for instance, have been designed to equip the students with the requisite skills. If curriculums are not designed for hard outcomes, what else are they for?
Coupled with experiential learning, the students at SOM are trained on cutting-edge databases, data mining tools and data visualization architecture platforms. We are also going in for faculty immersion programs, wherein our faculties spend time in the industry.
In this manner, we intend to bring industry experience in our classroom teaching.