Colour movies revolutionised
the black-and-white motion picture industry. Similarly, will Business
Education 2.0 transform the business learning experience?
Studying science mostly
involves learning technical skills in the classroom. However, business can’t be
taught or learnt similarly. For students to succeed in the boardroom, they need
to see the world in colour, the way it really is. Most b-schools fail to
recognise this and continue to teach students in black-and-white.
“Of course, conceptual learning
is crucial,” says Prof
Golo Weber (Associate Professor & Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Programs,
SP Jain Global). “But to succeed in
the workplace, one needs to supplement it with global exposure and
business-oriented soft skills. Business Education 1.0, or the traditional
way, is outdated and focuses only on imparting theoretical and conceptual
knowledge. Business Education 2.0 on the other hand, is far more holistic –
equipping students with practical, global and technical skills.” Prof Weber,
originally from Germany, holds post-graduate degrees from Oxford, Cambridge and
Beijing Universities, and is part of the international faculty at SP Jain.
SP Jain has incorporated
Business Education 2.0 into its curriculum by emphasising three core pillars:
tri-city learning, decision-making, and personal effectiveness.
“One degree – three cities sums
up the learning experience at SP Jain,” says Prof Weber, referring to the
School’s unique tri-city model, conducted in Dubai, Singapore and Sydney.
“In each of these cities, students learn first-hand about diverse
business practices and cultures. Which other business program offers you this
lifetime opportunity to see the world in so little time, from so many different
Global immersion activities and
industrial projects in these cities ensure that learning continues, even after
classroom hours. In Sydney, for instance, students spend their weekends touring
famous historical sites like the Sydney Opera House and the Parliament House.
Furthermore, students also engage in projects with local companies to gain
first-hand exposure to local business practices and cultures. Through these
expeditions and by working alongside corporate and faculty mentors, students
learn to adopt a multinational state-of-mind and make decisions that take
advantage of global choices. A similar cultural immersion awaits them in Dubai
The tri-city model, coupled
with SP Jain’s pedagogy that focuses on decision-making and personal
effectiveness, make for an impactful learning experience. As Prof Weber notes,
“Corporations are on the lookout for individuals who are effective and
impactful. SP Jain’s pedagogy emphasises an engaged learning approach in which
the classroom transforms into a decision-making laboratory. Simulations, case
studies, and an applications-oriented pedagogy ensure that students are
challenged to think; improve their cognitive, analytical, and creative skills;
and emerge with innovative solutions. Decision-making skills, the lifeblood of
any business manager, are put to test here.”
Similarly, a uniquely crafted
Passport 2 Excellence (P2E) program emphasises all aspects of leadership,
including personality development and decision-making. In addition to
communication skills, P2E assists students who wish to change careers, by
familiarising them with their new primary industry of interest. This “soft
knowledge” helps students have successful job interviews and adapt better to a
new work environment. “With P2E, not only are graduates well prepared to
maintain strong leadership roles within their companies, but also to make a
strong impact on their communities,” Prof Weber remarks.
“A sound foundation in
technical skills will help you devise a business strategy. But how do you take
it a step ahead – assessing the functionality of your business idea or even
implementing it? For students to succeed in the corporate world, they need to
master those skills that help them make sound decisions, or even stand out at a
golf course or a dinner party. You simply cannot get these with a
black-and-white education,” says Prof Weber.