Management Bytes from S P Jain: Bridging the Industry-Academia Divide through Innovative Approach of ‘Blended Learning’

April 7, 20168:25 am2051 views

The competitive times and dearth of talent globally, requires business schools to step up to the change and equip graduates with ‘real-world skills’ and ‘industry readiness’.

Professor Veena Jadhav, HRM and Director Industry Interface Projects, S P Jain – Singapore, talks to us candidly about the initiatives taken by the institute towards bridging the industry-academia divide and preparing management graduates to assume leadership positions early on in their career.

  • How does the design of study curriculum at S P Jain help students stay in sync with the industry demands for technical skills on the job?

While our curriculum is deeply rooted in business fundamentals, equal importance is given to the development of business skills in students – global intelligence, real-world skills, smart decision-making and corporate readiness.

The curriculum is designed, keeping in mind the ‘industry readiness’ of the graduates and emphasizes on academic rigour through classroom learning and honing of ‘real-world skills’ through immersive activities.

S P Jain’s unique Tri-City model enables participants to study across international campuses in Singapore, Sydney and Dubai, thereby making the participants ready for global careers.

Professor Veena Jadhav, HRM and Director Industry Interface Projects, S P Jain – Singapore

Prof. Veena Jadhav, HRM and Director Industry Interface Projects, S P Jain – Singapore

Throughout the program duration, students are exposed to different forms of learning experiences that include simulations, cross-functional immersion courses and industry related projects that enhance students’ learning agility.

  • What are the systems, practices and methodologies followed by teaching professionals at S P Jain to groom talent and help them harness their potentials to assume leadership positions early on in their career?

S P Jain has adopted an innovative approach of ‘blended learning’ that enables students to acquire necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace through advanced self-learning e-modules that cover key “conceptual elements” in a self-study mode.

This ensures that precious classroom hours are devoted entirely to peer learning and faculty-led classroom sessions.

Our professors employ a vibrant, interactive style of teaching in classrooms. The rigorous coursework ensures that graduates are thoroughly equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to excel as leaders in a global workplace.

S P Jain School of Global Management - Singapore Campus

S P Jain School of Global Management – Singapore Campus

For example, ‘Student Board Rooms’ simulates a real board room environment where students are required to analyze complex issues and recommend key decisions that impact firm performance.

The ‘Problem at Work Methodology’ encourages participants of our Executive MBA program to bring work-related issues into the classroom to discuss with peers and develop innovative solutions under the guidance of experienced faculty and mentors.

See: Are B-Schools Not Producing HR Experts?

  • What are the challenges faced by institutions in APAC towards mentoring students to stay abreast of the industry trends and meeting futuristic workforce considerations?

There is a significant shift in the skills and competencies required for succeeding in the workplaces of the future.

There is greater demand for graduates who demonstrate global mindset, possess an awareness of the complex business environment, diversity and can take decisions by synthesizing complex information.

The complex information could range from various dimensions of finance, operations to people management. Most institutions face the challenge of inculcating these amongst their graduates as these require a transformative approach to immersive and experiential learning as against the traditional teaching style.

At S P Jain, the tri-city learning approach expands students’ horizons, and aspirations to make them more adaptive. The ability to think out-of-the-box to respond to situations stems from an open and creative mindset.

This depends on how much exposure one receives to new scenarios and situations. This is the only way a person can be trained to be adaptive, and such training can begin even before entering the workforce.

  • What are the initiatives taken by S P Jain in APAC to bridge the academia-industry divide and step up levels for mentoring students to hone talent potential?

S P Jain strives to maintain and develop its association with the Industry in the region through various initiatives such as annual events, conferences, and workshops that address key trends and challenges faced by business leaders.

S P Jain regularly conducts sessions like “CEO Speak” where students get to interact with the CEOs and learn how they lead diverse teams, motivate and inspire workforce.

The other noteworthy session is ‘Visiting Wisdom’ wherein students learn about the best practices of a specific functionsuch as for example, CFOs, CTOs of companies.

Such initiatives provide a platform for business leaders to exchange ideas and best practices. The students from different programs engage with the industry partners to address strategic challenges and identify innovative solutions. We are a member of several professional associations and actively participate in their events.

S P Jain has appointed several distinguished business leaders from industries to serve on its Industry Advisory Board, thereby enhancing it’s connection within the business community.

In addition, the school constantly engages with it significant Alumni base in Singapore and the region for Alumni Networking events, ‘Friends for Life events’, Guest sessions and Alumni Mentor Program.

  • What is the future of education system for management graduates that you envision in Singapore and APAC?

To stay relevant, the future management education system will need to embrace technology and immersive learning experiences throughout their programs. Technology-enabled education is necessary for ensuring personalized and adaptive learning.

Also, management programs should inculcate higher order competencies such as “Design Thinking” that helps to deal with ambiguity and complexity, cultural and regional diversity in their graduates.

Also read: Closing the Skills Gap is Critical to Workforce Readiness in ASEAN Member States

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