A Curriculum Designed To Solve Challenges Today And Tomorrow! | A Conversation with Dr Kamatchi Iyer – Dean, ATLAS School Of Management & Entrepreneurship

ATLAS SkillTech University, founded in 2021 and accredited by the University Grants Commission, is making concerted attempts to integrate industry experience into its instructional approach. The framework of their two flagship MBA programmes (in Management, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing & Advertising) reflects their objective to uniquely construct a curriculum that pulls out the best in its students, as outlined by the New Education Policy. Its corporate connections, superb faculty, and programme structure based on Education 4.0 distinguish it as one of the premier universities preparing competent leaders for the future.

In a recent interview with Dr Kamatchi Iyer – Dean, ATLAS School Of Management & Entrepreneurship, we unpacked how emerging trends and skills are integrated into the ATLAS curriculum & how industry investment is at their core programme design. Here are excerpts from the same: 

1. As a representative of one of the fastest expanding skill development universities in India’s financial capital, can you shed some light on the unique curriculum incorporated in ATLAS’s teaching methods?

I would like to highlight the main aspects of our curriculum. The curriculum of our MBA programme is aligned with the Industry 4.0 Skill Mapping and the skills that the World Economic Forum has highlighted concerning what industries are looking for. So it is not only the curriculum as a whole but each and every subject, the teaching-learning mechanism, and the assessment process – that are completely aligned with emphasizing this kind of skillset mapping. The major skills we focus on include leadership, critical thinking, empathy, social responsiveness, and business ethic.

2. What significant problems are business schools facing in imparting industry-relevant skills to their students? And how can academic institutions cope with the industry demands for a skilled workforce?

When we talk about bridging the gap between industry requirements and academia, we talk about skill mapping; we also need to look into how much we can comply with the industries’ expectations. This is where most of the B-Schools are failing.

At ATLAS SkillTech, we are trying to meet these expectations by not only using internships or placements as a way of introducing industry experience but also through multiple ways like global immersion, where we take our students to different institutions to learn from different kinds of pedagogy and observe how these institutions are able to attract an industry-based curriculum.

Also, industry professionals are connected with our teaching-learning process in multiple ways, right from the beginning of a session to the graduation of the batch. This involvement is seen through means like case-study competitions, masterclasses, or round-table conferences where experts share their knowledge. It is not only a conventional lecture-delivery mode; these engagements are more interactive, allowing students to understand the industry’s complexity.

Secondly, the Leadership Explorer programme, a credit-bearing part of our curriculum and available from trimester one to trimester six, allows our students to get to know the different attributes required in the industry. The Leadership Explorer programme is a practical requirement of the curriculum, enabling students to understand what is happening in the industry through leadership training, writing, skillset development, certification courses, conducting case analyses and more.

Thirdly, while designing our curriculum, we take input from industries to look into our mode of study. Thus, the board not only has academicians but is equally comprised of industry experts who guide the curriculum based on industry requirements. With insights into skills expectations, whether it is finance, marketing or anything else, we curate our syllabus for every batch differently.

While other institutions face the problem of an industry-academia gap, we bring in the industry at every level of our teaching-learning process.

3. What is it that you look for when evaluating a candidate for selection? Or What are the qualities one needs to have to be an ideal candidate for ATLAS?

We are different from other B-Schools. The students do have to go through a rigorous admission process which includes a written test, group discussion and personal interview. Still, at the same time, we are looking for students who are decent academics who possess a positive mindset and a thirst for learning. We understand that a student may be academically good and have a knowledge of concepts but still may not be able to score too well in academics simultaneously. Thus, when we are going through their profiles during the group discussion/ personal interview process, we can discern certain qualities that can be sharpened through the two-year programme. A student’s potential can shine well in the company of other good students, and we have seen students performing exceptionally well in class in the last three batches.

So, it is not that we take in only the creamy lot of students and give them placement opportunities; we also give equal importance to the possession of the right mindset, positive attitude, learning ability and additional skills that can be sharpened. We try to provide the right opportunities to those who display these qualities. 

4. Any advice for our users’ current preparation to appear for the upcoming GD and PIs?

We are looking for someone who is updated with current affairs. Academically one is well-read or not is a secondary point, but the student should be aware of the world’s social, political and economic conditions. To face any GD/PI, people should look into and develop their general aptitude. Basic understanding and knowledge of current affairs should be the main focus. 

5. Describe in 10 words an ideal candidate for Atlas?

A candidate with the right mindset, a positive attitude and one who possesses social responsibility to become a prolific leader.

We are accepting applications for the upcoming Batch of MBA in Management & Entrepreneurship & MBA in Digital Marketing & Advertising batch 2022 -24 – APPLY NOW

To know more about the MBA programmes at Atlas Skilltech University, join: [Official] ATLAS SkillTech University, MUMBAI (ISME) MBA Admissions 2022 -24