Now that CAT results are out…

I know it is depressing but you need to put it behind and think about your future.

Are you open to a new way of learning business, A new way to think RoI from an MBA program which will also help you focus back on your career and let you move to more business roles.

A business education program that aims to help mid-career professionals progress further must focus on the 5 Cs

1. Coverage

2. Contextualize

3. Collaborate

4. Complement

5. Coach

Coverage – For the business education program to be meaningful there has to be sufficient coverage of different functional areas. While finance seems to be a fairly common inclusion in most curriculum, the less glamorous but perhaps more important areas like Operations and People skills are often de-prioritized. A good program must cater to the functional knowledge needs of not only the next role but a few levels ahead as well. Some programs tend to be overambitious and be everything to everybody and probably end up not satisfying any of the populations.

Contextualize – Adults learn best when the concept is illustrated through a real life experience that they can correlate with. A gold standard in business education for working professionals must present real life problems from their own industry and allow for the students to try and solve them without the benefit of business concepts. Once the concepts are clarified, the students must be allowed to solve the same problem again using the concept to realize the elegance in the new solution. This method allows for the concept to be internalized much better than completing a full subject starting at Chapter 1 and going all the way to chapter 11…

Collaborate – no one really works alone in any professional field be it super specialty doctors or space scientists. Most professionals either succeed as a team or fail as a team. Consider a program that allows in you to work in small groups of folks with similar backgrounds and similar future aspirations that you can work together, learn from and also make friends for life beyond the context of the course you are doing.

Complement – In order to complement the functional skills professionals must always be in the pursuit of professional skills that enable them to be successful. Basic interpersonal skills like communication of business value through storytelling, negotiations skills, ability to network and the likes.

Coach – In deference to the experience of the mid-career professional the need is more for ‘coaches’ rather than ‘teachers’. The coaching ability of senior management professionals with hands on management experience in the corporate world must be preferred over the research/theory orientation of ‘professors’ in a typical management school. The hands on experience of the ‘player coach’ helps them communicate in a language that is well understood by both parties and leads to the ‘coach’ empathize with the student community way better to facilitate real learning.

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