ShareBar

When most MBA students attend HBS, there is a general feeling that the contract they sign is to spend 18 months getting world-class exposure to cases and principles of business and management and then leave with a license to practice business, including the tools and network to ensure their long-term success.

But the world is changing rapidly—and this old one-and-done contract no longer applies. The skills and knowledge we need to manage and lead today’s organizations are in constant flux, and there is a growing need for long-term learning. Personally and professionally, I certainly feel the need to regularly refresh my understanding of emerging technologies and new ideas to keep pace with changes in my field. I imagine many of you feel the same way.

As we look at the programs HBS offers for our graduates—MBA and Executive Education alumni alike—our thinking is evolving toward a strategy of continuous education and continuous engagement to serve you through the many different phases of your career and life. How will we do that? By evolving the toolkit of programs, activities, and resources we provide as well as the ways we deliver those offerings—whether on campus in our classrooms, online through our HBX digital learning platform, in the regions and communities where you live, within your companies, or right in your email inbox.

Our thinking is evolving toward a strategy of continuous education and continuous engagement to serve you through the many different phases of your career and life.

Our thinking is evolving toward a strategy of continuous education and continuous engagement to serve you through the many different phases of your career and life.

 

Imagine that three months after you graduate, you receive an email from HBS with a case written by one of your favorite professors that deals with current challenges facing managers and leaders. Other alumni in your area get the same email, plus an invitation to meet at a local café for a small-group case discussion. That process repeats a few times throughout the year, perhaps paired with an event hosted by your local HBS club, a webinar, or an HBX Live discussion led by a professor. The following year, you volunteer to join other alumni for a daylong mentoring exercise with first-year MBA students. Then, a year or two later, you take part in a three-day immersion program that utilizes the living/learning-group model and facilities of our Executive Education campus for a deep dive into case discussions and reflection tailored to alumni at your career stage. Then, as your five-year anniversary approaches, you receive a new case and an invitation to a pre-reunion virtual study group to prepare for a classroom session at reunion. Other variations on this cycle would occur 10, 20, and even 50 years after graduation.

This continuous education model is a new, two-way contract. The School wants to engage with you—to understand what you need, when you need it, and how you need it. With that knowledge, we will work our hardest to harness all the resources in our ecosystem to reach you, to help you learn, and to make HBS relevant to you on a real-time, ongoing basis throughout your life.

Your feedback on this model is vital. I look forward to hearing from you.


Das Narayandas is Senior Associate Dean, External Relations and Harvard Business Publishing, and the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration.

(illustration by Scott Chambers)

ShareBar

Post a Comment