Article: B-Schools must Maximize Potential Employability

Campus Recruitment

B-Schools must Maximize Potential Employability

The lack of industry interaction to groom students in B-schools have resulted in candidates that do not match the desirable capability level of prospective employers
 

Industry feedback on what business requires is crucial for us to remain agile and aligned to the needs of the recruiter

 

The faculty plays a very crucial role in the success of the institution and hence they need to be involved in many areas related to the management and functioning of the school

 

The lack of industry interaction to groom students in b-schools have resulted in candidates that do not match the desirable capability level of prospective employers, shares Dr. Jitendra K. Das, Director, FORE School of Management

A common problem facing business schools today is the alarm raised by companies about b-school graduates not being employment-ready. This is primarily due to student’s inadequate exposure to management practices and lack of experience in the application of management concepts. While top b-schools escape such comments because of their strong industry-interface which ensures their students get the right orientation to prepare them for the corporate world, the same cannot be said about most other b-schools in India. Unfortunately, the lack of industry interaction to groom future managers in b-schools has resulted in candidates whose capabilities do not match the desirable capability level of a prospective employer.
There are several constraints that a b-school faces when setting their corporate interaction plan. On the one hand, most do not have adequate funds to support such an initiative and on the other hand, often when they do approach the corporate sector to partner with them, they face a lack of interest from them. B-schools have to make a conscious effort to create the right infrastructure and environment to encourage corporate participation by making it a part of the course curriculum. And companies must realize the long-term benefit of having an association with these institutes, which will go a long way in helping them pick the right talent during campus visits. Thus, the win-win opportunity for both parties is evident if b-schools and the corporate sector work together to enhance the scope of industry interaction for students.
One of the areas where the corporate sector can bring a lot of value is by helping b-schools identify the gaps in their present curriculum. While organizations may not be able to directly influence curriculum redesign, they can contribute to student learning through structured interactions with students by way of guest lectures, live project experiences, well-structure internship etc. The increased involvement of recruiting organizations in b-school activities can also subsequently impact change in curriculum to make it more industry relevant.

What are the major elements for a business school to succeed?
Success depends on the positioning of the school. B-schools that are targeting the ‘fresher’ community and want to prepare students ready for the market after a two year program must focus on building the basic foundation in terms of technical knowledge, ability to learn and adapt, and understanding of the world. Organizations are interested in the caliber of the student and therefore business schools need to help students build their potential by providing a whole-rounded experience of thinking and learning. Industry feedback on what business requires is crucial for us to remain agile and aligned to the needs of the recruiter. From my experience, creating a solid foundation where traditional elements like discipline, clarity of concepts and its application and ability to learn, are primary elements in developing students.

What is the new challenge today in preparing students for the corporate world?
I think the basic foundation has not changed. On one side is the teacher and what he/she needs to do to maximize learning and development of the students. The teacher’s roles is to prepare for outstanding delivery of knowledge, innovate in teaching techniques, learn from other faculty on methodologies and new case studies, and invest in research to contribute to the body of knowledge in his/her area of expertise. On the other side are the student and their role to respect the teachers, prepare extensively and contribute to the effective delivery of the class. I think an increased focus on disciplines on both sides is essential.

How is an academic institution different with respect to managing talent? How does a business school function as an organization?
The functioning of an academic institution is unique and very different from any other organization. The faculty plays a very crucial role in the success of the institution and hence they need to be involved in many areas related to the management and functioning of the school. This can sometimes create power centres that can go against the long-term success of the institution. The role of the leader is to look at the long-term view that will benefit the school and bring the faculty and support team onboard in this journey of transformation.
There is no employer-employee relation between faculty and school management, but the relationship is that of a partnership. The leadership style required for making this partnership work is more participative and engaging, while one also needs to be assertive on the direction that the school should take to maintain and enhance its reputation.
 

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Topics: Campus Recruitment, Skilling

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