Howard Finch

Emerging Opportunities for Business Schools

Posted September 09, 2015 by Howard Finch - Dean - Brock School of Business, Samford University

Business education continues to evolve toward more experiential learning opportunities. Traditional experiential learning has included internships, consulting projects, and case studies. Often, these experiences have put students in the role of outside observer looking in and providing impressions and possible solutions to historical and existing opportunities and challenges.

As business education continues the trend of integrating the classroom with the workplace, students will grow and benefit from opportunities for direct placement within ongoing firms. Engineering models utilize alternating semesters of class instruction and on-the-job (co-op) experience. Medical and pharmaceutical models require the equivalent of apprenticeship experiences actually performed in the workplace as part of professional training. Business education can become more meaningful and dynamic by integrating professional work experience as part of the complete educational model. Just as engineering and architectural firms have designated tasks and roles for those completing their formal education, many businesses can also designate certain areas and functions for students pursuing business education.

Contemporary business education no longer prepares students for static functional roles within large conglomerates. By providing opportunities to contribute and network within existing organizations, business education will better prepare students to provide value and talent immediately upon graduation.

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