‘Bridging’ the Transition from Boardroom to Business School Classroom

Tampa, FL, USA—In today’s world, seasoned business professionals possess the valuable insights and real-world experience students need to understand the rapidly changing environment. Yet the challenge for academia is how to effectively bridge this expertise to the classroom. Friday, May 27th marked the 17th graduating class of an innovative solution—the AACSB Bridge Program.

Developed in 2006 by AACSB International (AACSB), in collaboration with the University of California, Irvine and the University of Southern California, as a way to prepare industry experts for a career in the classroom, this intensive five-day workshop gives business executives an inside look into academia—helping them understand how to transfer their real-world knowledge to the next generation of business leaders.

The most recent AACSB Bridge Program, hosted by the John M. Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, graduated business professionals with significant experience in a variety of business and non-profit fields including accounting, auditing, finance, consulting services, corporate social responsibility, corporate strategy, digital commerce/direct mail, marketing, risk management, specialty food, and taxation.

The May 2016 Bridge Program graduates are: Anthony Aaron, Barbara Brubaker, Jennifer Cravens, Barbara Cullis, Michael Diamond, Jacalyn Goforth, Leonard Guida, Stephen Hollinshead, Kymberly Jamison, Stephen Lechner, Malcolm Preston, Kent Raulston, Mary Jane Reher, Thomas Schmitt, Harris Smith, Brian Stevenson, Keith Urtel, MaryAnne Werner, and James Wetrich.

“AACSB is uniquely positioned where we can connect senior-level executives, within the business community, to business schools seeking real-world global talent,” said Robyn Hall, assistant vice president of Seminars at AACSB International. “Through the Bridge Program, experts across a variety of industries gain a true understanding of how to best merge scholarship with practice, and make a powerful impact in the classroom. Concurrent, business schools can be confident that Bridge ‘graduates’ can immediately enter the classroom, and successfully balance the high-level expectations of academe.”

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be actively participating in their field of interest, have 5–7 years of extensive industry experience and have limited teaching experience. Individuals are carefully selected to ensure that they will have a powerful impact in the classroom, and that they meet the requirements for a scholarly or instructional practitioner at an AACSB-accredited institution.

Since its inception, almost 400 global executives have successfully completed the program—from small business owners and entrepreneurs, to individuals from corporations such as BP America, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Clif Bar & Company, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, KPMG, Lockheed Martin, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and TIAA-CREF. Many of these executives now serve as valued faculty members at business schools throughout the world.

For more information on the program or its recent global graduates, visit the AACSB Bridge Program