The face of global businesses is changing as we speak. Fresh out of the box professionals hardly get a breather to come to terms with new competitive or operational requirements. They’re faced with many challenges including inadequate experience, dealing with ruthless and highly complex corporate structures, and more importantly, a business education that’s far too theoretical and somewhat out of touch with daily business and organizational needs.
Universities can certainly make the experience more engaging by blending traditional business dogmas with practical real-world experiences and challenges. Not only will students be better prepared for standing out in the corporate world, they’ll also have a diverse and complex set of entrepreneurship skills.
Here’s how universities and higher learning institutions offering entrepreneurship programs can empower their students accordingly.
Course Outline Should Be Tied to Actual Business Challenges
Just to give you a generic example, a social media marketing professor could link discussions to how Facebook or Twitter have both become select promotional platforms for many well-known businesses globally.
A finance professor can instill certain notions in students by linking the 2008 mortgage crises to the lecture; notions such as monetary policy and quantitative easing.
Partner Up With Businesses
Well-known universities have partnership agreements with select businesses, under which students are sent as interns.
“Entrepreneurship in residence” is an excellent method of fostering practical know how in young professionals, giving them a chance to get their toes wet in the same waters as seasoned entrepreneurs. These programs see successful entrepreneurs giving lectures at campuses in order to give students crucial insights into real-world entrepreneurship and business.
It’s noteworthy to mention that most prominent universities offering executive MBA programs already have these partnerships in place; however, this practice should be incorporated by more higher education institutions, all the while making social entrepreneurs a stand out part of the program.
Students Should Get a Push Launching Their Own Business
The global economy today is marred by widespread unemployment. Why not lend students a helping hand by giving them a boost in launching their businesses?
Universities can go into partnerships with young and relatively novice entrepreneurs in order to obtain financing, do necessary market research, and build viable business opportunities. Institutions like the Small Business Administration can play a major supporting role.
Participating in Social Entrepreneurship Contests
Creating a channel through which students get to participate in entrepreneurship contests could provide them with much needed hands-on experience.
This can include businesses that focus squarely on a specific social cause or others that are tech startups. It’s no surprise The Apprentice is so popular among business circles around the world.
Here’s an idea: the entrepreneurship contest has student groups going head to head, while it’s sponsored by a reputable university. Or several higher education institutions can come together to sponsor similar contests.
Make Case Studies a Higher Priority
Case studies work great to spark the curiosity and intuitive intellect of young minds, exposing them to actual business situations.
Diving deep into current corporate success stories and operational hurdles can give students a rich understanding of processes that are most effective, and how to execute strategies based on them.
Essentially, this is what a business degree should revolve around: the critical thinking pattern a manager relies on to analyze any given situation, determine realistic alternatives, come up with crafty solutions and keep a close eye on progress.
Business Executives Can Play Their Part
The Kellogg School of Management has found creative ways of making entrepreneurship lectures more effective and “colorful” so to speak. From time to time, invitations are extended to high-ranking business executives who lecture full courses, make presentations as well as share their lessons and experiences with students.
These initiatives have proved to be an excellent tool for students to grasp real-world methodologies quickly, which traditional business courses may not be able to deliver as effectively.
To Sum it Up
To encourage and instill entrepreneurship skills in students, universities need to offer coursework that’s more practical – an ideal blend of traditional business literature with day to day business management needs.
The Education given ought to be action-driven so that students can put that real-world experience to good use once they step into the high stakes corporate world.