This week we congratulate the first Global Online MBA graduating class and I am delighted to be a part of their experience. The inaugural cohort of 67 students, represented by 30 nationalities were true pioneers of the programme and embraced the Imperial spirit of brilliant minds collaborating through community.
As this was the first class of the programme it was essential to set a high standard from the beginning. Creating a strong sense of global community among students and faculty was very important to the programme’s success. Dr David Lefevre initially led the Global Online MBA as Programme Director and the building of our bespoke learning platform, The Hub.
David says, “the biggest challenge we faced was to design a programme that effectively replicated the essential components of an on-campus MBA programme while maintaining the quality of the experience, and also in a formal flexible enough to study around work, family and other commitments. The Hub technology enabled us to do this and also revealed a number of advantages to the online format such as enabling us to provide more feedback to students and creating a greater sense of connectivity between staff and students. The Hub kept us connected at all times regardless of our location.”
The programme provided such flexibility that I know of four women within the cohort who became new mothers whilst maintaining their required study level. I’m particularly excited to congratulate these people on what seems like a superpower to find time and energy to do it all.
Students formed tight bonds at the on-campus induction week which continued throughout the following two years. The cohort came together for a group dinner at London’s iconic National Portrait Gallery during induction week and at the beginning of the programme, the cohort was divided into small syndicated groups based on residential times-zones and an even mix of gender and industry background to ensure diversity. During their second year, the groups are separated by the electives. WhatsApp, Facebook and The Hub are the main channels for communication. The Facebook group became a special space to share life evens such as weddings, new babies and holiday’s skiing in the Alps.
Our graduates have paved the way for future cohorts to follow and have set a high standard of collaboration both inside and outside the classroom. Our London based students would often form study groups and make use of the South Kensington campus library. It was also great to see students from all-over the globe choose to study the optional on-campus electives. It was a pleasure to hear that students had banded together around the Regional Exam Centres supporting each other before exams and celebrating together after.
It’s no wonder this Global Online MBA class had the highest satisfaction score out of the entire Business School programmes running over the same time period.
What do our graduating students have to say about completing the programme:
David Park says, “The main benefit is the ability to earn an Imperial College MBA from my home in Los Angeles! With the rapid advances in online education technology along with Imperial’s excellent online learning platform, The Hub, online learning today can be high quality, affordable, and fun. We’re truly living in a wonderful time!”
In addition, David says, “After I flew to London for the induction week, I came away thinking Imperial College Business School is ‘all-in’ and committed to the success of the Global Online MBA. I think the School recognises Imperial’s academic reputation is on the line, and only a top, well-respected programme will satisfy the alumni and the whole university community.”
Asrif Yusoff says “Outside of the classroom, I think the most valuable learning from the MBA experience is the collaborations that have taken place within our syndicate groups.”
April Morina says, “Working within the cohort on team projects has allowed me to experience, and experiment with, different leadership styles in an academic setting. I have learnt a tremendous amount from my teammates, and have also found that I can call on any of them for their opinions on workplace challenges.”
Avi Aronovitz says, “Taking on the Global Online MBA, and the need to spend 15 hours a week on it, on average, is a definite catalyst for improving one’s time-management skills in the workplace and in all aspects of life.”
Applications for September 2017 and January 2018 entry on the Global Online MBA programme are open.