The business world is fast-changing and with that, the demand for skilled individuals is growing. The learning methodologies and institutional pedagogies of the past are not going to be enough for solving the real-life problems of the future. A lot of B-schools are thus making changes in their curriculums and their approach to learning. We spoke to Prof. Sanghamitra Buddhapriya, Dean(Academics) of FORE School of Management, New Delhi, who talks about how FSM is making it easier for students to be abreast with the latest developments in the industry and helping them to be the thought leaders of tomorrow. This is the excerpt:
Finance and Fintech have seen a massive interest in the recent past in India, thanks to the markets. How are you making sure that as a Dean of FSM, you are tapping into this opportunity?
India has one of the fastest-growing economies, and this has accelerated the Finance and Fintech industries. At FSM, we strive to stay in sync with the changing times and transform our pedagogy to keep abreast with the market trends. Hence our courses adopt a more global approach. We are teaching not only about the prospects of finance and Fintech in Indian markets but offer a comparative analysis of the worldwide markets.
The course also incorporates special lectures from industry experts, workshops, group discussions, industrial visits, case reports, etc., along with classroom learning. So, we offer all-around knowledge to tap into the opportunities that the markets open up, and we ensure that our students are industry-ready by the time they get placed.
Keeping the dynamic changes in mind, how are you making sure that the education provided to the students at FSM is cutting edge and they are ready to hit the ground running when they graduate from their B-school?
As a management school, we offer our students industry-based education with concepts, models, and frameworks of practices followed in the present and futuristic industry. As mentioned earlier, our core practice includes staying in tune with the dynamically changing industry trends, and we introduce new elements in our pedagogy accordingly. Furthermore, we invite guest lecturers, mentors, industry professionals, and knowledgeable educators to offer exposure to worldwide business scenarios.
Then we have the IIP- International Immersive Programme and Student Exchange Programmes, which allow our students to network with peers across the globe and learn from an international faculty. We have a holistic approach where our students are equipped with the perfect contemporary tools to be industry-ready from the day they set foot off our campus and into the real world.
What are some of the core skills that B-school students of today need to develop in order to face challenges in the real world?
In today’s world, skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, design thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, leadership qualities, etc., have become extremely crucial. What these skills do is develop an aptitude in students with which they can approach any challenge they would face by breaking it down and solving it piece by piece; they help students strategize. So, we do not just impart knowledge in terms of concepts and meanings, but we also help students cultivate analytical abilities that help them make the right decisions. This further boosts their confidence levels in executing such decisions and helps them blossom well in the so-called ‘VUCA’ world.
You stress gender issues at work and emotional intelligence while teaching your students in class. Why do you think looking at problems from these perspectives is important for future managers?
In my view, MBA students must have sufficient knowledge of some of the pertinent gender issues in the workplace, such as gender inequality, sexual harassment, and male-female interaction. So that they can best utilize male and female talents by managing these issues effectively.
Also, every student of management must be emotionally intelligent so that they can handle diverse, complex, and stressful work environments effectively. By being emotionally intelligent they can be aware of their emotions and their impact on behavior and performance of self and others.
In a recent research paper, you worked on the intrinsic motivational potential and its effect on academic performance, life satisfaction, and procrastination of the MBA students. What were some of your findings? What do you think the students of today should be working upon to make strides in their careers?
This recent research work, which was carried out with a sample of 222 MBA students from across India, examines the effect of the intrinsic motivational potential of the students on their academic performance, life satisfaction, and procrastination. Results indicate MBA students with higher intrinsic motivational potential tend to show high academic performance; high life satisfaction and low procrastination.
It is suggested that as MBA students, who are future managers, operate in a highly competitive and complex academic environment, their intrinsic motivational potential is important in their professional careers and it can have a positive impact on their performance and life satisfaction.
What are some new plans that are in place for FSM this year in terms of diversifying the academic environment?
We strive towards inclusivity, where students from diverse cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, etc., can study under one roof. Similarly, we want our faculty members to bring their expertise and culture to our institute. Hence, we are offering diversity weightage to students from the North East and South Indian states who have excellent potential but lack the resources.
Additionally, we want to encourage more female candidates to join our institute. We are also welcoming diversified faculty from various academic backgrounds to teach our students and promote gender diversity among faculty, too.
What is your advice for the upcoming students who want to join a B-school to upskill themselves?
The pandemic has certainly enlightened people on the need for upskilling. So, my advice to upcoming students is to join a B-school that
(a.) Offers global exposure, (b.) Provides the apt upskills that the futuristic industry requires, and (c.) Presents you with a transformational experience where you develop yourself as a confident professional.