Our Industry Projects are a Ground-Breaking Innovation

The concept of MBA industry partners and the industry project model implemented by Dūcere Business School is a ground-breaking innovation. Nowhere else in the world is there an MBA delivering such a project focus. For a long time academics have been trying to figure out how they can better align real experience with the academic experience in a business course.

Our MBA industry partners include a number of national and multi-national organisations across the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors. These partners provide real current challenges and opportunities that are facing the organisation. MBA student teams of around six individuals collaborate and work on these projects for these industry partners and senior stakeholders from these organisations. The outcomes of the projects go directly to the industry partners to be potentially actioned in part or whole. This means that projects are not added on, but integrated into the course. This is not just an ordinary industry placement that bolts on to the traditional modular business course. These projects are really at the core of the student’s experience.

Save the Children Team

 

As a Dūcere MBA candidate, you deliver three industry projects throughout the MBA, each lasting about four months. While completing those projects you also undertake academic assignments which are aligned to different milestones of those projects. You deliver real outcomes to the industry partners which will potentially impact these organisations’ bottom lines. In completing the three projects you get through the different nine academic divisions of your MBA namely Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, People and Culture, Ethics and Sustainability, Strategy and Risk, Finance and Administration, Information and Systems, Marketing and Communication and Operations Management.

It is our belief that the traditional siloed approach to business courses which is modular, (for example you study finance this month and people and culture next month, strategy the month after) is actually not reflective of the modern working world. There is no such business project  that is purely a “finance project”. You need to be able to consider all of these business problems holistically. You need to be thinking about all of the different elements and how they interplay in order to solve any problem. By focusing on real current challenges that industry partners are facing, we ensure that the curriculum is a live curriculum. These are the most pressing and significant strategic issues that are out there in the market today rather than an academic curriculum which is historically defined by University and is being rolled purely as an exercise.

Additionally any business concept you learn is discovered in the context of a real problem and those learnings are directly applied. Rather than learning simply how to approach building a strategic plan for example, you actually delivering a strategic plan to an organisation. You are then getting direct feedback from really high calibre professionals. They will be letting you know, when bench-marked against their high standards, how successfully you are achieving those outcomes. Receiving that kind of direct feedback from really significant industry players is a unique offering of this course.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at mba@ducere.edu.au

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Promoting and Supporting Innovation and Leadership

As the name of the course makes clear, the focus of the Dūcere MBA is Innovation and Leadership. While these are currently buzzwords and you may be seeing them consistently in the current education media and also in industry, we wanted to make sure that they weren’t just buzzwords to us.

In the Dūcere MBA students are learning advanced business concepts in a real-world context and that gives them the opportunity to really focus on innovative, blue sky thinking about real-world innovative solutions to  problems faced by major organisations.

A supportive environment is provided to encourage innovation. So rather than a commercial situation which is high risk, students are given the opportunity to take chances and really come up with something creative and different. So when they deliver the project to the industry partner they may be able to present something interesting and new that the organisation had not previously thought about. The partner organisation, in turn, gets to work with a dynamic MBA group from diverse backgrounds, drawing on varied experiences to provide ideas and solutions that are very different to a typical consultancy group.

Clearly the innovation element is extremely important and students are encouraged to reflect on how they are thinking and how they are approaching these problems innovatively throughout the course. This is done throughout the course via journaling reflections on the industry deliverables, each time they produce something for an industry partner.

With regard to the other aspect of the specialisation; Leadership, again there are a number of courses available claiming to be focused on leadership. However we don’t believe that you can simply learn theoretically about leadership. In our view fostering leadership requires an experiential learning approach. You can learn theories about leadership, but you really need to apply them to understand what works for you.

Project progression

The linear progression throughout the course is in three stages. You progress from Learner, to Manager to Leader. This means that in your first project you enter at the bottom of your project team in terms of hierarchy. You also have the mentorship of those in the team with more course experience. These are the Managers and Leaders in their second and third projects. You in then move through each stage, managing and eventually leading a project group. By your third project you have learned about various management and leadership theories and witnessed a range of approaches and skills. You are now ready for your opportunity to lead your group and undertake engagement with the client and manage the students who have joined the course at later stages.

If you would like to know more about the Dūcere and UC MBA- Innovation and Leadership you may contact us at mba@ducere.edu.au

 

Photo credit:  Follow the Leader Vinoth Chandar CC 2012

The Extraordinary Power of Ducere’s Industry Projects

Studying for an MBA is now more accessible than ever before due to the proliferation of online course providers and moves from some providers to lower eligibility criteria for entry. This means that there are thousands of MBA graduates each year in Australia vying for the most desirable roles.

So why choose Ducere Business School over another provider? On first glance the Ducere MBA format might seem a little interesting and a little quirky. You may notice that the Ducere MBA has a faculty of global leaders. You might have noticed that there are no exams and perhaps that appeals to you.

What a lot of people seem to miss however is the extraordinary power of the industry based projects and what that means for getting noticed in the business world.

Think about this: You have the opportunity to complete projects for real companies with real commercial outcomes and the opportunity to receive an invaluable reference for your CV, all the while supported by peers, expert academics, mentors and learning resources.

Projects are completed through online collaboration in small teams of five or six people. There is no need to go on-site, and the MBA may be completed 100% online outside of business hours. The majority of the Ducere MBA candidates complete the course whilst working full-time.

You have an opportunity through the Ducere MBA to gain experience and references that you are probably not going to get through any other means. Project partners include KPMG, National Australia Bank, Seek, PwC, Save the Children Australia, the Australian Treasury and Linfox.

While there is no guarantee that you will excel, you will be completing these projects in a highly supportive environment. This is a way to get experience in high level corporate project work and build vital business skill-sets with minimal professional risk.

In the Ducere MBA program so far, the quality and value of the project deliverables has been consistently high. This shows that MBA candidates have been supported and educated to such an extent that they have been able to meet the demands of the industry projects and in most cases excel.

To date every single project delivered by Ducere MBA teams has been received favourably by industry partners. This means that all candidates have the potential for a positive written reference from the industry partner as well as a positive personal reference that they can convey anecdotally at any job interview or promotional review.

We all know that when we applying for a new role the interviewer is going to ask us to give an example of when we achieved a certain outcome or handled a certain challenge. They may also ask what value you can add as an MBA graduate. Ducere MBA graduates are at a distinct advantage here. While the typical MBA graduate may be able to relate a story from a case study in their assignment, or a concept from a book that they have read, the Ducere graduate has a real-world story, with the real-world outcome to convey.

Can you think of anywhere else in the world where you could get three references from three prestigious organisations within a 12 month period? Can you think of any other way you can get first-hand experience delivering important projects within corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations?

Most other MBAs, if they have an industry component at all will include an internship at the end of your studies. This is very different to the immersive experience that you get throughout the MBA course with Ducere.

Consider also the satisfaction of knowing that your MBA project will become a working document within the partner organisation, and not just another work of academic theory to gather dust.

To discuss further email Patrick Loke at mba@ducere.edu.au

The views expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily shared by Ducere Business School.