Top business schools are adjusting and innovating in response to the unexpected changes that COVID-19 has brought. Since B-schools are all about providing an education in management, some schools are trying to take the current public health crisis as a unique chance to learn.
Not to be outdone, Stanford Graduate School of Business has launched three new courses dealing with the current pandemic, as detailed in a recently published article in which the school outlines how it has adapted its curriculum for the spring semester.
One of those courses, Reflections on History in the Making, acknowledges the historic magnitude of the current moment. As the title indicates, the course is an opportunity for students to reflect on events around them, and to archive their experiences.
Then there’s a coronavirus-themed Business and Society Lecture Series. That course brings in speakers who will offer perspectives on the potentially far-reaching changes COVID-19 is bringing to society and the business environment.
Finally, Civic Workshop has a more hands-on focus. Students work in teams to implement projects intended to help communities affected by COVID-19.
Together, these courses represent a range of ways that MBA students are meeting the COVID-19 crisis head-on: processing personal experiences, learning from events in society, and executing projects that make a concrete difference.
In all cases, the point is that building leadership skills means engaging with the current historic moment.
As Stanford GSB’s senior associate dean for academic affairs puts it, “There are moments in history when the world is ablaze, and it’s unclear what’s going to come after the fire, and I think we may be in one of those moments.”
“If we are, the question will be what will the world look like — and what should the world look like?” he says. “Our students will be the people who will make decisions about how these things will work in the new world.”
From that perspective, the experiences and learning opportunities that top MBA programs like Stanford provide would seem to be more valuable than ever in a time of increased uncertainty.
If you’re thinking that this may be the right time to pursue a graduate management education, we’re ready to give you feedback on how your application might be received at top schools and how you can emphasize the unique personal contribution you have to make.
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