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How A Diverse Faculty Blends Practical Experience with Academic Expertise
By Staff WriterUpdated May 30, 2018 Updated May 30, 2018
Sponsored by EU Business School
As a student in her native Ukraine, Iuliia Krupikova found she wasn’t being taught the practical skills needed to find a job. She says: “I started my university career back home in Ukraine but very quickly realized that the approach to higher education there was very theoretical and dry. Most professors were pure academics, lacking any real life, hands-on business experience.”
Her experience is far from unique. Around the world, a gap is forming between companies which are facing a skills shortage and graduates who are unable to find work. According to global consultancy Mckinsey, this will only be bridged if “providers and employers step actively into each other’s worlds”.
Today, Krupikova is an Events Manager and Marketing Coordinator at US multinational HP. She puts her success down to her decision to move to EU Business School (EU), where she studied both her undergraduate degree in Communication and Public Relations and an MBA in International Marketing at its Barcelona campus.
Krupikova chose EU for her MBA as it provided the perfect example of how institutions and employers can better connect – through a high-caliber faculty. Selecting a bespoke team of lecturers with a blend of academic expertise and professional experience turns the faculty itself into the missing link between education and the world of work.
Why diversity matters
In addition to its state-of-the-art new facilities in Barcelona, EU Business School has campuses in Geneva, Montreux and Munich, and also offers remote learning through its Online MBA. Across all of these locations, the school’s faculty is comprised of full-time academics with doctoral degrees, as well as part-time instructors from the international business community.
Krupikova describes the faculty on her MBA in International Marketing program as “international, multicultural and experienced,” and says this diversity was “crucial” for her learning experience.
“[The lecturers’] unique perspectives helped me develop skills that I was able to apply when I was working in a small company with a total headcount of 10 people as well as now, in an office of over 2,000 people in Barcelona,” she says.
One of the key benefits of a diverse faculty with a wide range of nationalities and specialisms is that students on MBA programs from Communications and Public Relations to International Business are exposed to lecturers who have extensive experience in the world of business.
EU’s Online MBA lecturer Dr. Angelos Vouldis – who has both a PhD in Business Performance Management and senior management experience – says this is of crucial importance.
“If a business professor has never in some way participated in business activities, how can they know what doing business demands?” he asks, adding: “It's important for professors to have their own real-world experience so they can provide their students with a well-rounded education that goes beyond just what is in a textbook.”
Dr Vouldis, a former sales and marketing director at Mercedes Benz, says he shared his own successes with students but also his failures - to show that mistakes are part of the process.
“I try to make them walk in my shoes and use real business case studies from my career. I’m comfortable sharing my business failures. I believe successes are well documented, but it's the failures that are more important to share.”
Finding ways to bridge the gap between education and employment and ensure that further education is applicable to the modern business world is crucial, according to Dr Vouldis.
“It’s a well-known problem that universities continue to dwell on the theoretical in favor of the practical, and it doesn’t bode well in results-driven industries. This is what I’m trying to fulfill with my teaching approach. The aim of an online MBA program is to offer students skills and mindsets related to real hands-on business problems.”
This article was originally published in May 2018 .
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