Source: Financial Times
By Diana Drury,
Military-style situations let participants hone their business skills
Students on the executive MBA programme at Smith School of Business were put to the test over 16 hours in the Canadian snow. Through a series of military boot camp-style challenges, from driving a Humvee blindfolded to planning a covert operation, they deployed their problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills.
What was going on? The students were in a programme co-created by Smith and a company led by former Canadian Armed Forces special operations soldiers. Smith partnered with Reticle
But why subject students to such activities? Businesses prize many of the skills that military personnel possess: the ability to deal with adversity, overcome setbacks, be resilient and work effectively and quickly as a team in order to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles.
Among the skills employers look for
To ensure graduates are equipped with such skills, business schools are stepping outside the classroom and exploring more “unconventional” — or experiential — learning. For example, ESMT Berlin business school is working with Exit VR, a company that offers virtual reality escape-room experiences, to create custom games to enable its students to explore topics including
An executive education offering at London Business School has participants navigate a simulated hostage situation organised by former police detectives.
Smith’s pilot programmes led to a greater understanding among students of how people perceive and process critical information differently, when to step up as a leader and when to step back, and how to think differently when you are outside your comfort zone.
Experiential learning is not new to business schools. From case studies to real-world business projects, international study, student-run investment funds
But today’s global business environment requires professionals and teams whose skills go beyond traditional business school teachings. Exposure to