Thursday, May 15, 2014

Apply What You Learn: Kelley Direct Focuses on the Workplace

At Kelley Direct, we are proud to be the nation’s top online graduate business program as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. We are a market leader because fifteen years of experience allows us to teach students to prepare themselves for the twenty-first century workplace.

While helpful - earning a paycheck and continuing to gain work experience are not the most valuable professional benefits of an online MBA.  More fundamentally, a Kelley Direct student weaves daily learning with daily management challenges faced in the workplace.  On-the-job “trial and error” application of new insights accelerates development of executive decision making skills in a way no residential MBA program can offer.

Abandon the Traditional Classroom

Abandon the traditional classroom as your measurement stick of the online learning experience. Instead, use your workplace as the context against which you judge an online MBA program.

Just like the new 24-7 global workplace, you use digital tools in Kelley Direct to link with your faculty and classmates.  As the norm for connecting and learning, the online MBA develops your skills in leading virtual meetings, managing virtual teams, and networking virtually across organizations.

Virtual teams do not function with regularly scheduled staff meetings.  An effective boss in New York does not make her India team get up at 3AM each Tuesday to meet with their U.S. peers.  24-7 global teams manage work in multi-modal ways.  Similarly, you can miss the weekly video session in your Kelley Direct class and watch the archive.  Learning occurs through different channels.  Our faculty members must not see you on the video at a prescheduled time each week to judge the quality of your investment in the course.  Doing so shackles learning to an obsolete “brick and mortar” classroom model.

Invest In Face-to-Face Time When It Matters

Just like in the workplace - when we come together in person, we make it count.  We do not do things we could otherwise do online.  Kelley Connect Week in Bloomington, AGILE course travel experiences in emerging markets, and weekend courses in strategically chosen U.S. cities organize Kelley Direct students into teams to solve real problems.  We purposefully insure students have multiple opportunities to network with their peers.

Faculty members write cases and assign student teams to clients. 
Students must pitch executive level solutions that are practical and actionable.  Because recommendations will be implemented, mediocrity is not an option.  Action-based learning prepares Kelley Direct students to organize analysis and make decisions under pressure.  Students gain impact experience they include on their resume and talk about in job interviews. 

Beyond the “live fire training” of residency courses, members of Kelley Direct meet each other through student organizations.  These communities of common interest build the same camaraderie as traditional MBA programs but adapt themselves to the reality of virtual organizations.  Members from around the world bring themselves together for high value encounters.  For example, the Kelley Direct Marketing Club recently hosted a weekend conference in Chicago.  Members organized company visits, industry speakers and informal networking events to grow professionally and to build lasting relationships. 

Your Workplace is Your Lab

Kelley Direct students treat their classes like a job and their job like a class.  This reversed thinking motivates a high level of organization to get assignments done and a high level of energy to experiment in the workplace.  Students immediately apply knowledge they learn in courses – they do not have to wait until they land a job at graduation.

With a curriculum designed with the 24-7 virtual global workplace in mind, Kelley Direct prepares aspiring executives for the future of business faster.
By Phil Powell, Faculty Chair of Kelley Direct
Got a comment?  I love ‘em…. Comment below or tweet me at @MBAPropheteer or @KelleyDirect

Related Posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment