In its effort to understand the changing needs of the industry, the School of Management (SoM), with Prof. Marilou Busano as project lead and with the help of the 4th year Management students, sent out invitations to various alumni who are currently working and doing business in various fields, such as banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, shared services, hotel, and restaurant for a roundtable discussion (RTD).
The purpose of the RTD activity is to gather the thoughts and suggestions of the industry and alumni of the SoM. The facilitators of the RTD asked the following questions:
- In the context of the 21st-century business setting (globalization, digitization, millennials, and generation z), what opportunities should SoM take advantage? Or what should SoM be focusing?
- In the context of their particular industries, what are the needs they think SoM could address?
- Given their experience with how SoM taught them in college and now that they are where they are in the industry, in what way can SoM improve its method of teaching (pedagogy)?
There were three focus groups with seven alumni from the industry and three SoM faculty members. The following are the answers of the 21 guests:
1. Opportunities SoM should take advantage of:
- Collaboration projects with other programs, business owners, and alumni for a mentoring program
- Growing need for skill in Business Analysis and Analytics, Data Science, Project Management, system, and process management
- Conduct strategic policy papers that can be implemented in coordination with LGUs
- Offer tracks and allow students to choose
2. Needs of the industry/alumni:
- Improve the skills of the graduates – communication, managerial, analytical, interpersonal, leadership and soft skills, negotiation, conflict management
- Inculcate work ethics and values such as commitment, sense of urgency, perseverance, humility
- The workplace today is looking for hybrids or super employees that know a bit of everything, and expert in one
- Prepare mindset of the students to become entrepreneurs, to have a general direction what they want to pursue in their careers, to be more solution-oriented
3. Methods of teaching:
- Internship program
- Mixed class of Management and non-Management students
- Team teaching
- Partner with alumni/business owners for students to create business plans
- Experiential learning for more practical application on the theories and cases