Business management is changing with the rise of knowledge economy and the effects of globalisation across the world. There are a number of reasons for the persistent challenges that students face at the time of employment. The gap between theoretical knowledge and the practice of skills is widening. The industry can play a direct or indirect role in addressing the root cause for this widening gap.
At this juncture, ‘Industry Connect’ (i-Connect) for Business Management students is emerging as a useful and usable model that bridges the gap between academic business school research and knowledge needs of practicing managers.
What i-connect provides:
- i-Connect envisages industry collaboration with universities and colleges to help design, develop and deliver modules for training students in a way that they are made industry-ready
- It also provides an opportunity to the faculty to understand what each industry needs so that they can align their teaching to the needs of the specific industry
- i-Connect facilitates internships for students to ensure that they get industry exposure during their campus days itself and are fully aligned to the industry at the time of employment
- Immersive industry exposure through 5 month i-Connect core internship and one month NGO project / Social initiatives under the oversight of faculty members and executive industry sponsors, ensures integrated professional and career growth for the students
Reasons why students need industry based internships:
2. It also forces students to learn to identify and define problems, understand and navigate formal and informal structures, identify implementable actions, and exercise judgments when making decisions.
3. It teaches students skills based on finding and framing problems, collecting, synthesizing and distilling large volumes of ambiguous data, engaging in generative and lateral thinking, and helps them constantly experiment and learn.
4. Immersion in demanding real world projects helps students learn how to work in a team, develop interpersonal skills, engage and motivate each other to complete a task, and resolve conflicts all essentials of leadership skills.
5. Industry based internships help students confront real business challenges with real stakes in real time. It also helps them learn to overcome unexpected obstacles and successfully navigate organisations, perspectives, and cultures. Dealing with “unexpected contingencies” helps students recognise, appreciate, and adapt to organisation realities by tempering knowledge with practical constraints.
6. Students would be able to understanding the tension between regulatory activities aimed at preventing social harm and market-based incentives designed to encourage innovation and efficiency.
7. It helps students develop integrative thinking. The ability to constructively face the tensions of opposing models and choosing one at the expense of the other generates a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new model that contains elements of the individual models.
8. The “direct encounters” with organizations enable students to learn about organizational realities. The learner is directly in touch with realities being studied. It involves direct encounters with the phenomenon being studied rather than thinking about the encounter or only considering the possibility of doing something with it. It helps students create knowledge through grasping experience and transforming it.
9. Interactions with frontline and middle level employees such as assembly-line workers, clerical staff, and salespersons can help students learn about the aspirations, motivations, and desires of individuals different from themselves and thereby help students develop empathy.
10. Industry based internships prepare students for completely different careers such as managerial positions at large multinationals, entrepreneurial roles at high-tech start-ups, or leadership of NGOs.
The leading edge of positive outcome is already visible and underway, as most of the students aspiring for business management programmes (BBA/MBA) are flocking to business schools where i-Connect internship is embedded in the course curricula.