In a hyper-competitive employment market simply holding an MBA may not be enough for students to secure their dream job. Sometimes the edge does not always come from books.
To help mould students into complete employment packages ready to take their career to the next level, Torrens University has introduced ‘success coaches’ that will help students identify their strengths and align their learning experience with a broader life purpose.
The initiative was implemented university-wide and designed to bridge professional and academic skills, but MBA students are expected to benefit greatly due to the growing concern across the academic sphere about graduate employability.
“Universities everywhere have figured out that they have to do something about the employability of graduates,” Torrens University MBA Program Director Dr Justin Pierce said, after admitting businesses have offered feedback that some MBA graduates aren’t actually ‘work ready’.
Business schools across Australia have long competed to deliver the best MBA program and often lose sight of the student’s life after studies. Through the efforts to craft the perfect learning experience, Dr Pierce believes the market has become saturated.
“So universities around the world are reacting in a number of different ways,” Dr Pierce said.
“Some are bringing industry into the classroom in the form of guest lecturers, while others are organising work placement and internships.”
“What we’re doing is upping the ante completely by introducing success coaches.”
Not to be mistaken for an academic advisor, Torrens’ success coaches exist to work with students on what makes them ‘employable’.
The coaches all have business industry backgrounds and are well-versed in what makes a successful MBA. Their approach is to focus less attention on a student’s weaknesses and spend more time nurturing their strengths.
Dr Pierce said that Torrens acknowledged the fact that every student is unique, and their strengths differ from one to the other.
“That is why it is important for success coaches to focus on what a student excels at to successfully pinpoint how a student can solve academic and real-world problems,” he said.
“We are keeping in step with our competitors by providing real world projects and guest lecturers, but then we have our success coaches sit alongside our lecturers and students.
“The intent is that when our students get out there, they are supremely more employable because they are conscious of their own skills and ready to pounce on anything that comes their way.”
The success coach program is still in early stages, but the goal is for every MBA student to have a designated coach who they can turn to whenever they feel they need extra guidance.
Students are not required to take advantage of the program, but Torrens remains committed to the initiative and will encourage all students to get the most out of the opportunity.
“We need to be producing graduates who are work ready and prepared to contribute to society,” Dr Pierce said.
Approximately 60% of MBA students at Torrens are working professionals while others are full time international and domestic student.
The Torrens MBA program runs for 18 months, however Torrens flexible program that can be completed at a pace that suits the students. Some MBAs can be completed anywhere between 12 months and three years.