The Academy of Human Resource Development’s (AHRD) goal is “to encourage the systematic study of Human Resource Development (HRD) theories, processes, and practices; to disseminate information about HRD; to encourage the application of HRD research findings; and to provide opportunities for social interaction among individuals with scholarly and professional interests in HRD from multiple disciplines and from across the globe.”
As an initiative to uphold the ABS/UM6P interdisciplinary approach to research, Dr. David Hayes our expert professor in entrepreneurship and innovation participated in this year’s conference under the theme: Innovating and Leading in Times of Rapid and Unplanned Change.
Alongside his specialized human resources colleague Dr. Siham Lekchiri from Western Carolina University, Dr. Hayes introduced their work on “Entrepreneurial Readiness: A Career Development Framework for Moroccan Females.” A research on improving the participation and success of Moroccan females in entrepreneurship.
Why and when to choose an MBA?
Accelerate your career, acquire an “international profile”, join a world-class professional network… there are many reasons to choose an MBA program. Synonymous with boldness and agility, the MBA (Master of Business Administration) allows you to make a radical career change.
Opting for an MBA means being willing and able to make a difference. This observation is unanimously shared in the academic and professional world. The MBA allows you to make the “triple jump”: change of position, sector of activity or location (international career). It is therefore a diploma of excellence, which is thoroughly prepared.
An MBA is indeed an opportunity for learners to update their general knowledge and skills after a few years of professional life. An MBA also gives meaning to one’s own commitments, allows one to better understand the changes around one and the economic phenomena that surround us and, above all, helps one to land management positions more quickly.
“Today, it is necessary to constantly relearn to adjust managerial decisions to the volatile and uncertain world of business. In an MBA program, students can share their experience and learn from their peers. It is also an excellent networking opportunity,” says François Thérin, Professor of Strategy & Innovation and Senior Advisor to the Dean of Africa Business School.
An MBA can also be a perfect mean for networking. This program of excellence has the merit of generously filling the graduates address books with contacts. In fact, the program brings together a variety of profiles from different backgrounds. And, since it takes place in small groups (20 to 30 people on average), it creates powerful bonds that last for years to come.
The members of this “family” ultimately join a close-knit community made up of the institution’s alumni alongside other graduates and the program’s partner companies. So much so that the network is more important than the degree itself for some.
MBA: A solid signal to recruiters
An international degree at the highest level of business management, the MBA is therefore still ranked as “the” worldwide reference for executives wishing to boost their careers. Thanks to the skills acquired, but also thanks to the network and opportunities it creates: an MBA attracts as much as it reassures employers and recruiters of your determination to move forward.
But at what point in your career should you take the plunge and apply for an MBA program? “An MBA usually comes after a few years of practice and in some cases for more experienced managers. There is no longer a specific profile. We may have people in their 30s or 40s from very different backgrounds and industries. The common characteristic is a certain level of managerial experience, managing people or projects, a willingness to benefit from new knowledge and to share with peers,” explains François Thérin of the Africa Business School.
An MBA is therefore primarily aimed at mastering the fundamentals in all areas of business (finance, marketing, human resources, etc.). “Hard skills”, whose acquisition necessarily goes hand in hand with “soft skills” (innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and emotional intelligence, etc.).
What we offer at Africa Business School
Mainly accessible in long-term education, the MBA is generally available in several formats, depending on the candidate’s profile and professional imperatives.
Within the Africa Business School, the Executive MBA program was designed in collaboration with Columbia Business School. The 20-months program has already trained 200 graduates of different nationalities.
The Africa Business School is indeed one of the best accredited universities in Africa. Based in Morocco, the university partners with the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) to offer world-class business training to African students.
ABS’s students learn from 40 internationally renowned academic and professional leaders in an environment designed and conceived to develop African leaders.
In a context marked by a global pandemic and the emergence of new challenges, the “online MBA” is positioned as a major asset to achieve one’s professional objectives in an innovative way, with a high level of flexibility. The Online MBA developed by Africa Business School is addressed to all those who are willing to acquire new skills through advanced concepts and ways of thinking, in order to help them develop their decision-making skills and adapt to the future challenges of this new complex era.
Insights with Professor François Thérin, Head of Open Programs at Africa Business School.
According to your experience, what are the reasons that drive students to choose an MBA program?
François Thérin: An MBA is the opportunity for learners to update their knowledge and soft skills after a few years in their professional life. It is nowadays necessary to relearn constantly to adjust managerial decisions to the volatile and uncertain business world we are in.
In an MBA program, students can share their experience and learn from their peers. It is also a great opportunity for networking, for now and for the future, including for business or career change.
What are the different types of student profiles applying for MBAs in general and for the Africa Business School in particular?
François Thérin: An MBA generally comes mostly after a few years of practice and in some cases for more experienced managers. There is no more a specific profile. We can have people in their early 30’s or in their 40’s and coming from very different backgrounds and industries. The common characteristic is a certain level of managerial experience, managing people or projects, the willingness to benefit from new insights and to share with peers.
Why has ABS opted for the online MBA and what are the objectives of this program?
François Thérin: The Online MBA has the same learning objectives as any other MBA at ABS: We train creative and autonomous leaders, who embrace complexity, integrating technology and analytics in their management, act as catalyst of learning, innovation and growth, in a socially and ethically responsible framework, adding value to an organization or the society, in Africa and beyond. An online MBA is only a different way to address these objectives, which provides a high-level of flexibility and a rich experience.
Who should participate to this online MBA?
François Thérin: The ABS Online MBA is for professionals who want to do an MBA but think that, because of their location or professional and family commitments, they cannot commit to a specific schedule every week, weekend or month. The profiles of the students are otherwise similar.
What is the benefit of choosing an “online MBA” instead of a traditional MBA?
François Thérin: The ABS Online MBA offers a high level of flexibility, as it is asynchronous and also lots of time to think, reflect, really work in team, for example on our action-learning project. All these activities are much more difficult to fully achieve in a week-end MBA for example.
Some might think that the “quality”, if one can say so, or the “prestige” of the MBA could be “altered” in the case of an online MBA, since face-to-face is often the “best formula for learning”, one might say… What do you think?
François Thérin: This is a « before Covid” question that has become even more irrelevant in 2021. There are studies showing that the learning experience is in fact richer in an online MBA and that, for some types of learners, the level of interactions is higher.
What are the different modules of this ABS online MBA?
François Thérin: The ABS Online MBA is structured around 3 integrative modules, which is really innovative for an MBA, followed by 4 core modules, one action-learning project – another innovative approach for an online MBA, 3 electives and a final dissertation. Through the integrative modules, we are addressing pressing issues for any manager such as the development of a Growth Mindset, How to create sustainable value for the organization or How to manage with and within complexity.
Do you think online MBAs will appeal to students?
François Thérin: This question should not be in the future tense. There are thousands of students already in Online MBAs, some offered by the most recognized business schools in the world and there are many more to come.