Monday, August 30, 2010

Integrative Learning At NMS: Outbound Program

Last week we saw how NMS B School provides its students the advantage of Integrative Learning that combines Functional Discipline, Industry Analysis and Country Study to offer participants the kind of exposure that is not otherwise possible in a typical management program. Integrative Learning at NMS follows a comprehensive approach to ensure that the students constantly learn, both in and outside the classroom. This week we take a look at some of the components that go into nurturing corporate-ready students through Integrative Learning.

The courses at NMS begin with a one-week Orientation session that attempts to bring all students on the same page and homogenize a class consisting of students from diverse backgrounds.

What NMS students attend additionally is an Outbound Program that aims at cultivating an atmosphere of trust among the students, exposing and alleviating any fears or inhibitions they may be harbouring, helping the students understand themselves better and bond with peers while experiencing a sense of adventure.

NMS achieves these in two ways.

The first is by involving students in a Group Sharing exercise where students share something personal about themselves in a moderated environment with the help of an experienced facilitator. Given that the students are to embark on an educational journey together, this exercise helps them to know others in the group and also discover themselves, an essential exercise for a group that will be exchanging cultures and contexts over the span of their course.

The second is by engaging the students in group activities and exercises like a night drive in the forest, trekking, rappelling, rock climbing, kayaking etc. These activities help the students bond better and prepare to work in a team not only for the forthcoming educational journey but also through life.

Students who were part of the Outbound Program last year enjoyed the challenges that the planned activities presented and how they made the students face their fears. Not to mention, all of them came back enriched with each other’s stories and more emotionally bonded than before the program.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

India As The Global Destination For Education

As early as 500 years Before Christ, India had become an International Centre of Learning for students from South East Asia. Scholars from China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and the likes were drinking from the fountains of knowledge that were the universities of Taxila (Takshashila) and Nalanda. Two universities that had a formidable reputation, when it came to both the extent and depths of knowledge that was available to be absorbed by a willing student, were the pride of place in ancient India. And from then on, India has carved its own niche in the field of education, building on its heritage.

Modern day amenities, the ease of travel and globalization have ensured that more and more students have access to the repositories of knowledge across the world. And that has truly made knowledge borderless and added more dimensions to existing know-how by allowing global experiences to enhance existing knowledge. In this context, let us take a moment to see where India stands in the global education scenario at present and what the world can look forward to.

If we embark on a cost-benefit analysis at the outset, the cost of education in India set against the standards it is offered at makes it an immediate cost-effective proposition for obtaining world-class education. And this fact applies to education across streams right from technical education to education in arts and culture, enabling students with varied set of interests to access India’s knowledge at very reasonable costs. And this is the primary reason for International students to come to India and seek education.

Couple that advantage with the unique cultural fabric that India is, with roots from thousands of years ago and branches growing constantly into the new skies. India is a strange mix of tradition and progressive environments that lets students experience a very different cultural context in education. When it comes to International students, this increases their gamut of educational contexts to include both Western and Eastern philosophies as well as multifarious approaches to every aspect of education and becomes another reason why students seek India as a preferred educational destination.

To top that, India’s colonial heritage includes English as one of the official languages of the country and that makes it multiple times easier for International students to learn as well as adjust socially in the country. English being the medium of instruction in most educational institutions gives students a good reason to consider studying in India and it remains India’s edge in the world.

These advantages are supplemented sufficiently by the pioneering work that Indians have and are doing in various fields ranging from science and technology to literature and the arts. Indians continue to constitute a significant percentage of the student community internationally and act as brand ambassadors for brand India. Their work speaks volumes for the research and development environment in India and the technological development taking place in the country. International students prefer this dynamic environment and look forward to the opportunity of learning from all the work being done here. Right from biopharmaceutical companies like Biocon that are setting new milestones in research, world-class research institutes like IISc and TIFR, professional institutions like the various Indian Institutes and the groundbreaking work being done in music, literature and the arts India attracts International students with a thirst to learn for the innumerable learning opportunities it offers.

Be it the ancient cultural roots, a search for new and exciting grounds to explore, the opportunity to explore and learn its art, a chance to make a change at grass-root levels, the easy access, the quality on offer, the exposure or the cost, the truth is that more and more International students are choosing India as their educational destination. In any institution and university across the geography of the country, a significant presence from around the globe is being felt and there is a huge potential for knowledge and cultural exchange in the offing. These are Easterlies and Westerlies of a new kind and the winds of change are beginning to blow. It is for us to ensure more and more knowledge flies through across the borders and makes the globe a richer place.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The NMS Advantage: Integrative Learning And Thought Leadership

Having taken a look at the advantages that NMS’s model of education coupled with industry exposure and cultural/business contexts lends to the students, we now look at the approach that NMS has adopted towards learning and how it is looking at nurturing Thought Leadership among business leaders.

NMS believes in Integrative Learning that combines Functional Discipline, Industry Analysis and Country Study to offer participants the kind of exposure that is not otherwise possible in a typical management program. And that is exactly what we are trying to achieve through the design of the program at NMS.

NMS is also positioning itself as a Thought Leader by launching the WHITESPACE Executive Session Series for Senior and Middle management. This series includes seminars on a wide range of topics conducted by the NMS faculty. It is here that NMS leverages its intellectual capital and makes a perceivable difference to issues that are high on priority when it comes to the corporate agenda.

The whole idea at NMS is to let students Discover as much as they can during their association with NMS. And to leverage that learning innovate in business contexts in the future.

With International Collaboration, International Faculty, International Curriculum, and even International students in the classroom, NMS offers students truly global exposure and a global network; enabling them to add value in the global corporate context. NMS’s commitment to excellence in management education and to borderless knowledge ensures that International students have the dual advantage of feeling at home with the delivery model and yet being exposed to a strongly different cultural, economic and business scenario so as to maximize their learning. By inviting International students to be part of the NMS experience we extend that commitment to students across the globe and enable them to be part of a dynamic and diverse student community that will define the future of business.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The NMS Advantage: Learning Across Contexts And Cultures

Continuing our series where we take a look at the NMS advantage and the NMS edge for students entering the world of management education, today we focus on the differentiating factor that NMS provides by combining global education with an Indian context.

At present, 8 Indian companies figure in the Fortune 500 list and many more are seen as global players when it comes to their respective areas of expertise. While they are in a position to compete with the best in the world, the cultural and people context with which they were built is starkly different from a lot of companies in the West. And that difference is seen at the level of daily operations as well. Owing to NMS’s collaboration with many of these Indian companies, International students have a chance to observe the Indian approach to business and learn from these contexts. This knowledge, coupled with the exposure they receive back home, gives them a wide platform of business development contexts to work with.

NMS is located in the heart of the IT corridor in Chennai. It takes students right where the action is. And the student housing, which matches up to any international student housing facility, allows students to interact outside the classroom with their peers from across cultures.

With access to world-class education improving drastically over the years, the differentiator in the wake of globalization is created by how well future leaders understand and work with cultural contexts. And at NMS, students stand to gain exactly that by learning across contexts and cultures – diverse outlooks that make great leaders.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The NMS Advantage: A Truly Global Outlook

With an increasing influx of International Students in India for its cost-effective quality educational options, NMS is looking at supporting more and more International Students with their educational pursuits so they derive maximum value out of their experience. Over the next few days, let us look at the NMS advantage and the NMS edge for students entering the world of management education.

NMS offers American Education at Indian costs. What that translates to for our students is global exposure with faculty visiting from the US – almost all of them with a PhD from the US - at very reasonable costs. The program itself is designed after the MBA program in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. It conforms to the standards of the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) standards - the highest accrediting body for management education in the world, ensuring absolute credibility and quality in the fundamental structure and design of each course. And the degree awarded at the end of the program, equivalent to that awarded by any university in the US, is co-signed by Deans of The National Management School and Georgia State University.

In addition, NMS offers the advantage of practical implementation of this acquired world-class knowledge to the Indian Business Context. At NMS, students are given the opportunity to interact with business leaders and be mentored by them. The CXO Panel at NMS comprises of senior executives from the industry, the government and NGOs. These CXOs spend ONE full day with these students during these 2 years. This way, students get a chance to work with leaders from a diverse set of businesses at various stages of evolution. And this combination lets students take their management education experience to a new level of synthesis.

Offered in two modes - a two-year full-time MBA and a two-year Professional MBA (on weekends for working executives), the program lends students a truly global outlook in their education.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Nobel Laureate's Vision Revisited At NMS

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

- Rabindranath Tagore

Almost a century ago, Gurudev dedicated this beautiful verse to this country, his dream and his hope for this nation encompassed into lyrical magic. His work placed the erstwhile colony of India at the top in the world of literature by winning the Nobel Prize. And just as he had wished, the country did awake into a heaven of freedom three decades after.

It is such vision of a few great men that has made India what it is and all that it represents to the world. In every age, India has been blessed with visionaries who have single-handedly changed the face of this nation. And the 63rd Indian Independence Day is an apt occasion to take a moment and revisit NMS’s vision for itself.

At its core, NMS’s vision can be likened to what Gurudev envisioned for India, in entirety.

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high…

By adopting an innovative model of education that gives both the classroom and the industry equal time and importance, NMS aims at becoming that place where the mind is without fear and the head held high. NMS wants to empower our students to become generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy. We want our students to become global leaders who can lead from the front.

Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by domestic walls…

With its collaboration with the Georgia and Temple Universities and its global faculty, NMS believes in breaking all walls and making management education truly global. NMS offers American education in India at Indian education costs and in doing so it makes global education easily accessible for Indians. Knowledge and know-how from across the world is now available for the brightest Indian minds to lap up. NMS will continue its endeavour in the coming years with an increasing spread across the globe and bringing that knowledge back home.

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

The faculty at NMS comprises of experts from the top US Universities. This ensures that the students get to absorb only knowledge that comes from the depths of experience. NMS also has access to numerous CXOs from diverse business backgrounds who are at the helm of their organizations and have the best feel for the industry trends. This combination of faculty and industry mentors enables the students to get the true picture of the trends and issues in their fields, and NMS will continue to offer this differentiating factor to its students in the years to come.

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action…

NMS’s model of education ensures that enough rigour is built into the course and the students have to go that extra mile when it comes to any aspect of their education. A schedule that seamlessly integrates classroom hours and industry time leading to simultaneous learning and application of concepts brings in a need for the students to keep their axes sharpened at all points in time. And NMS will continue to inculcate this edge in its students in the coming years and develop them into sharp business leaders.

With all of the above, NMS’s students will undoubtedly awaken in that heaven of freedom and confidence that will allow them to take on the world of business with the backing of a global education in the years to come. Here’s wishing them the best and wishing fellow countrymen on the occasion of Independence Day.