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I was recently invited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) leadership to serve on their Business Practices Board, which is an honor and privilege for me. During my first meeting with the group last Sunday, I had the opportunity to share the story of D’Amore-McKim’s corporate partner engagement. I thought my comments on this topic would be valuable for our community as well, so here are some of my high-level talking points:

  • D’Amore-McKim enjoys a strong legacy of experiential learning exemplified through our co-ops and corporate residency, which wouldn’t be possible without our 700+ global corporate partners. It reflects our belief that the best learning happens when the rigor of the classroom education is fused with the relevance of the business world.
  • In thinking about the future, with breakthrough technologies changing the way we live and learn, D’Amore-McKim is looking for ways to leverage these partners to help us “robot-proof” our students. There are several ways we plan to do this:
    • We need to foster networks. A network of internal stakeholders (our college is the connective tissue across the university), providing distinctive content across a network of campuses (for example, entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley), and networks of employers who can serve as a source of lifelong learning, innovation, and research. Employer centricity is our strength, and we need to leverage the deep relationships we have built over time. I believe it is the right thing to do to be market-oriented with our students’ best interest in mind.
    • We need to orchestrate resources. Employers are not just receivers of our talent, they are also knowledge creators. We should co-create and co-design with them in order to develop cutting-edge content that keeps up with the pace of change. Since we are both content curators and content creators, we need to utilize the content from our partners in our courses. 
    • We need to be in the business of education and not in the business of degrees. We offer learning on a continuum ranging from non-credit that stacks into credit courses, certificates, and degrees. This enables us to serve the reskilling and upskilling market in conjunction with our corporate partners, which enables us to broaden our impact.
    • We need to focus on interdisciplinary learning experiences, because humanics is important to us. We have several combined majors at the undergraduate level and have started to expand on an MBAx strategy that brings together content from various colleges. Such a broad-based approach to education will help prepare our students to solve the grand challenges of our times. 

AACSB seems very excited about our strategic approach.

We have an emerging partnership with them to host an industry-oriented conference in June 2020 on Northeastern’s campus – more on that to come. To further leverage our strategy, we plan to flip it from being an academic event to a co-designed academic + industry event around the theme of digital transformation and convergence.

In the end, I’m sure you’ll agree that industry engagement matters. Through a deep integration with our corporate partners, we can ensure we have a vibrant educational ecosystem that serves all our stakeholders.

Raj Echambadi
Dunton Family Dean
D’Amore-McKim School of Business

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