Picture a successful business person. You might see a commanding and dynamic manager or entrepreneur, someone who has worked to overcome professional obstacles in order to master their role or enterprise. But what about the people around them? Do you picture them alone or as part of a wider success network?
It’s certainly not unusual to visualise a single person, but it’s becoming increasingly common for the most successful people in business to be those that work just as hard for others as they do for themselves. As author and professor Adam Grant asserts in bestselling book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives our Success, the most effective leaders concentrate on what others need from them and strive to be generous with their time, knowledge, energy, skills, ideas and interactions with others.
This principle is something we strongly believe in at Vlerick – “students should be just as eager to share their knowledge and contribute to the programme as they are to learn,” says the Academic Director of our Online MBA, Dr Steve Muylle. We have designed our Online MBA on a foundation of community and shared experience, meaning participants feel connected to each other and realise the capacity they have to contribute to each other’s success.
Learning from others to elevate the success of all
The commercial expertise you’ll gain on our Online MBA doesn’t come only from the course material and faculty; you’ll find that your fellow participants are a source of invaluable real-world business acumen too.
Hailing from different backgrounds, industries and parts of the world, our cohorts bring a blend of professional excellence capable of deepening your learning and broadening your perspectives. We’ll encourage you to view yourself and others as part of a collaborative success network, through which the sharing of different personal experiences can develop new ideas and innovations.
Discussions take place online within our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and may even be graded as part of the programme, although there’s always an emphasis on natural and informal conversation. We also encourage participants to take discussions and debates offline outside the VLE if possible.
Through synchronous sessions, in which you and your peers come together online to talk in real-time, you’ll find concepts and theories come to life as you swap opinions and personal accounts. Groups are small so that everyone can contribute, and with sessions taking place fortnightly as part of our seven week courses, you and your peers can get to know each other in a comfortable and supportive setting. This investment and interest in the success of others can in turn propel your own.
“The synchronous sessions are really interesting and much more interactive than my experiences of being in a classroom,” says current Online MBA student Maaike van Craen. “You learn immediately, it’s not like a lecture at all.”
Working together to foster success-building connections
It’s not all discussion though; several modules on our Online MBA feature assignments you’ll tackle as part of a group. Sharing responsibility for the outcome of a task is a vital element of the programme, demonstrating the kind of positive group pressure that pushes you to perform at your best. We’ll help you get used to working collaboratively online too; our Doing Business in a Global World course includes an introduction to virtual group work to help you get started.
Although group tasks begin online, we’ll urge you to ‘step out of the room’; to interact with people outside of the VLE and the learning cohort, putting the knowledge you have gained through research tasks into action in your own working contexts.
As each participant within your group does the same, you’ll develop your group assignment and depth of understanding with a richer mix of findings than any individual could have reached single-handedly. Our group work assignments are designed to be a perfect example of the power of people working together, achieving a higher level of success as a team than they could alone. This cooperative approach also enables you to build this ‘crowd-sourced’ learning into your role in real-time, enriching your career with multiple new perspectives.
Taking the shared experience forward into your career
Whether you work closely with others or not, we aim to help you grasp the value of trading experience and knowledge with others within your professional life. Learning to empower others with your own skills and ideas is an important part of self-empowerment, and can help you reach new heights of personal success.
“Our Online MBA students are not just in it for the individual learning, but for the social learning and the community contribution, and perpetuate the programme through the dynamic action they go on to take,” says Dr Muylle.
Learn more about the other success-boosting qualities of our Online MBA by completing our request information form on the right.