Dear GWSB Community,
The spring semester is in full swing and it’s an exciting time for the George Washington University School of Business. I think everyone came back from the holiday break refreshed and recharged. The opening weeks of the semester have seen the launch of several important initiatives.
During the fall semester, we devoted considerable time to observing, listening, analyzing and assessing — always in close cooperation with GWSB alumni, students, faculty and staff — with the intent of furthering our commitment to being a world-class business education institution, guided by the principle of always putting students’ interests first. Together, we came up with some impressive plans and proposals.
Now in the spring semester, we’re putting things in motion, completing the process from conceptualization to actualization. So far, the results have been very positive. For example, “George Talks Business,” our guest interview series featuring prominent business thought leaders, has drawn near-capacity “in-studio” audiences and high online viewership numbers. It appears to be a big hit.
The night before our first George Talks Business segment, we held our first online happy hour. This virtual networking event was hosted using Blackboard Collaborate. It gave students, faculty, alumni and staff a chance to meet and share best practices around the topic of “resiliency,” a skill and mindset that is critical to success in a fast-paced, ever-shifting global marketplace. And, in my mind, if you’re going to be resilient, then you need to be adaptable and flexible. As we look to the future, we will focus on how business education must change to keep pace with — in fact, stay ahead of — the changing business landscape.
Experts forecast that in the coming decades the rapid rate of change and development in business will require continual workforce retraining — true “lifelong learning.” That is why we have reimagined our suite of academic programs to meet the demands of the marketplace (now and in the future), to give our students and alumni a unique opportunity to charge up and keep charging on the road to success!
We are making a strong push to expand lifelong learning by offering stackable certificates, certificate “glide paths” to degrees, and the “inverted” MBA that allows for a student to apply the credits earned in a GWSB specialized master’s degree towards the MBA. There is also, of course, GWSB’s suite of “No Templates” online courses and degree programs. In fact, our graduate students will now have the ability to take and “stack” appropriate certificates to earn a customized master’s degree. The suite of certificates is now richer than ever because of the addition of new market-driven certificates in AI, Cloud Applications and Information Technology, Non-Profit and Government Management, Strategic Management, Tourism Management, and Corporate Responsibility.
- We’re making a renewed effort to enroll GWSB undergrads in our 4+1 programs, which allow students to apply nine undergraduate credits toward a master’s degree.
- We’re launching an accelerated MBA program for working professionals that allows students to earn their degree in less than two years by taking classes on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays without interrupting their careers.
- We are also committed to an intra-disciplinary approach to business education, for example by integrating analytics and technology electives into GWSB programs and developing a business minor for non-business students.
- In the interest of enhancing the flexibility of our program offerings, we are working to increase available evening, weekend and online courses to accommodate students’ professional and personal schedules. In fact, we expect that over a dozen of our different certificates will be available online by fall, 2020.
All of these programs and initiatives — those currently underway and those still to be launched, including master’s degree programs in Cross Functional Management, International Business, and in Applied Finance — are only made possible by the cooperative efforts of all of GWSB’s different stakeholders; and that cooperation starts with communication. Communication is essential to success. That’s why we’ll be developing regularly scheduled “community engagement” events to foster greater communication and cooperation among alumni, students, faculty and staff. This initiative will include luncheons, focus groups and informal get-togethers.
These are quickly changing times, so we are forging a modular, flexible, adaptable path for the future of our academic programs to ensure that students and alumni have the resources they need to keep their batteries fully charged as we continue to engage the world from the nation’s capital. Every member of the GWSB community can make an important contribution to advancing our agenda — and I know that, working together, we can make it happen.
See you around campus!
All the best,
Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D.