THE University of Technology (UTech) has required that its Master of Business Administration (MBA) students consult and develop strategic alternatives for local organisations.
This, as part of efforts to ensure real-world applications are at the forefront of the programme. As such, 23 case studies were recently presented by the more than 70 candidates in the programme this year.
The organisations looked at — many of them micro, small and medium enterprises — are expected to benefit from the interventions while having served to build the skills of students in business management consultancy.
"The project emphasis in the MBA programme is one of the many standard teaching methods that are generally considered to develop independent thinking and responsibility, and operational practices in applying theory and knowledge in a consulting paradigm," said Dr Neville Swaby, executive director of UTech/JIM School of Advanced Management in a release to the media.
"It is most applicable in transforming theory into operations as part of the problem-solving components of a Capstone exercise," he added.
According to Swaby, the main emphasis of the programme "is to show a relationship between the theories and knowledge garnered in the classroom to real-life scenarios, and to develop workable solutions to everyday business issues".
"In line with this, the activities involved in the project phase engender creativity, developing and applying methodologies, establishing the 'art of building', and instilling principles of 'thinking outside the box'; all done within the framework of knowledge gained through scholastics," he said.
He added that the programme, which is in its fourth year, is "built on the diversity of participation of students and their correspondent employers so that the gains of a structured and demanding consulting exercise can actually be implementable in the workplace. This will provide a win-win situation for all participants".
Meanwhile, external examiners were drawn from academia and industry, among them Professors Christopher Ross of the University of Concordia Canada, Professor Thomas Calderon of the University of Akra, Professor Williams Myers of the University of Technology Jamaica, Norman Reid of National Commercial Bank, Dr Heather Little-White of Heather Little-White & Associates, among others.
Entities that came under the microscope included Jamaica National Building Society, Ad Pro Advertising Professional Limited, the Ministry of National Security, Hylton's Pharmacy, Computaz and Beyond, King Pepper, Caribbean Cement Company, Carreras Limited, LIME, and Di Photo Shoppe.