MSBM provides industry with research-based solutions
From Left - Dr. David McBean, Executive Director, Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), Vishwanauth Tolan, Assistant Global Category Manager, GraceKennedy Limited, Janice Henlin, Marketing Director, MSBM, James Moss-Solomon, Executive-in-Residence, MSBM and Kadeen Senior, Promotions and Events Coordinator, GraceKennedy Limited.
As part of its mission to “foster innovation for the positive transformation of Caribbean enterprises through the development of world-class business professionals and research-based solutions” Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) partnered with approximately 20 companies in Kingston and Montego Bay to provide practical solutions to business problems, through the MSBM Graduate Programme Field Project.
Approximately 120 students from both the Mona and Western Jamaica campuses, who represent the first cohort to participate in this programme, recently completed their projects through a partnership with both public and private sector companies across a range of industries including finance, aviation, marketing and information technology
The field project, which was introduced in September 2017, following consultations with stakeholders, was designed to provide MSBM graduate students with the opportunity to incorporate concepts and theories learned throughout their programme to address a business problem facing organizations. Groups of students are paired with the organization and together with both an academic advisor and a supervisor from the organization, scope and work on the problem collaboratively over a three month period. The students' groups comprise students with varied academic and professional backgrounds in order to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving.
Speaking at a Breakfast Meeting hosted on Wednesday, November 28 by the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) to promote the MBA/MSc Field Project with key corporate stakeholders, James Moss-Solomon, Executive-in-Residence, MSBM and one of the School’s liaisons with industry for the programme, stated that the introduction of the field project was evidence of MSBM’s evolution as a solutions-oriented institution. He said employers, both in the private and public sectors were looking to hire persons who are ready to work and equipped with, not only academic knowledge but practical skills which they can apply to the job.
“We’re responding to our market which wants ready-to-go people because we are operating in a dynamic world and we have to be able to think yourselves out of a problem and into a solution. We are trying to give our students longevity by honing their thinking and analytical skills in a practical way,” Moss-Solomon said.
Toni-Ann Reid, Marketing & Digital Officer for Total Jamaica - and recent MBA graduate noted that the project exposes students to areas with which they may not be comfortable, but which they need in order to make them better employees.
“By working on these projects, students get to solve a real problem which positions them to gain a lot of experience. The field project is really a triple win. It’s a win for the students, a win for the company because they get real solutions from educated, experienced persons, and it’s also a win for corporate Jamaica,” she said.
Moss-Solomon urged companies to think of the programme as a high-level consultancy, where qualified and experienced representatives come into the organisations with the goal of providing practical and well-researched solutions.
In speaking about the value of having a group of MBA students consult on a specific problem at GraceKennedy Limited, Vishwanauth Tolan, Assistant Global Category Manager, said the team at his company was impressed with the level of work and research that the students had put into the project and lauded the institution for the implementation of the programme.
Sharing the sentiments of other participating organisations, Tolan noted that the MSBM students made significant contributions toward the organisation and, much like the representatives from the companies at the breakfast meeting, who indicated their interest in participating in the programme in 2019, he was looking forward to a continued partnership with the institution