Professor Amorós talked about the large transition that UDD’s MBA program has made since 2008. The school went through a complete curriculum revision and adapted their MBA program to better prepare students to be entrepreneurial leaders, "providing a holistic view of business based on a new business cycle.” UDD is now known as the number one entrepreneurship education provider among Latin America’s elite business schools.
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Here are some of the highlights from Dean Amorós’s presentation:
UDD is known for its innovation, hands on teaching methods and for its "entrepreneurial hallmark.” The university’s program is composed of students that come from different backgrounds, not just those of management, marketing, etc.
UDD’s MBA mission is to "educate professionals on management with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.” The university promotes start-ups, not only new start-ups, but they focus on internal entrepreneurs, essentially enhancing leadership within organizations.
UDD’s MBA is an applied entrepreneurship program, putting a strong emphasis on teamwork. Teams of students are formed and are advised under an assigned tutor. It is not like a traditional MBA, where students face the hard contents in year one, like finance strategy classes and then face the electives, projects and internships in year two. Instead, they start with a project in year one, with an emphasis on the soft approach. In year two, they give students the tools for growth – new business project strategies. It is a modular program that is based on the business cycle.
Each successive module contributes with new insights and knowledge that are incorporated in the project.
Module 1 –dynamic environment with an emphasis on soft skills
Module 2 –basic business tools; students take the classes like accounting, economics, management, etc.
Module 3 –opportunity assessment, where a friendly environment is created to contrast the business idea. This is where the students define who will be the best one to produce the best outcome.
Module 4 –design a real business
Module 5 –intrapreneurship or independent entrepreneur; this module is focused more on the process than the theoretical content.
Module 6 –business growth
23% of Chilean adults are involved in starting a new business. "Chile has grown a lot in the last 5 years; we are leading a huge transformation, and opportunities are everywhere, putting focus in order to capture these entrepreneurs,” explained Professor Amorós.
How do you deal with entrepreneurs who are not good managers or leaders?
We believe not everyone has all the managerial skills to produce businesses for the first time. We put special emphasis on the concept of teamwork. Entrepreneurship is a question of teams, more than solitary people with ideas. People with complementary knowledge skills share it with the rest of the team. We encourage students to select good teams to share the rest of the program with.
How long do groups stay together? What happened if there is an unpleasant group dynamic?
Students have a lot of opportunities to interact with other groups. We encourage them to share ideas; students have a lot of instances to have interaction together. During the first month, all the students are together for a week so they can feel each other out. The teams form after. We encourage and force a friendly environment in order to create real ties with the teams. If someone feels that they’re not a good part of a team, they have the opportunity to move to another team in Module one. In module three, the teams are final.
What were the major successes of the transformation? Did current faculty change their curriculum or did you have to hire new faculty?
For the first few years, many professors did adjust their curriculum. A lot of the professors taught in the traditional way. Over time some professors ended up leaving on good terms because they were not comfortable with the new model. And yes, we do need to hire new qualified faculty. It’s a good combination.
Nicole Zefran is the Communications and Events Intern at the Global Business School Network.