Joёl McConnell, Executive Director, Imperial College Business School
Engineers in Business Fellowship has been awarding Sainsbury Management Fellows MBA scholarships to talented engineers with leadership potential for more than 35 years. Our awardees attend the top international business schools in the world where they acquire a first-class business education. Fourteen business schools are partners of the Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) scholarship scheme and we are delighted to be starting a series of articles contributed by these schools. We are commencing with Imperial College Business School in London, the most recent to join the SMF scheme. Joel McConnell, Executive Director at Imperial explains how the school is using digital technology to enhance student experiences.
What an unusual year it has been for students, staff and faculty at Imperial College Business School! Resilience has been key, but Imperial College Business School has made important investments under the broader context of COVID-19 that will benefit MBA students for years to come, and particularly in the area of digitally-enhanced student experiences that align with the broader benefit of studying at the business school of leading STEM-focused university, based here, in London.
Imperial College Business School aims to be at the forefront of personalised, digitally-enhanced student experiences
Today Imperial College Business School is firmly focused on the broader disruption happening in the graduate management education (GME) landscape and the various sectors where our graduates go on to work after they complete their degree with us. We know that recruiters are demanding new and different leadership skills, which has only been accelerated by a change in processes and how people and organisations interact – especially under the extreme circumstances of a global pandemic. Finally, we aim to amplify the student transformation and leadership journey as well as capitalise on digital innovations led by the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions teams, our Careers and Student Life teams, and our award-winning Educational Technology (EdTech) teams as well.
Imperial College: An End-to-End Candidate Experience from Day One
The Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions (MRA) teams at Imperial College Business School provide an integrated candidate experience, from the moment a potential applicant registers their interest with the school, right through to when they step into our classrooms. Once a candidate has decided they want to study on one of the school’s programmes, they will have a highly interactive experience as they work to complete their application, the admissions process, and then enrol with us as well. Under the pandemic, the MRA teams have made big investments in marketing automation platforms and CRM systems, with leading technology partners, that allow the teams to provide more personalised support, and we’re actively piloting new tools that will allow these teams to have the most effective technology stack in place so that candidates can complete their onboarding process as seamlessly as possible.
A Full Support Package to Complement MBA Programme Delivery
For those candidates who obtain an offer to study the MBA programme at Imperial College Business School, joining the programme is just the first step. This past year our Careers and Student Life teams have focused increasingly on integrating Digital and smart tools, virtual experiences, and technology that directly supports candidates as they prepare to return to the workplace upon graduation. We now make LinkedIn Learning available to all MBA students, so our students can top up their programme content with additional training in more technological skills such as C++ or Python for example. Another great example is how we work with a company that leverages AI and Machine Learning to help candidates evaluate how their career profile matches their target job characteristics, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of their profile, and then we complement this tool with 1-1 appointments with dedicated career consultants to ensure our MBA students develop an action plan to reinforcing their profile and better meet their expected career outcomes.
EdTech and Learning Analytics for Optimal Student Outcomes and Programme Delivery
Imperial College Business School is working to better understand how MBA students are learning, and how the institution can make continued, neuroscience-based investments in the most impactful EdTech possible, which will help the programme delivery teams deliver optimal outcomes for our students. Under COVID-19, our EdTech teams have led key investment programmes that have seen our lecture theatres become more interactive, in a way that has allowed for the delivery of the MBA programme in multi-modal format – something that has been crucial to manage the uncertain environment this past year, but that will also allow for a more dynamic student experience in the future, that allows students to pursue multiple interests at once. Finally, the EdTech Lab at Imperial College Business School works closely with our parent university infrastructure dedicated to instructional design and delivery, and other areas of the college such as the Department of Mathematics on a pilot project related to unsupervised machine learning to learning data. Imperial College takes a research-based approach to EdTech, and MBA students benefit directly from this.
The Sainsbury Management Fellows Opportunity
Imperial College Business School is one of the newest partners to the Sainsbury Management Fellows programme, which is managed by the Engineers in Business Fellowship (EIBF). As the business school of Imperial College London – a leading STEM university in the UK and top-ranked internationally as well, we actively welcome engineering graduates who wish to complement their previous studies and professional experience with an MBA from Imperial. The fellowship is a unique opportunity as graduates not only become part of a national network aimed at connecting top engineers in the United Kingdom – which includes career and entrepreneur mentoring, but by completing the MBA degree at Imperial College Business School, you also become part of the business school’s alumni network of some 19,500 professionals, but also of the broader university that has 200,000 graduates located in some 190 countries. So, if you think you might qualify for a Sainsbury Management Fellowship, don’t wait, and apply for one of the fellowships, and the MBA degree at Imperial College Business School.
Joël McConnell leads the Programme Marketing, Student Recruitment, Admissions as well as CRM, Data, and Insights teams at Imperial College Business School. A graduate of the MBA and several other postgraduate degrees and certifications from leading business schools such as Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), IE Business School, IMD, and the Booth School of Business (University of Chicago), today Joël is also actively engaged in cross-college initiatives related to technology programmes and equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). He has also been an active participant and leader in IEEE events and activities across Europe as well.
The SMF MBA Scholarship
If you are a professional engineer considering an MBA as a stepping-stone towards a business leadership career, visit our MBA scholarship application page, you could be awarded a £50,000 scholarship.