An interview with Prof. Amanda Shantz, MBA Director
A mini-blog series, by Daniel Cade
Way back in the day, I used to work for the University of St.Gallen MBA. I left on good terms and am still friends with a handful of team members that remain; whose steadfastness and passion I salute. I also keep up to date with the programme via social media as I’m genuinely interested in knowing what goes into training the business leaders of tomorrow.
So, when one of those bright souls at the MBA recently came up with the idea to invite me in to peek behind the scenes and provide my impressions of what’s gone into building the new Full-Time MBA curriculum, I naturally jumped at the opportunity…
My first port of call on this adventure was a chat with Prof. Amanda Shantz, the new MBA Director. I’d not met Amanda before the call, but she had me at, “I love that I can live here in St. Gallen and in 5-10 minutes I'm up in the fields and listening to the cowbells and enjoying the farm life!”
Amanda is very driven to create something extraordinary at the St. Gallen MBA. Traditional exams will be out of the window, learning will be more experiential and active, and every assessment will be “CV-able”. Hold on, what?
“We won’t be asking the students to sit and memorise a whole bunch of information and then regurgitate it on exam day,” Amanda explained. The classic MBA stuff will still be in there – “the bread and butter,” as she puts it – plus a whole lot more, and it’ll be assessed in a way that will help develop CVs: a new web app, for example, a video, or reflective paper that helps students think about their own leadership style. “It will be an MBA that is built for professional success from the bottom up,” she elaborated.
Amanda sees MBA programmes as having the responsibility to be one step ahead of business. To anticipate the future. And the future that Amanda and her team is planning for is one in which business must be part of the solution to global challenges. “Upon graduation, MBAs need to be equipped to navigate in turbulent waters – once-a-century events are becoming once-a-year events”, she rationalised. I couldn’t agree more.
And how will the success of the new curriculum be measured? It only feels right to leave Amanda with the last word: “There is no end to this. Every year, I want to listen and make improvements here. I want to be able to explain to the current class what we have planned for next year’s class, and every year I want to hear the words, “I should have waited!”