How Corporates And Business Schools Can Innovate To Empower Early Talent

In the current circumstances, it becomes important that the traditional and established experiential learning pedagogies such as internship and industry immersion are relooked and reinvented.

The economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating and the effects can be seen across the world. From the layoffs of millions of people to reductions in average compensation levels, this is an unprecedented situation with significant shock to our lifestyles and world economy. Global GDP which is expected to shrink by more than 5%, has created a significant Financial and Human impact. Early Talent (ET) - individuals who typically have around 2 to 3 years of work experience or those who have graduated and are seeking placement opportunities, have been significantly impacted.  

The contraction of economies around the world have had a disproportionate impact on ET. Financial impact in terms of job losses, withdrawal of job offers and stressed education loans, have led to human impact in terms of depression, loss of confidence and self-esteem, thereby resulting in loss of good workforce and the potential breakdown of the HR supply chain. 

World over, progressive Business Schools are reinventing themselves, from adopting new technologies, practising innovative pedagogies, upskilling their faculty and staff and working on mindsets. The efforts are being made to ensure that at every stage there is minimum disruption in the program schedules, least impact on desired learner success and great learner experience.  

In the current circumstances, it becomes important that the traditional and established experiential learning pedagogies such as internship and industry immersion are relooked and reinvented. There is a need to work on newer models of placements and industry immersion programs.   

The current system of having short term Internships is not benefitting either the Industry or ET. The traditional “Placement Season” model has become a passé, while hire when you need becomes the mantra.   

The industry immersion programs need not be timetable bound. There is a significant emerging need to allow students to intern and interact with the industry on the go. This opens opportunities for the businesses to work with ET while they are still in the program and the students get exposed to the business environment much earlier in their learning cycle.  

Collaborative partnerships between Industry and Business Schools working on real-life problems can emerge as a strong engagement model. Business schools can approach the industry with 'Request for Problems' - RFP. This mechanism will not only seek real-life problems from the industry but create an opportunity for the industry executives to be a part of the study group with the students to work on the real-life problems under the mentorship of a faculty.  

When the company executives and the students work together on the business problems, the result is improved learner experience and effective engagement model where the potential recruiters can work with the students even before formally hiring them.  

The students are exposed to work in a multi-generation environment with a strong focus on solutions and execution. The model also drives skill sets in developing team orientation, multidisciplinary approach, and analytical mindset. This can serve as a platform for re-skilling of executives, with a possible solution to an internal business challenge. 

This model if integrated effectively in the program curriculum, can develop as a strong alternative to the traditional placement model. 

This will ensure the success of Early Talent beyond tomorrow and will build resilient human resources with the talent and grit to thrive, who will power nations & economies for years to come. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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