“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Experiential learning combines theoretical learning with its hands-on application. This allows students to understand how to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios with their inevitable setbacks and, sometimes, pleasant surprises.
Experiential learning opportunities for graduate students can help them push their boundaries, involve their critical thinking skills, and foster collaboration – skills that most companies look for these days. In fact, McKinsey lists the following three areas that HR professionals have difficulty finding in their candidates:
- Problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, and creativity
- Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity
Knowing how to use theoretical knowledge in real life helps develop life-long learning skills. At Business School Lausanne, “Learning by doing in the real world” is the motto behind its focus on experiential learning. Master’s students are given various opportunities throughout their course of study to connect academia and industry.
BSL Business Innovation Weeks:
Students have the opportunity to participate in Business Innovation Weeks (BIW) on the 10th and final week of every term at BSL. A student committee is in charge of organising the BIW where they choose the topics they are interested in and contact guest speakers. Other activities that may be organised by the committee during BIW can include company visits, team-building sessions, and skilled-oriented training pieces. Students participating in BIW as a part of the committee or as volunteers are awarded grades for their contribution. BIW allows students to hone their project management, organisational, and financial management skills while being given the freedom to explore new horizons.
Master’s students may also choose to complete an Applied Business Project (ABP). The ABP allows students to address issues within a firm of their choice or even choose to build their own projects. Closely supervised by a faculty member, students have the opportunity to apply their learnings to gain real world experience in the implementation of business processes and theories. Students may also use the ABP as an opportunity to develop their own start-ups with the aid of an experienced faculty member. Michael Ingram, a BSL graduate used this opportunity to start his company Revario, a brand offering sustainable trail-running gear. He explains, “The mentoring program was a great opportunity to get useful feedback from industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs.”
Like the BIWs, capstone projects are a great way for students to start building their own professional networks.
Students also have the option of doing a supervised academic internship. BSL has a dedicated Student Counsellor as well as an internal job and internship search platform for students to browse opportunities within the country and abroad. Students may find placements in businesses, NGOs, or humanitarian organisations. Students can find unique opportunities in their areas of interest or specialisation. Like Morgan Manin who participated in an internship program in Indonesia called the Sustainable Development Internship which was co-created by the Business School Lausanne (BSL) and Sumba Hospitality Foundation (SHF) in Indonesia. Apart from his regular duties as an intern, Morgan used his time to volunteer on the island helping young students to learn English and with their studies.
Internship opportunities provide students with an immersive experience into a company’s culture, learn the practicalities of working within a business, and help gain access to work opportunities in Switzerland and abroad.
To learn more about BSL and what it has to offer, have a look at its programs here.
Soft skills for a hard world, McKinsey Quarterly, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/five-fifty-soft-skills-for-a-hard-world, accessed December 2021
How the Experiential Learning of BSL’s Executive MBA Program Helped Michael Ingram Find Success, BSL, https://www.bsl-lausanne.ch/blog/how-the-experiential-learning-of-bsls-executive-mba-program-helped-michael-ingram-find-success/, accessed December 2021
BSL & Sumba Hospitality Foundation: An Exotic Internship, BSL, https://www.bsl-lausanne.ch/blog/an-exotic-internship-between-bsl-sumba-hospitality-foundation/, accessed December 2021