Able to generate multiple business solutions
We present an article that was published in the Tri-City magazine Prestiż in the Business edition. The article is an interview with the MBA Director Beata Krawczyk-Bryłka, PhD.
We live in unstable and unpredictable times that require new, multidisciplinary managerial competences. Gdańsk Tech MBA studies are intended for managers who care about the development of skills that will prepare them to make decisions in this demanding business environment – says Beata Krawczyk-Bryłka,PhD the Director of the International MBA in Strategy, Program and Project Management studies at the Gdańsk University of Technology.
What features and skills should be a modern manager marked by?
In 2020, Jamais Cascio, an American writer and futurist, described the reality in which we now operate with the terms BANI that stands for B – Brittle (fragile), A – Anxious (restless), N – No-linear, I – Incomprehensible. These attributes indicate what challenges are faced today by managers whose role is to manage business fragments of this reality. They need competences, developing talents that will be a good response to the requirements of the BANI world.
What competencies are we talking about?
To deal with volatile situations managers need to be creative, entrepreneurial, manage risk and lead teams through change. The World Economic Forum indicates the competence ‘Fluency of ideas’ in meaning of the ability to generate many solutions, as crucial in 2030.
What’s underneath it? Versatility, the ability to implement many projects at the same time, the ability to adapt, flexibility in action?
Yes, ‘Fluency of ideas’ is an element of creativity, it is primarily the ability to generate many solutions in response to emerging challenges. This competence opens up to innovative thinking, sensitizes to the multi-faceted perception of the context of taken actions, for example in business. It makes the decisions taken result in building value for the business and its environment.
Therefore, students of the International MBA in Strategy, Program and Project Management create Capstone Projects, in which they propose innovative business solutions that also take into account the aspects of sustainable development and social well-being.
How does your program prepare them for this challenge?
Our program is divided into four thematic pillars exactly matching the today’s needs. In order to operate effectively in a non-linear environment where it is difficult to predict all the effects of made decisions, the ability to reflect and understand a broad context is needed, hence the Foundations pillar, which builds the economic, legal and social context of business decisions. On the other hand, Strategic Thinking pillar focuses on making people aware of the mechanisms that determine strategic problem. The Operational Excellence pillar concerns process improvement and project management. Finding the key to their effectiveness is a task in which we support leaders by completing subjects from this part of the MBA program.
What about soft skills?
Developing self-awareness is very important, mindfulness and empathy towards people we work with. That is why we conduct an analysis of managerial talents at the beginning of our MBA program, and one of the four pillars is People Management and Self-Development, where we focus on the development of our students’ soft skills. This is a pillar that is particularly close to me, because as a business psychologist I know how important it is in management to develop skills related to building relationships based on trust, creating teams that work effectively and with enthusiasm, and constructive communication between the leader, teams and clients.
International contacts in business used to be associated with a narrow management group, something elitist. Today, internationality, and hence multiculturalism, is a common phenomenon in companies.
Therefore, an important element of education is shaping the competences of intercultural sensitivity and communication in a culturally diverse environment. Moving from a local to an international organization, foreign expansion of the company or the development of the team to include representatives of other cultures are frequent challenges that motivate leaders to develop these skills. The MBA program of the Gdańsk University of Technology emphasizes its international character in its name as well. It is carried out in English, half of our staff are professors and business experts from outside Poland, in each cohort we have about 20% of foreign students. When I prepared the information about the countries of our teachers and students for the last inauguration ceremony, I was noticed that we already had students from almost all continents, except Antarctica.
What international certificates can you boast of?
Since 2015, our program has been accredited by AMBA (Association of MBAs), which is considered as a passport to a global managerial career. Only programs that meet very high standards receive it. There are only seven of them in Poland, less than 300 worldwide, so we are very proud to belong to this group. We also have the CEEMAN accreditation, which confirms that our program not only meets international quality standards, but also promotes the values of sustainable management.
Currently, at the Faculty of Management and Economics, we are also in the process of preparing for the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation. It is a huge challenge, but we are ready to meet it as the International MBA, because today we are an important element of the global community educating next leaders’ generations, and this is the mission of AACSB.
Thanks to this, the MBA program of the Gdańsk University of Technology stands out in Polish and international rankings?
Yes. In 2021, we took the 7th position in the Perspektywy Ranking, that nominates to the best Polish MBA programs. At the end of June 2022, the latest results of the international QS ranking were presented. We are one of only a few Polish programs included in this classification. The result, which we are particularly proud of, shows how the participation in the MBA program at the Gdańsk University of Technology affects the professional careers of our graduates. We took 34th place in Europe, and 72nd place in the world in this criterion, which includes indicators related to the increase in salary and promotions of MBA program graduates in the period of 12 months after graduation. In 2021, our program received the international BMDA award in the Innovation category.
You mentioned the scope of knowledge acquired by MBA graduates. But here even the diploma itself also matters.
Yes, it’s true. In international business, the diploma of AMBA-accredited MBA studies is a ticket to high positions, but above all, to making important decisions in the organization. MBA studies are also a great opportunity to build business networking. Completing the MBA program at the Gdańsk University of Technology additionally ensures certification in the selected project methodology: PRINCE2 or AGILE. As a part of the Operational Excellence pillar, we offer a preparation module for certification and taking the certification exam. At the end of the program, each student receives not only the prestigious MBA diploma of the Gdańsk University of Technology, but also a document certifying the obtained certification. I would like to add that the measurable effect of MBA studies is not only a diploma and a competence package, but also real business benefits.
What benefits are you thinking of?
A good example is MBA Capstone Project – prepared as a final project of MBA studies. Some teams are currently working on implementing their startup ideas. One of the teams from the 11 MBA edition completed in 2021 developed a strategy for the soft skills development of young people through activities under the Be. Heard Academy (its name) and is currently working on implementing a board game in the education market. Their idea, recently presented as part of the Demo Day of the Startup School of the Gdańsk University of Technology, gained the interest of entrepreneurs and investors present at the presentations. We also support two teams from the 13th MBA edition that presented their current projects – ParQj and Eated App.
What are these apps about?
ParQj is to support city dwellers in parking their cars, and the Eated App in implementing sustainable eating habits. This edition also includes projects that have managed to combine the expectations of the organizations that our students come from with the potential of their managerial talents and the possibilities of modern 3D technology available at the university. For example, for the Museum of the Second World War, a project to reconstruct selected historical resources of Westerplatte is being prepared, in which MBA students work with a team of students from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Gdańsk Tech to create interactive visualizations for visitors. It is important that these projects serve local communities, because in accordance with our motto: MBA is not only the education, but also valuesthat we bring together.
Prestige Magazine is well known monthly that presents the most important information, people and events in the region.
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