The Strategy Commission under the Advisory Board of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) summed up the results of the Business School's work in the first quarter of 2021. On April 21, representatives of 20 trustee companies, SPbU and GSOM SPbU employees held the traditional online meeting to discuss the most current projects and issues.
Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank, Director of GSOM SPbU, opening the meeting, among the most notable achievements of the Business School in the first quarter of 2021, noted the success in popularizing the GSOM SPbU brand. It is significant that the coverage of the audience of publications and events to promote the updated Master in Corporate Finance (MCF) program amounted to 4.3 million; on launching together with Skillbox a blended "Leaders of Change" MBA course it is 2.1 million.
“We are launching fundamentally new training programs, we are starting to use innovative delivery channels for educational content, we have learned to talk about GSOM SPbU in a different way. The reaction of the audience testifies that our business school, our content and our interlocutors are of interest to it,” Olga Dergunova emphasized.
The quality of education is a key priority of the Business School: GSOM SPbU continues to work on preparing new and updating existing curricula. “The updated MCF program will start in September 2021. It should not only become the best on the market, but also serve as a role model for updating the MiBA and MSC programs. In the next academic year, we plan to update the flagship Master in Management program. The main priority is following the demands of the market and employers, practical orientation. Partners and trustees of the Business School help us in achieving these goals, they participate in the development of academic courses — for that we express our special gratitude to them,” said the Director of GSOM SPbU.
One of the most important events for the Business School in the first quarter was the successful completion of the pilot of the corporate Management Essentials program: about 100 employees of AFK Sistema, VTB Bank and PJSC Gazprom have studied. This project will be developed and replicated.
Valentina Vatrak, Director for Corporate Development and HR at MegaFon summed up the results of the work of second season <5G_DREAM_LAB>, which ended at the end of March. As part of the project, cross-functional teams of student managers, IT specialists, mathematicians, designers create digital products based on 5G technology.
“The differences between the first and second launch of the laboratory are interesting. The first season, for example, attracted more participants — but in the second, more students made it to the finals. From this experience, we understood: it is important to focus on the right target audience and plan the laboratory timeframes that are convenient for students so that team members can combine work in <5G_DREAM_LAB> with passing exams,” she explained.
Rostislav Speransky, Head of the <5G_DREAM_LAB>, announced the quantitative indicators of two seasons: “67 SPbU students defended their projects, 11 prototypes and MVPs were developed. Initially, more than 600 people applied for participation in the program, the final cohort included representatives of 12 SPbU Departments,” he said.
According to Valentina Vatrak, now the organizers are thinking about creating an opportunity to work on an individual trajectory for several seasons for teams that have prepared interesting technical solutions. Marina Lavrikova, First Vice-Rector for Academic and Methodological Work of St Petersburg University, noted: "The university is ready to credit such project activities during similar programs as graduation works — the corresponding decision has already been made".
The Strategy Commission also discussed a pilot project to create smart hybrid classrooms on the Mikhailovskaya Dacha campus of GSOM SPbU — the Business School is working on their creation together with trustee companies. This project is part of a larger strategy for creating a digital educational environment at GSOM SPbU. Specially equipped classrooms will allow the lecturer to effectively interact with students, both participating in class and virtually. The project is being implemented by a cross-functional team of methodologists, IT specialists, anthropologists and designers.
“To create the most convenient and effective solution, user experience research is carried out, with special attention paid to the simplicity and convenience of the solution. The goal is to make the digital environment of GSOM SPbU as efficient as possible,” emphasized Alexander Baizarov, the Project Manager.
The hybrid classrooms will be demonstrated at a face-to-face meeting of the Strategy Committee scheduled for June 24, 2021.
Another important achievement of the first quarter was the creation of the Digital Technologies in Education Research and Education Center — jointly GSOM SPbU and VTB Bank. It will focus on research and implementation in education:
- virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR);
- artificial intelligence (AI);
- big data.
“Our task is to create a technological environment where students can receive the most up-to-date knowledge in the most effective format, which will be in demand on the labor market in a few years. And we want that, as a result of investments in the digital educational environment, an approach was developed that would be scalable for the entire SPbU,” noted Olga Dergunova.
Olga Dergunova named the priority tasks for the near future:
- passing AACSB accreditation;
- discussion of the further development of the concept of GSOM SPbU Smart City Management Master program with companies, members of the Advisory Board;
- preparation dormitories at the Mikhailovskaya Dacha campus to the first students;
- development of online programs for executive education programs;
- development of HR at GSOM SPbU.