In January Boston City Campus is pleased to be hosting a team of students from Harvard Business School. The team of six MBA students will be in Johannesburg, working with the Boston Head Office team, for just over a week. This trip forms part of a required first-year course at Harvard Business School called FIELD, which stands for Field Immersion Experience for Leadership Development. An important element of the course incorporates a practical training exercise involving both educational institutions.
"Boston is proud to have been selected as one of the 140 FIELD Global Partners spanning 10 countries around the world," says Yaron Gutkin, Business development consultant at Boston. "We feel that this will be a mutually beneficial learning experience. Already some of our students have interacted with the Harvard student team, and this exchange has served to broaden our own students' horizons and provide them with a unique insight into one of the world's foremost universities. We are thrilled to be a part of this prestigious project." Including Boston City Campus, the Global FIELD partners will host more than 900 students in all.
FIELD has three modules that run through the entire first year of the two-year MBA program. The first module focuses on developing individual leadership skills through team feedback and self-reflection. The second focuses on developing global intelligence by immersing them in a foreign country to develop a new product or service for their Global Partner organisation. The final module brings all the lessons together by challenging students to develop and launch their own micro-business as part of a small team back in Boston Massachusetts.
Gutkin continues, "We are pleased to be working with Harvard Business School to provide foreign students with a real-world learning experience in southern Africa. We feel confident that the students will gather invaluable insights whilst working with our staff and interacting with our students. I am confident that the unique exposure provided by the FIELD course will present students with a learning experience that they would be unlikely to gain from a more traditional and insular classroom environment. Real-world work exposure has always been, and continues to be, a keystone of Boston's training philosophy, and we therefore feel a perfect fit exists with the FIELD programme and are excited to be able to participate."
Boston executives have been working with the team remotely in the months leading up to their arrival in country. "Due to the large time differences it's been an interesting challenge to set up our meetings but luckily up until now this has only proved to be a minor obstacle," comments Gutkin. While here, the team will pitch their ideas to the leadership team, conduct field research with consumers around Gauteng and present their final recommendations to Boston management.
The Harvard FIELD project serves to reinforce the notion that we live in a global village and form part of a wider global community. It is almost impossible to be involved in any form of work or education which is not frequently impacted by changing global trends. The modern pace at which news, knowledge and ideas are able to spread has led to an environment which fosters greater global social awareness and greater global responsibility. Gutkin says, "By bringing two different international entities together to work towards a common goal, the Harvard FIELD course exhibits some of the benefits of living in a technological age which is able to strengthen global ties and build a positive global community. It stands as a testament to the rewards achieved from working and studying in the electronic age."
Harvard is quick to acknowledge that this important learning experience would not be possible without the Global Partners.
"We are extremely grateful to Boston City Campus & Business College, and all the FIELD Global Partner organisations, for all they do on behalf of our students," adds Professor Alan MacCormack, the faculty head of FIELD. "The students benefit immeasurably from this experience and we hope the partner organisations do as well."