The WU Executive Academy has reorganized its career development services
The reasons MBA students study for their degrees are as diverse as their career stories. What all participants have in common, though, is that they are eager to set themselves apart from the rest and want to take their careers to the next level. To help them achieve these goals, the WU Executive Academy has fundamentally reorganized its career development services for MBA and Master of Laws students. The new Career Accelerator Program, which combines its activities into something bigger, is based on the latest academic findings and puts special emphasis on three crucially important building blocks of successful career development: know-why, know-how and know-who. Executives who consistently focus on these three areas will evidently be more successful in their careers, and will find them more rewarding, than those who do not.
In this day and age, most people are interested in more than just climbing the career ladder and increasing their paychecks and responsibilities over the years. Career trajectories are becoming more and more unpredictable. They often involve detours and frequently require individuals to navigate unknown territory. It is against this backdrop that finding a sense of purpose and meaning in what one does for a living is becoming ever more important.
Therefore, the WU Executive Academy has fundamentally reorganized its existing career development services for MBA and Master of Laws students, combining them into something bigger in the recently launched Career Accelerator Program. In particular, the new program focuses on students' personalities, their values, their ambitions and their needs.
Dr. Astrid Kleinhanns-Rollé
What people are interested in is the lifelong career journey, in other words, the never-ending process of personal development in their professional lives. They want rewarding, enjoyable jobs that suit their skills, allow them to do something meaningful and are neither too taxing nor too easy but adequately challenging. The Career Accelerator Program is designed to help our students make their career dreams come true. Our aim is to enable them to build careers for themselves that they consider their vocations so that they enjoy a deeper sense of purpose, a higher level of job satisfaction and, ultimately, more success.
The Career Accelerator Program supports participants from enrollment to graduation - and far beyond. It has a sound academic underpinning and is based on 3 building blocks of successful career development that have been put forward by renowned American management experts Michael B. Arthur and Robert J. Defillippi: know why (i.e. a sense of purpose and meaning as far as one's professional activities are concerned), know how (i.e. one's knowledge and skills) and know who (i.e. one's networks and contacts). Those who consistently focus on these three areas in ways that are in tune with their personalities will be more successful in their careers, and will find them more rewarding, than those who do not.
Having a sense of purpose is crucially important in terms of the drive, commitment and joy with which individuals develop their careers. It is only when one's values and strengths are perfectly in tune with one's responsibilities and the environment one works in that one will become more satisfied and productive.
“A self-assessment not only helps students gain a better understanding of their strengths, their goals and their needs and requirements but also provides invaluable insight into their leadership behaviors, their social skills and their conflict management skills. Additionally, there are peer feedback sessions, during which our students get constructive and honest feedback from equals in a non-hierarchical environment,” continues Dr. Kleinhanns-Rollé.
When it comes to organizing program participants into groups for collaborative learning, special emphasis is put on maximizing diversity so that everyone benefits as much as possible from everyone else's experience. Together, students work on gaining a clear understanding of their personal “Big Five” that give them motivation and enthusiasm. Development plans and regular progress checks support them in identifying their potentials for development, setting themselves specific goals and mapping out strategies for achieving them.
Knowing what one is capable of doing and how one works best is the key to being successful. Therefore, students not only acquire comprehensive business knowledge and the latest leadership know-how during program modules but also train their career skills. Special Workshops, such as the Leadership Orchestra, and a job hunting webinar give them completely new perspectives on leadership and help them become pay negotiation and job hunting experts. Moreover, the WU Executive Academy offers them personalized checks of their online profiles and their CVs to ensure that they show themselves at their best on the most important social media networks.
Nobody can be successful alone, nor can anybody succeed without a network of contacts.
This is why the WU Executive Academy's MBA programs feature international residencies, during which students can make contacts across the globe, as well as a wealth of networking events providing them with opportunities to get in touch with potential employers: In the course of Career Speed Dating sessions, which are part of Career Cafés, the WU Executive Club's international executive search partners give participants expert advice for their job applications. The Entrepreneurship Café brings together aspiring entrepreneurs. And the recently developed Company Info Lunches make it possible for students to get to know even more internationally active businesses. The WU Executive Club's international network of MBA and Master of Laws alumni currently connects some 3500 experienced managers and executives from more than 85 countries. The club organizes exciting events that can be attended by students and alumni alike, including the WU Executive Insights series, which lets participants interact with distinguished speakers.
It goes without saying that the WU Executive Club also helps its members when it comes to networking in the virtual world: Thanks to the new “WU EA Connect” alumni platform, which has been built around the specific needs and requirements of alumni, a few clicks of the mouse is all it takes for them to network with one another and filter contacts by subject matter, function and industry. Moreover, the new platform is a powerful career development tool: Not only can alumni find senior positions and post executive vacancies that have arisen in their organizations, but they can also be found by international HR experts looking for executive hires.