The questions are answered by the Program Director and a student of the Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy during one of the previous years’ Campus Channel videos.
That’s ubiquitous-commerce. So, you have e-commerce which is online commerce, then you have brick-and-mortar, and u-commerce is commerce everywhere- both online and offline. We are interested in bringing innovation in our courses. Hence, we bring a new angle and not just talk about e-commerce the way it was done before.
Three days of classes per month doesn’t seem like very much. How in-depth can we really get into the topics in such a short time?
Before getting into the course, as a student, I actually asked myself the same question. You can definitely dive deep into a topic in three days, because the three days are quite intensive. We sometimes don’t get even a lunch break because there’s a guest speaker coming, who is someone specialized in digital, and we have to attend his session. Also, the speakers make their class a discussion, so whatever question you might have, you can ask. You also have to create presentations, which makes these three days really challenging. That’s because you basically have one day to create a start-up in this area by doing all the campaign on digital, and then you present it. Students are actually quite impressed at the end by what they actually managed to do within one day, as they see how much they have learnt. Moreover, everything you learn is applicable straightaway.
This program is based in Paris, a city booming with startups and digital companies. Are there any notable guest speakers that visit?
Yes, there are many. For the induction seminar, we invited CDOs from five big companies including Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and AXA. And, we invite startup owners too. We had a Googler for two sessions and the students found the experience really insightful and interesting. It’s a real opportunity to have someone from Google come to talk to you for three days in a row, non-stop, and to actually have his contact afterwards. He is an influencer, a blogger and a GEM alumnus as well. Students can ask him questions whenever they want to.
Can you tell me more about the class structure and teaching methods. Are there MOOCs or blending learning?
The teaching method is very interesting. Our teachers are mostly professionals who have been working in the digital world for a while. For example, once we had someone from Google. I would say that they have quite high profiles and what we have had until now is basically in the first day, there is a lot of teaching, i.e., learning in lectures; the second and third day is preparing a presentation about a real-life case. So, the students are presented a company, its challenge and problematic, and they have to solve this issue by Saturday two o’clock in the afternoon. It’s great because they change groups all the time, and that forces them to learn how to work with people from different cultures. Blended learning is something that we do all the time: we get people out there and they have to learn by themselves. That’s very much like this in live business cases. We give them some instructions and the deadlines. By this time, they have to talk to their counterpart at the business and then come up with the minutes, etc., and then we give them comments and tell them about what’s right and what needs improvement. It’s very much like a consulting engagement. We also have flip teaching. We allow the students to step-up on the stage and become teachers for one day.
We are working on distance learning. MOOCs, I think are passé, because there are very few people who are able to learn something by themselves.
We keep making changes every year, and even within the year, because digital changes every day. So, there’s new things to include on a daily basis. We have our ‘masterclasses’ wherein the students really enjoy, because there are so many experts coming from different areas and they know their job. It’s straight from real people working in real businesses doing digital on a daily basis. I’m testing new stuff all the time and trying to test new people as well. We evolve based on the feedback that we have from the year before.
The advanced master’s is just one notch higher than a master’s. It’s really top-notch. Let’s say a master’s is about five years, which is equivalent to the French Baccalaureate or A levels in the UK, but the advanced master’s is six years. So, it’s the next level.