Author: Philip Mbwaya
In its mission to build leaders for the African century, African Leadership University School of Business (ALUSB) is launching a new, exciting degree especially for young professionals and recent graduates as they enter the job market. The programme, entitled Master of Management (MM), has been shaped by top employers to ensure graduates are able to build their business skills, add value to their employer organisations and propel their professional journeys forward.
We sat down with the Dean of ALUSB, Dr. Emmett P. Tracy, who is also the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at African Leadership University (ALU). Dr. Tracy shared his excitement and vision for the new MM programme, highlighting that it would expand the ALUSB programme portfolio as well as serve a younger demographic with a top-quality business education.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ALUSB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME AND WHO IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
The Master of Management programme is designed for early-career professionals and recent graduates with up to three years of professional experience – those who are just getting started on their career journey. The programme is ideal for someone who wants to get a headstart in the job market and who sees value in developing the leadership skills, team skills and the entrepreneurial mindset that would allow them to succeed in their career. For employers, there’s an enormous attraction that these individuals will be able to make an impact from day one, through their agile thinking and ability to adapt to different professional environments.
DURING YOUR TIME AS THE DEAN OF ALU SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, YOU HAVE SEEN THE INSTITUTION GROW IN VARIOUS WAYS. WHAT WAS THE GOAL BEHIND ADDING THIS NEW PROGRAMME?
A while back we identified a demographic that we were not serving. The ALUSB MBA programme is geared towards later stage professionals. The average age of our MBA students is 36 years and the average work experience is 11 years. Year after year of application cycles, we were repeatedly presented with applications from highly qualified candidates who did not fall within the MBA’s minimum five years, post-graduate eligibility criteria. We thought deeply about how to best serve these applicants, about how to include them as part of our community and offer them a top business education.
While we are still very committed to our MBA programme demographic, in surveying employers and understanding their needs, particularly in regards to entry-level and junior management talent, we realised that the MM degree could provide a lot of value to the market, while broadening our programme portfolio.
HOW DOES THE NEW MM PROGRAMME COMPARE TO THE MBA?
Our MBA programme is unique from other top MBA programmes by combining three important elements: (1) a Pan-African student community, (2) an Africa-focused curriculum, and (3) a part-time, blended format (combining in-person and online learning). The format is an important aspect for our MBA students because it recognises that our MBAs are experienced professionals at an advanced stage in their careers, who are juggling a variety of responsibilities like work and family.
In comparison, the Master of Management programme is targeted at younger, early career professionals, who will start the programme much younger and move faster through the academic experience. The programme begins with a very intense immersion in business foundations and can be completed in less than one year. This helps our MM students accelerate their career while introducing them to core aspects of an ALUSB, Africa-focused education.
HOW WILL THE MM PROGRAMME PROPEL ALUSB TO ACHIEVE ITS MISSION TO SERVE AS A CATALYST TO BUILDING LEADERS FOR THE AFRICAN CENTURY?
Developing business leaders is about developing leaders at all stages of the workforce. The MBA programme is designed for managers and senior leaders in organisations, while the MM programme is designed for a younger demographic.
What we are excited about is creating an ecosystem where an MBA student can hire an MM graduate. As a pan-African institution, we expect that our graduates will go out and work in companies that span the continent. Part of the MM learning experience includes gaining exposure to a wide range of sectors and economies across the globe, through faculty and classmates. This exposure will allow our graduates to better access opportunities from Cairo to Capetown, Dakar to Dar es Salaam.
“Developing business leaders is about developing leaders at all stages of the workforce.”
WHAT ELEMENTS FROM THE MM EXPERIENCE EVENTUALLY MAKE A GRADUATE STAND OUT FROM A DEGREE HOLDER IN A PROFESSIONAL SETTING?
The undergraduate experience is a very holistic process, it helps you to start thinking about your future career and developing foundational skills needed to succeed professionally. On the other hand, the Master of Management is a very focused programme for those who are interested in pursuing certain types of careers – for example, marketing, finance or consulting.
The MM programme gives you extra time to hone the specialised skills required for success in your career, as well as a professional ecosystem that offers networking and mentorship for you to thrive as a young professional. An MM graduate leaves knowing what they want to focus on and how exactly they will make an impact in an organisation.
WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE ALUSB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FROM OTHER MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES GLOBALLY?
The Master of Management programme is quite popular, especially in Europe and the United States as well as within Africa. Compared to other programmes, the ALUSB MM programme has a distinct focus on Africa, which is also a core pillar of our MBA programme. The pan-African approach is integrated into the curriculum, equipping you with the knowledge to understand the African business landscape. The MM curriculum also takes into consideration employer priorities for entry-level and junior managers in organisations across the continent.
Beyond that, we have a passion to deliver impactful leadership education. Everything that we do within the African Leadership Group has a strong focus on developing leaders, through developing self and leading others.
The focus on Africa is core to what we deliver because we see it as an incredible opportunity to help rising leaders solve the challenges that are within Africa. We see it embodied in the kind of students that graduate from ALU, from the tremendous impact that they make in the communities and organisations they get involved in.
WHEN CAN INTERESTED CANDIDATES EXPECT APPLICATIONS TO OPEN FOR THE ALSUB MASTER OF MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME?
The application for admission to the Master of Management Class of 2021 is officially open! You can start your application today at: https://bit.ly/MMAPPLY21. We look forward to welcoming our very first Master of Management students into the ALUSB ecosystem in April 2021.
To find out more about the ALUSB Master of Management admission requirements, programme structure, tuition fees and financing, please click the following link: https://www.alusb.com/mm/