Looking for real-world, relevant education? July 25, 2006Posted by Tom in Education, Innovation.
At Indiana University, 25 students thought they were signing up for a standard class on business processes, redesigning workflows for a mock U.S. auto parts supplier using SAP software. Fifteen students at the Univer-sity of Brandenburg in Germany were taking the same course, doing the mock work for a German automaker. Around the 11th week of the course, the professors threw them a curve.
Students came into class to learn the German carmaker was buying the U.S. supplier. All the processes they had worked on had to be redone to meet the needs of the new company, and the two groups of students, who had never communicated before, had to work together. “They needed to streamline, and they were dealing with time zone differences, language and cultural barriers, and process differences,” says Ashok Soni, who helped teach the class as chairman of the operations and decision technology department of Indiana’s Kelley School of Business. “This was a real-world, global situation.”
Tell me that employers and economic developers wouldn’t love to have grads like these in their communities. They’ve already been forced to think fast and hard in a fluid environment…just like they will in the real world of work.
Kudos to IU, and to InformationWeek for publishing such a great article – which was only an add-on to their excellent “In Depth: How Businesses Can Attract The Next-Generation Of IT Workers” piece.