Published: 24th April 2020
University of Essex's Shark Tank just went completely online. Check it out
The Shark Tank event looks for students who have an entrepreneurial spirit which the university can foster
Shark Tank is going online on April 24. No, not the one that comes on ABC and now on Netflix but it's no less exciting. Organised by the University of Essex Business School, this event too follows the same format. Students come up with ideas which are then vetted by the university to see which ones have potential. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic the event, like all other activities of educational institutions have gone online. And if you win you can win a scholarship of up to 100% for Essex Business School’s AMBA-accredited MBA programme.
The Shark Tank event looks for students who have an entrepreneurial spirit which the university can foster. "The Shark Tank event allows potential students to showcase their skills, talent and problem-solving skills. Going online is really exciting for us and we want to make it a really positive experience for everyone taking part," said Dr Nicolas Forsans, Director, Business School, UoE. But will going online be a challenge? Dr Forsans thinks it's another chance to get excited. "It breaks down any barriers for people who want to participate and allows everyone who is excited by this opportunity to join in and also secure significant funding to support their studies at Essex. We’re all working online now so no one should see presenting their ideas online as a challenge – it is just another chance to get people excited and inspired by your dreams and ambitions," he added.
The MBA at Essex is not just about classrooms and books, said the Director. "We want to teach our students an MBA that feels distinctively Essex through three modules that we call the MBA Toolkit. The first is leading with impact — we want our students to do business better and to have the confidence to lead organisations to a better future. The second is innovation and entrepreneurship for new business models where we want our students to be equipped not only to start their own business ventures but also to drive new projects and ideas forward in their existing organisations," he added. "Finally, we focus our programme on the management of organisational change and there can be no better example than the current COVID-19 pandemic to evidence why the best business leaders need to swiftly and effectively manage change," said Dr Forsans.
The varsity has been adapting their approaches and innovating in the ways they teach and now has a model of dual delivery, said the professor. "We know we have to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of our students. For the MBA, we are developing ‘blended’ modules for the Autumn term," he added and explained, "Blended modules will mean that our classroom-based sessions, such as business workshops and guest speaker visits, are made available to all students through webinar software. This means that students unable to travel can participate in real-time alongside students who have been able to join the programme on campus. In addition to these streamed sessions, an enhanced package of self-guided learning materials, case studies and exercises will be available to students through our normal virtual learning platform, Moodle," said the professor.
The blended MBA modules will cover exactly the same content for those who can join on campus. "We are confident that it offers a truly equivalent teaching experience to the face-to-face teaching offered on campus, and it will enable students to start their programme on time and join us in Colchester whenever they can," Dr Forsans said.
A huge number of students are set to travel from India to universities across the world are scared that their education prospects might be hampered by the COVID-19 crisis. It's not only that the universities will have to handle the admission but also help the students with travel, visa and other allied formalities as well. "We are working to ensure we manage any impact that COVID-19 might have on students who will be joining us this autumn for 2020 entry. We understand how concerned some of our applicants will be, and we want them to be reassured we will manage changes to the external environment as they develop and will be looking to find solutions that work for students joining us this year," he added.
Dr Forsans said that if you are studying an MBA, you want to be sure that the course covers all of the core areas of a business. "At Essex, we call these the MBA Essentials. We break these down into eight key areas — strategy, accounting and finance, people and organisations, sustainable operations, markets, governance and ethics, data and analytics, strategic marketing, and director’s workshops," he added. "Our director’s workshops are unique to Essex. They run as one and two-day workshops at key stages of the programme. The sessions may include company visits, trips to business incubators and presentations from industry practitioners. They give students the opportunity to relate current business issues to content taught in their modules and develop their professional skills," said the professor.