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april, 2020

sun19apr(apr 19)18:00tue21(apr 21)14:302020 EFMD MBA ConferenceDesigning the MBA Journey18:00 - 14:30 (21) CET Location: St. Gallen, Switzerland

Event Details

When designing an MBA programme, it is important to think about the entire customer journey, and to think specifically about its three main phases: 1) pre-programme 2) in-programme 3) post-programme. Using the concept of a “journey” as the red thread, we want to discuss the key design principles that naturally lead to a coherent, connected and meaningful experience for our customers, as they journey from being candidates, to students, and finally to become our alumni. The objective is to see the connections across all three phases, how one impacts the other. Each MBA programme must create its own unique journey, there is no one template or best practice example to follow. The conference will thus focus not on the “what” but on the “how” of designing a meaningful MBA experience.
This event is aimed at MBA Directors and business school staff involved in part-time, full-time and executive MBA programmes.


University of St. Gallen - Master of Business Administration


St. Gallen, Switzerland


19 (Sunday) 18:00 - 21 (Tuesday) 14:30 CET


Hotel Einstein

Berneggstrasse 2, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland


Session 1: Pre-programme Phase
Monday 20th April, 9:00 to 13:00

If you remove the logo, will they still recognise your school? Are you clear on the landscape you are operating in, articulating your internal competencies, and do you know your audience? Do you build it and they will come? Or do you need to start with the person in mind and the specific needs they have? Positioning an MBA programme is key to setting the right expectations and communicating authentically throughout the journey.

Creating the right class is about attracting people who are aligned with what you do and stand for. Having the right operational capacity to deal with your stakeholders is key. The criteria for creating the right class may touch on the right “mix” (ages, nationalities), on “diversity” (gender balance), on “career fit”, or indeed on a set of common “values”. At times, creating the right class may conflict with external selection criteria, such as University set academic standards.

Assessment is part and parcel of the admissions process, it is the final “quality check”. What are the right tools for assessment, digital or other? How do we know that they work? To what degree are the admissions assessment results actually correlated with performance during the in-programme phase? Or otherwise, how does student performance feed back to enhance admissions processes?

Session 2: In-programme Phase
Monday 20th April, 14:00 to 18:00

Premium is placed on MBA programmes that are seen as up-to-date, practice-focused, and industry-linked. The pressure to continually evolve curricula and update course content is high. What tools are there to create live curricula with, and how can they be used both during, and even before the programme start. What other insights can such tools bring?


  • Simon Evenett, Academic Director, University of St.Gallen (MBA)
  • Andrew Jack, Financial Times

Unlike many other master degrees, MBA programmes promise a holistic education, whereby academic, personal, and career development are addressed in one package. How can we create learning activities that effectively weave into the MBA experience?

The pressure to innovate, develop new products and delivery formats, means that programmes must seek ways to increase their output without increasing their input, and that means developing new partnerships and alliances that benefit all parties involved. These become new “business models” for how we operate, and create value through.

Session 3: Post-programme Phase
Tuesday 21st April, 9:00 to 13:00

Successful transition into the post-programme phase means finding a match between what MBAs bring and what employers need. Designing for the Future of Work is about finding the product market fit for that future. So how can you stay agile, and be able to create a programme that you can iterate every year to meet the needs of both short- and long-term?

Proposed speakers:

  • Michael Liley, Future of Work, Partner, Deloitte
  • James Barker, Market Development Manager, GMAC®, United Kingdom

Many companies say they hire for “attitude”, and then they train for the skill-set. In the MBA world, we train for both. In order to be truly effective, the skills we train must be those companies need. In a technology driven world, to what degree can MBA programmes truly match what companies already do inhouse? How advanced should our MBAs digital skills be, where do we start and where do we end?

Happiness fuels motivation and engagement. So how can we keep them happy, even years after they have left? Happiness with our programme, and with the career that follows, is highly correlated with alumni referrals, and overall alumni activity. When designing the MBA journey, happiness levels are a critical measure, and that measure needs to be in place even after the programme is completed. Afterall, happiness is at the core of life-long brand loyalty.


Register here
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