How Business Schools are making MBA Programs Practical?

These days MBA programs at most of the business schools are somehow limited to the classroom academics only. With most of the time dedicated to lectures, theories, and concepts, MBA students do not get enough exposure to the practical knowledge. This results in MBA graduates who do not know what to do at their future workplaces.

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There is a considerable gap between what is taught to MBA students and what organizations look for in an employee when they hire an MBA graduate. So, there has long been a debate that B-schools should not lose sight of the importance of practical knowledge. And that’s when the need of ‘Practical MBA’ rises.

Many b-schools at the national and international level now offer “Practical MBA” programs. In such MBA programs, the industry experts give the practical tips, suggestions, and advice on how to apply the knowledge in the real world. These practical aspects, which a student learns in a Practical MBA Program can be implemented right away in their careers as well as businesses.

So, the best approaches to how B-schools are making their MBA programs practical have been mentioned below.

Industry Experts as Faculty

The essence of a practical MBA program is to create “Industry Domain Specialists” for various verticals. In most of the universities, all across the world, MBA is taught by lecturers and professors. These people mostly just go by the books and syllabus prescribed by the Universities. So, at for Practical MBA, universities these days are on-boarding industry experts for teaching.

At National Business School for Practical MBA, all programs are taught by industry professionals who are also the subject matter experts in their fields. And, in several other American Universities, the core MBA subjects are taught by Business Professionals & Industry Experts from the respective industry.

Focus on Practical Skills

The organizations now require professionals who are specialists in their domain and have in-depth knowledge and critical factors of that segment. To resolve this, the b-schools are focusing more and more on the practical skills of the students.

These Practical MBA programs offer leadership skills through project work and presentations, risk management skills through risk management and other business analysis courses etc.

The Laurier School of Business and Economics in Ontario, Canada has an “integrated applied research project” for its MBA Students, in which they get a chance to work as consultants for businesses to gain practical skills. On the other hand, INSEAD offers its MBA students a practical program by teaching them unfamiliar business practices by inviting many students and faculty from outside France.

Creating Ready to Work Professionals

The Practical MBA Programs are designed to produce “Ready to work” MBA graduates. Moreover, these students are already domain specialists that are ready to start their career with relevant industry level skills.

The National Business School for Practical MBA offers “Industry Ready Professionals” for most of the industries including the banking, finance and IT etc. The Practical MBA offers all basic management knowledge to the students so that they can deliver the results immediately.The skills learned in Practical MBA can be applied to their careers or businesses right from the day one and most likely to see positive results.

Industry Exposure

Many schools have already been working on this factor. The B-schools these days try to give, as much industry exposure as they can to their MBA graduates. Whether it be a work while study program or an internship or any other project work, the Practical MBA students get full exposure to the industry they will be joining very soon.

The Tuck School of Business, USA gives its students a wide range of industry exposure opportunities such as a first-year project, onsite global consulting in which students connect with businesses. In most other universities and B-schools that focus on practical MBA, students get to work with companies and apply classroom learning to the business challenges of corporations.

The Columbia Business School through its practical MBA initiative offers the Non-profit Board Leadership Program that enables students to gain experience on projects.


At B-schools that focus on Practical MBA programs, they provide their students with extended internships. Some b-schools even send their students to gain practical experience in companies across various countries.The Dalhousie University, Canada MBA offers a Corporate Residency program which is an eight-month internship. It offers graduates a great exposure of the corporate world.

The University Of British Columbia Sauder School Of Management, Vancouver and other b-schools such as the ESSEC Business School and the Grenoble School of Management in France, send their MBA students to India, Singapore, and China.

Teaching Industry Ethics

The B-schools in order to focus on the Practical MBA, teach all the required industry ethics to the students. This way they teach the future managers that how can they cope-up the change in their workplace. The methodology includes concepts like action learning and work-based learning.

The Australian Institute of Business has its Work Applied Learning (WAL) model that researches on enabling students to learn and introduce change in their workplace.

Alumni Network

Some B-schools focus more on the Alumni network which is also a great way to making MBA program more practical. The b-school conduct several events in which they invite the alumni that are mostly the industry experts by now. In such event, they help future manager through their learning in the industry.

The Gies College of Business has the largest alumni network among all b-schools in the USA. They hold a number of events to connect current students with their experienced and successful alumni.

These days b-schools and MBA professors have started focusing on providing students with skills that they could use for the benefit of their employers and their own career eventually. More B-Schools should understand the need for focusing on such programs by adopting the above-mentioned approaches.