Success is a choice, not an obligation. Since that is the case, business-minded individuals need to make informed choices in their quest for management education. Business schools may be numerous, but experts observe that only a few actually fit the profile.
The Financial Times of London contributes its two cents’ worth to quality control in management education. Every year, it publishes a list of some of the world’s best business institutions to guide prospective students’ choices. LBS has consistently featured in the ‘open enrolment education’ category of that list since 2007. More significantly, the school recently joined the FT’s ranking of top custom education providers; the first time it would be achieving the feat.
Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of the world’s 13,000 business programmes are said to have earned the Association to Advance the Collegiate School of Business’ (AACSB) accreditation, touted as the highest achievement for business schools worldwide.
Typically, AACSB-accredited schools have good faculty, a challenging curriculum, and provide educational and career opportunities unavailable at other business schools. LBS began the AACSB business accreditation process in 2006, and is expected to conclude the initial process this year.
Since 1991 when LBS started as a small institution offering management education in Lagos, it has consistently resonated with a mix of top executives and high-potential professionals interested in gaining useful management insights. The reason for this pull is abstract to some, while many others typically associate the school with prestige and high ethical standards. From LBS’ standpoint, however, three characteristics are responsible for the success stories recorded by some of its alumni. Sound knowledge is one, the right attitude another; and a solid network tops it off.
Participants in LBS’ programmes always stand out, thanks to the School’s focus on providing sound knowledge that equips them to succeed in Africa and beyond. To achieve this, LBS employs the services of world-class local and international faculty to facilitate its MBA and Executive Education programmes. These academics are oftentimes expert sources for financial/business intelligence and thought leaders whose research works are published in international journals of repute.
The School’s full-time MBA programme is designed to prepare managers to succeed in the increasingly complex global business environment. Small wonder, then, that participants in the programme are highly regarded both locally and internationally for the aptitude they display in their respective circles. Last year, former MBA student, Adebayo Alonge, emerged one of the finalists in the maiden Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which takes 500 young leaders to the US for academic coursework and leadership training. In the same year, Onyanta Adama, another MBA student, made the shortlist for the FT MBA Challenge with UK charity World Child Cancer. She joined five other students from Lagos and abroad to draft a plan on how Ghana could treat childhood cancer in a self-sustainable manner.
But business education at LBS goes beyond building the intellect. After all, it takes a blend of knowledge and the right ethical attitude to produce the ideal business person or manager. Thus, in the course of their studies, participants also internalise the School’s values that set them apart in the real world such as integrity, professionalism, spirit of service, mutual respect and community. In a word, they are groomed to have the right ethical attitude towards business and management in a system dominated by sharp practices.
After the programme, they join a solid network of over 5000 alumni whose expertise they can leverage in their quest to take their careers or businesses to the next level. Such launch pads have never been in short supply from the pool of participants in LBS’ executive programmes. Earlier this year, Paul Orajiaka (AMP 20) revamped a rundown school in Ikorodu, Lagos. He assured that the project was the first in a long line of CSR initiatives that would cut across the six geopolitical zones of the country in months to come. This was preceded by his interview with Forbes magazine for starting his doll manufacturing company, Auldon Limited, with a paltry $30, and making it a success story in the industry. Other positive change agents associated with LBS include Dr Christopher Kolade, Professor Pat Utomi, Pascal Dozie and governors, top executives/managers of multinationals and medium-to-large scale businesses too numerous to count.
Every institution worthy of the name stands for something, and LBS is no exception. LBS stands for sound knowledge, the right attitude and a solid network. With a mix of these characteristics, it empowers managers to succeed in the fast-paced 21st century business environment defined by cut-throat competition.