Insights from the Hult webinar on alumni summer electives


Duncan

Hult has around 120 summer electives opened up to alumni, with over 500 seats available to alumni. As an Ashridge alum, I had the chance to hear more about the alumni electives programme. It’s interesting to hear about the school’s experience of having alumni there. It’s clear that many working alumni struggle to attend all the sessions they have booked, meaning that some places don’t get used.

Interestingly, most classes are closed computer classes with no phones allowed. I think that’s a really positive policy, and I assume Hult won’t hold to it in classes where computers are needed.
There is an on-time start policy, so doors can be locked and late alumni allowed only in at the next break.
Alumni are no longer admitted into student teams, because alumni tend to put in less effort
The letter of attendance requires alumni signing in for every session.
Alumni are expected to read materials and take part in class discussion.

From this year, only degree alumni are allowed (previously, exec ed alumni were allowed)
Courses at Dubai sell out first, and alumni seats for London courses also often go within a few minutes. US campuses and online sessions are more flexible. Hult is organising a 2020 Alumni Weekend in Dubai to allow more graduates to experience Hult in the UAE.

Generally, it sounds as if some alumni are a bit cheeky, and perhaps that’s going to happen anywhere. Some alumni try to book in for more than one course. Others try to beg there way into courses that are already sold out. Some don’t check there online course pages, miss out on information about course changes, or even make travel and accommodation plans in advance. As a result, it’s a clear frustration that not all the seats allocated are fully used.

The electives are interesting and show some trends of concern: social impact marketing; CRM with Salesforce, The value of innovation; paid advertising; Blockchain and cryptoassets. There are also online nano-courses, which are live webinar series focusses on new technology trends such as cybersecurity and automation. The learning experience online is said to be very advanced and really smooth.

As a whole, the alumni learning initiative is a great initiative and it’s much more generous than many other schools, which might offer elective access at a much higher cost, or only offer discounts on executive education courses. The number of seats is much smaller than the number demanded, especially in London and Dubai. There’s no easy solution for this. Hult could increase the registration fee to the full cost for each additional student, but the tendency of alumni to put in less effort is a challenge. Clearly, there is a tipping point where the experience of the degree students would be degraded by having too many alumni. Hult might not have enough interest to organise alumni-only streams, and that would perhaps not meet the needs of alumni well. My own take is that means that alumni-only weekends are more likely to happen, and perhaps might come close to the MBA refresher series at Ashridge, where faculty and alumni would co-create a residential weekend spotlighting new elements in the curriculum.

This is a vignette on Hult's maturing as a school, and gives a flavour of the school's culture, and perhaps of challenger business schools more broadly, both in terms of promises versus reality (access to electives, but generally too few to meet demand) and culture (some alumni are cheeky, lazy, entitled).

Hult has around 120 summer electives opened up to alumni, with over 500 seats available to alumni. As an Ashridge alum, I had the chance to hear more about the alumni electives programme. It’s interesting to hear about the school’s experience of having alumni there. It’s clear that many working alumni struggle to attend all the sessions they have booked, meaning that some places don’t get used.

Interestingly, most classes are closed computer classes with no phones allowed. I think that’s a really positive policy, and I assume Hult won’t hold to it in classes where computers are needed.
There is an on-time start policy, so doors can be locked and late alumni allowed only in at the next break.
Alumni are no longer admitted into student teams, because alumni tend to put in less effort
The letter of attendance requires alumni signing in for every session.
Alumni are expected to read materials and take part in class discussion.

From this year, only degree alumni are allowed (previously, exec ed alumni were allowed)
Courses at Dubai sell out first, and alumni seats for London courses also often go within a few minutes. US campuses and online sessions are more flexible. Hult is organising a 2020 Alumni Weekend in Dubai to allow more graduates to experience Hult in the UAE.

Generally, it sounds as if some alumni are a bit cheeky, and perhaps that’s going to happen anywhere. Some alumni try to book in for more than one course. Others try to beg there way into courses that are already sold out. Some don’t check there online course pages, miss out on information about course changes, or even make travel and accommodation plans in advance. As a result, it’s a clear frustration that not all the seats allocated are fully used.

The electives are interesting and show some trends of concern: social impact marketing; CRM with Salesforce, The value of innovation; paid advertising; Blockchain and cryptoassets. There are also online nano-courses, which are live webinar series focusses on new technology trends such as cybersecurity and automation. The learning experience online is said to be very advanced and really smooth.

As a whole, the alumni learning initiative is a great initiative and it’s much more generous than many other schools, which might offer elective access at a much higher cost, or only offer discounts on executive education courses. The number of seats is much smaller than the number demanded, especially in London and Dubai. There’s no easy solution for this. Hult could increase the registration fee to the full cost for each additional student, but the tendency of alumni to put in less effort is a challenge. Clearly, there is a tipping point where the experience of the degree students would be degraded by having too many alumni. Hult might not have enough interest to organise alumni-only streams, and that would perhaps not meet the needs of alumni well. My own take is that means that alumni-only weekends are more likely to happen, and perhaps might come close to the MBA refresher series at Ashridge, where faculty and alumni would co-create a residential weekend spotlighting new elements in the curriculum.

This is a vignette on Hult's maturing as a school, and gives a flavour of the school's culture, and perhaps of challenger business schools more broadly, both in terms of promises versus reality (access to electives, but generally too few to meet demand) and culture (some alumni are cheeky, lazy, entitled).
quote
maury

Sounds like some interesting topics on offer. I guess filling the seats will be somewhat of a problem no matter what - perhaps they should have some kind of 'waiting list' / standby system for those seats that don't get taken.

Sounds like some interesting topics on offer. I guess filling the seats will be somewhat of a problem no matter what - perhaps they should have some kind of 'waiting list' / standby system for those seats that don't get taken.
quote
Duncan

The problem is that is someone doesn't turn up, or turns up half the time, its too late to offer it to another alumnus.

The problem is that is someone doesn't turn up, or turns up half the time, its too late to offer it to another alumnus.
quote

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