Students as Achievers in Challenging Times: Journey @ FORE through the Pandemic

Students as Achievers in Challenging Times:  Journey @ FORE through the Pandemic

1. Pandemic and the Management Education

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted business schools worldwide and there has been an emergency shift to remote teaching/learning. It has changed the contours of the business world as well. While some industries like retail, airlines, hospitality, sports and events have been immediately hit and significantly impacted by reduction in revenues, some others have flourished because of their familiarity with digital format and home delivery/logistics systems. The B-schools that were quick to leverage technology and swiftly built an ecosystem of virtual learning, teaching, evaluation and community-building have been less impacted. Most B-schools have re-designed courses, evaluation parameters as well as admission processes to suit the new normal. Yet, students have been nonplussed by unexpected changes in their learning environment. Most of them, out of their sheer sense of inertia, value physical interaction, and it is natural that pandemic-induced abrupt shift to remote teaching would sweep them off their feet.

In the face of the ongoing pandemic, the saga of readjustment to learning environment worldwide is a work in progress. The evolving new, sustainable models for online-learning are utilizing technology to unbundle and re-invent teaching, learning and assessment; focus on value, not just quality; and all this will change the use of and roles played by faculty, mentors and peer-to-peer interaction.

2. FORE Technological Intervention during Pandemic

In light of the above, being sensitive to the plight of the students, FORE is determined to deliver every bit of the B-school experience that they expect and deserve.

The institute is proactively adopting to the online mode of teaching, with the help of its dedicated IT infrastructure and services. Classes, Seminar Courses, Corporate Talks Webinars and Summits are being conducted through the virtual mode regularly. The Students’ Committees are also conducting their activities like ‘welcoming the new batch’, fresher’s party, ‘students’ batch meets’, selection of various student’s committees, etc. in the online-mode.

The classrooms of the institute have been equipped with up-to-date interactive technology, such as interactive projectors, tablet pen, high-resolution web camera, microphone and web-conferencing platform enabling the faculty to effectively engage the students online. The use of such technology has been facilitated by hands-on training sessions for faculty and students. These interventions have helped FORE in meeting the teaching and learning objectives in the remote setting.    

3. Virtual Summer Internship Projects (VSIPs)

It is said that adversity brings out the best in people, and this is true for FORE’s students as well, who have applied ingenuity to ensure continuity. This year, internships were done through virtual mode whereby students completed their stints using information, data, calls, internet research. The faculty reviews were regularly carried out to ensure quality and productivity. The fact that industry and professionals also shifted to online modes of communication helped the students greatly in collecting data and inputs relevant for their projects. There were projects on a wide range of subjects related to Covid-19 and its impact on various aspects of business across functional areas like Finance, Marketing, HR, Economics & Policy, Operations, IT, and Strategy. The incorporation of Covid-19 into their projects was meant to enhance their understanding of the emerging situation and help them coming up with appropriate mitigation strategies. FORE faculty took care to motivate such efforts through effective mentorship and encouraged conversion of the VSIPs into quality research papers, which are now being published in reputed national and international journals. A system of reward was also introduced to incentivise such efforts, which was found to be very productive.

4. Webinars to enhance industry-preparedness

Regular webinars and guest-lectures, in addition to summer internships and various online live projects, helped the students at FORE gain vital practical exposure in 2020. More than 100 corporates interacted with the students through webinars, sessions and summits conducted by the institute and its students’ Committees. Over 30 webinars were organised by the faculty this year, covering several relevant themes and issues impacting the ever-changing business environment.

FORE also organised virtual conferences, such as:

  • FORE International Business Conference (FIBC) 2020, where participants and speakers from across the globe discussed the changing global business environment and the role of technology.
  • FORE Healthcare Conclave 2020 – Covid-19 Care, which held discussions regarding various challenges faced by healthcare front-line warriors.

5. FOREians’ Achievements

The students at FORE embraced technology enthusiastically and kept their winning streak intact by winning many competitions organised by IIMs, IITs, and other reputed business schools and corporate houses. The students at FORE have been showing remarkable resilience and tenacity, borne out by their winning record.

B-school competitions are conducted at several prominent institutions across the country and involve a rigorous process by which teams from multiple institutions compete to make their mark at the national level. This involves translating theories and frameworks learned in the classroom into real life contexts besides developing compelling presentation skills. Judges with extensive industry experience evaluate the presentations and put the teams through rigorous rounds of questioning, which help the teams to put forth their best.

FORE’s students have been participating in several prominent competitions over the years and have come back with laurels. In 2020, 103 FOREians won 117 prizes & positions in various competitions across prominent IIMs (Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Ranchi, Indore, Nagpur, Rohtak and Lucknow), IITs (Delhi, Kanpur, Bombay and Roorkee), Symbiosis, IIFT, New Delhi, FMS Delhi, XLRI Jamshedpur, MDI Gurgaon, TISS Mumbai, NIT Trichy, MICA Ahmedabad and SRCC. These wins have helped students showcase their profiles for internships and consequent placements. In some cases, these tangible achievements have helped students expedite their placements significantly.

6. The New PGDM (BDA) Programme

FORE introduced a new two-year PGDM programme with specialization in Big Data Analytics last year. The Institute has been successfully running its other two-year programmes PGDM, PGDM (IB) & PGDM (FM) over the years.

In this digital era of growing data and automation, Big Data Analytics has found a significant use across industries. Various studies from PwC and other leading global firms show an optimistic view about the potential and growth for big-data-analytics jobs. The analytics capabilities are becoming a major differentiator both for executives and for the organizations. The emphasis of this programme is on equipping students with big-data-analytics capabilities both at conceptual and application levels to help them develop data-driven strategies and solve business and managerial problems. The curriculum of this programme is tailor-made to help students acquire conceptual understanding of the concepts, big-data ecosystem, computing and programming environment and business problems, and keeps abreast with all developments and innovations.

7. Faculty & Pedagogy

The delivery of quality education can be attributed to an excellent faculty, which is FORE’s backbone. Fore has 54 full-time faculty members, who are a  perfect mix of pure academicians and industry experts, with some transcending both the domains. More than 90% have Ph.D. from IITs, IIMs, JNU, FMS, MDI-Gurgaon and reputed foreign universities and more than 60% have corporate experience.

Through its long-standing experience in delivering management programmes, FORE has developed course contents that are uniquely industry-relevant. This is achieved through experienced resident and visiting faculty, a seasoned team running its academic affairs, and regular inputs from corporate recruiters, in addition to international collaborations for course delivery.

Pedagogy comprises of lectures, discussions, case-studies, simulations, group discussions, experiential learning, special sessions from industry professionals, management games, sensitivity training and management films. There is a constant attempt at FORE to stay ahead of the learning curve through continuous review of curriculum contents and rescaling of teaching methodology.

8. Placements

The focus of FORE on industry-ready education is well-reflected in many ways: its placement track record, the career trajectories of its alumni, and FORE’s ranking at 26 (an improvement on its 31st position last year) among institutions of repute in GO (Graduation Outcome), which includes placement as one of the components in the NIRF Ranking. Even in the face of the pandemic, the placement numbers for the batch 2019-2021, has been quite encouraging. There has been a consistent growth in campus placements over the years. Some of the top offers this year came from FMCG, Finance, FSI, IT/ITeS and Consulting domains, followed by, Market Research, Pharma, Banking, Automobile, E Commerce, Telecom, Media and Manufacturing. The Summer Internship experience for the batch 2019-21 was exciting as well, with recruiters like HSBC, GEP, Nestle, Genpact, Hughes Systique, Indospirit, KPMG, GET Global Boston Scientific, Wall Street Advisory & Siemens & Ken Research, MyMoneyMantra etc.

9. Inspiring Alumni

Among the ‘FORE Achiever Alumni Network’ of 6000+ alumni, 200+ are CEOs, 1200+ are in senior positions with 700+ alumni working across the globe. Over time, around 20% of FSM alumni have transitioned into international roles, which is a testament to the abilities gained during B-school education. Among the countries with substantial numbers, USA has 333 FSM alumni, Canada 114, UAE 110, UK 100, Singapore 84, and Australia 74.

10. PGDM (Executive) Programme: For Experienced Candidates looking to fast- track their careers

FORE offers a unique 15-month Post Graduate Diploma in Management programme called PGDM (Executive). It is a full-time General Management Programme exclusively designed for experienced middle-level working professionals aiming to take up leadership positions in their respective organizations and beyond. This programme aims at setting new benchmarks in Executive Education and is aimed at helping working managers take their careers to the next level. It offers a unique opportunity for professional and personal development by taking participants on a journey of rigorous interactive learning including a complimentary International Immersion Module with world-renowned international B-Schools at their campuses and a 3-month long project after completion of 12 months of classroom training.

Lateral Placement Support

Leveraging more than 6000+ alumni of the institute, placed all over the world, some of the prominent companies who provided lateral placement include Centum Learning, Cognizant, HCL Technologies, Hero FinCorp, Hexaware Technologies, IGT Solutions, Infosys, Jindal Rectifiers, Mindtree, Newgen Software Technologies Ltd, Vikram Solar, Wipro Ltd, Zycus, To The New, Mahindra & Mahindra.

To know more details of the programme, kindly visit: https://www.fsm.ac.in/full-time-executive-pgdm

11. Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) at FORE: Creating Academic Leaders

FORE also offers a Full-Time Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) approved by AICTE. The objective of this programme is to enhance the body of knowledge in the research domain and its dissemination. It is aimed at admitting scholars with an exceptional academic background, strong motivation, discipline, and having a strong inclination towards good quality research.

FPM at FORE offers specializations in the Areas of Economics and Business Policy, Finance and Accounting, Information Technology, International Business, Marketing, Organisational Behaviour & Human Resource, Quantitative Techniques and Operations Management, Communication, Strategy.

Programme Highlights:

 Financial Assistance for Fellow Programme Scholar

  • (Fellowship of Rs. 36,500/- per month for the first two years and Rs. 41,500/- per month during the third and the fourth year of the program)
  • Support to attend International/National Conferences/Workshops
  • Conference Support of Rs. 1.5 lakh during the entire programme for presenting research paper(s)
  • Contingency Grant of Rs. 15,000/- per year and is available in the third and fourth year of the program)

To know more details of the programme, kindly visit: https://www.fsm.ac.in/full-time-fpm.

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