The program combines the depth of a research master with the rich practical examples and casework-intensity of a more practical master. The program courses therefore each lay a solid research foundation in the form of articles by both classic and contemporary great thinkers. On top of that, each course provides insights into the workings of a number of international organizations (ranging from Starbucks and Apple to The Red Cross) and empirical phenomena (from CSR and outsourcing trends to business development in East Africa). Students then use their research-based foundation to draw connections, define problems and analyze through for example casework and projects. Each course also practices the students’ communication skills in one or more areas, through the writing of argumentative essays, oral presentations, feedback-sessions, debates and café seminars.
A challenging environment
The program seeks to simulate the future work environment of the students, and hence learning processes are centered in teamwork, leadership and organization, and set in an environment where the study tempo and expectations are high. From day one, we actively work with team processes where taken-for-granted ideas are challenged and the students’ abilities are stretched, step-by-step. Our SMIO students are typically highly committed and hard-working, used to assuming responsibility, and working in a multicultural environment where a variety of perspectives have to be turned into workable solutions.
The world in one classroom
Over the past years we have received students from more than 60 different countries, ranging from Argentina to Zambia. A typical SMIO class consists of some 20 different nationalities, which brings interesting perspectives to discussions as well as insights into the different markets of the world. The cultural mix also enables us to use the class itself as a teaching tool, where the development of cross-cultural competences becomes a positive side effect of for example team projects.
Building strong ties
The program has been designed to ease socialization, and makes students quickly form ties across cultural boundaries. Initially, courses work actively with socialization through teambuilding as well as leadership and organization exercises. Furthermore, the SMIO Big Brothers and Sisters, a group of six to eight handpicked senior students, support our new students from the moment they are admitted and act as mentors and role models as well as organize activities ranging from BBQs to company visits. Challenging assignments and tight deadlines further hone the students’ bonds and SMIO students therefore generally get to know each other well, forming an international network for the future.
We know who you are
We deliberately aim to keep the program small (about 40 students per intake). This means that as a SMIO student you are a familiar face to your teachers and most of them will know you by name. Student-teacher interaction is quite informal, and teachers are generally approachable and interested.