The learning pillars of the programme are research-based knowledge grounded in rich empirical examples, a focus on critical and in-depth analysis, and communication of results. This is why we are using GMAT for selecting our students. GMAT measures the critical thinking and reasoning skills that are most relevant to the programme. The programme combines the depth of a research master with the rich practical examples and casework-intensity of a more practical master. The programme courses therefore each lay a solid research foundation in the form of articles and books by both classic and contemporary great thinkers. On top of that, each course provides insights into the workings of a number of international organisations (ranging from Starbucks and Apple to The Red Cross) and empirical phenomena (from CSR and outsourcing trends to business development in East Africa). You then use your research-based foundation to draw connections, define problems and analyse 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. The programme seeks to simulate the future work environment of the students, and hence learning processes are centered in teamwork, leadership and organisation, and set in an environment where the study tempo and expectations are high and the diversity of people great. 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 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.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 under pressure in a multicultural environment where a variety of perspectives have to be turned into workable solutions. Challenging assignments and tight deadlines hone the students’ bonds and SMIO students therefore generally get to know each other well, forming an international network for the future.
Building strong tiesThe programme has been designed to ease socialisation, and makes students quickly form ties across cultural boundaries. Initially, courses work actively with socialisation through teambuilding as well as leadership and organisation 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 organise activities ranging from BBQs to company visits.
We know who you areWe deliberately aim to keep the programme small (about 40 students). 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.