Business: Combining professional development with academia

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”

Business schools that are most successful in producing work-ready graduates are those that involve them, or those that encompass professional development along with their academic coursework.

This means rather than just research, presentations and publications, students are encouraged to make connections in industry through work placements, visiting speakers, cross-disciplinary learning, and being exposed to society at large via an international outlook or community engagement.

While students often look at a school’s reputation, it’s graduate starting salary, cost or location; ultimately the best school will be one that helps you reach your unique set of goals. Here are a few things to look for when undergoing the search for your most suited business school:


Image via Unsplash


Good connections

Students at schools that are connected with industry are generally able to establish contacts with future employers, and therefore find it easier to enter the job market. In this way, not only do companies benefit from student resources to strengthen their employer brand, but schools can prepare their educational content in order to meet industry requirements.

Cross-disciplinary approach

To act on problems facing the world today, it’s best to analyse them with the most appropriate tools. This can sometimes involve cross-disciplinary approaches and inter-institution collaboration. Schools that offer a variety of learning methods via lectures, workshops, speakers, resources across campus, or partnerships with other universities or centres are able to better impart key transferable skills to their students.

International approach

While many schools have connections with local business, the importance of strategic partnerships with industries and universities beyond this is an ideal way to develop academic co-operation, exchanges and recruitment. This enriches the learning environment and helps students develop a responsible attitude towards societal problems.

Research based education

Education that encourages a scientific mindset, systematic critical thinking and rigor is the best way for students to attain required knowledge within their chosen field. Allowing them to be actively involved in research cements that process further as they learn and understand from being involved. The process of internalizing, practicing and following research conduct helps them learn how to work independently, as a team, as well as to effectively monitor the entire research process.


Image courtesy of the University of Gothenburg


Tom Bodett an American author, politician, voice actor, and radio host, once said that the difference between school and life was, “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Here are some business schools that combine these lessons and tests through a combination of development and academia, in to offer their students a springboard into the business world:


The School of Business, Economics and Law is the only school in Sweden that has a triple crown accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA; a privilege held by just 0.5% of the world’s business schools, highlighting the extent of its high quality education.

Located in the friendly city of Gothenburg, the school attracts 3,700 students each year, and partners with about 30 companies and 160 universities. As a city known for its port and trade, and as the home of Volvo and SKF, Gothenburg represents a superb location for a global business school. There is no tuition fee for EU/EEA students. Scholarships are available, among others the Volvo Group scholarship programme for students from China and India.

These exchange studies and collaborations with global companies, on top of career services and Student Associations that organise job fairs, have enabled the school and its students to remain active in the international business arena.

The school offers single subject courses and four programmes at undergraduate level, nine two-years Masters programmes, PhD, executive education and exchange studies. They are all structured for students to graduate readily-equipped with the knowledge and tools to handle sustainability issues.


This public research university, located in Northeast England, boasts one of the largest EU research portfolios in the UK, attracting over 20,000 students from 120 different countries.

This is a university that achieves research excellence by delivering the highest quality teaching and learning, and engaging in the economic, social and cultural development of the local area. It also delivers high rates of student satisfaction for both local and international students.

The business school holds triple crown accreditation and works hard to develop excellent collaboration between peers, experts and business leaders. Students can choose from undergraduate, MBA, executive and postgraduate taught or research courses.


Image courtesy of Birmingham University



Established in 1902, this is the oldest business school in the UK, perfecting a world-class research and teaching environment to “put business in context and people at the heart of business”.

This means undergraduate, postgraduate, MBA and research degrees that enable graduates to add value throughout their careers. The business intelligence imparted through collaboration with business chiefs, entrepreneurs and partners is designed to produce graduates that are the next generation of these leaders.

Birmingham Business School has a triple-crown accreditation and its global rankings confirm its position within elite global business schools.


Bryant University is a private university in Rhode Island, USA. Considered among the nation’s best business schools, the college presents innovative means of introducing both complex theory and real-world practice from the first semester.

It is conveniently located to take advantage of Wall Street opportunities, and the Bryant Wall Street Council focuses on increasing the profile and impact of students at the school and throughout the financial services industry.

Staff are both dedicated educators and industry experts, helping students engage within business through an array of alliances and partnerships that include regional businesses, community organisations, multinational corporations, and global institutions.


The Fox School of Business at Temple University is the largest, most comprehensive business school in Greater Philadelphia. It offers MBA, BBA, Specialized Masters, PhD and other programs specially-designed to provide students with opportunities, experience and services that help them attain their career goals.

Fox consistently achieves high rankings thanks to its entrepreneurial thinking, experiential learning, influential research by world-class faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Fox has 8000 full time students and is passionate about getting them to think like visionaries in order to outperform everyone else within the global economy.


Image courtesy of Aarhus University



The School of Business and Social Science (BSS) at Aarhus University is an excellent place to start your business career as one of Europe’s largest business schools.

The school has degrees at bachelors, masters and PhD level, drawing in students from more than 80 nationalities – thanks in part to the free tuition it offers for EU, EAA and Swiss citizens, as well as its excellent faculty.

Aarhus BSS also encourages student exchange programs which it has developed with partner institutions in 44 countries. The BSS encourages students to get involved in international research to help not only them, but also businesses, organisations, the public sector and wider society.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

Feature image courtesy of Gothenburg University

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