Institutions can highlight their successful partnerships through PR activity – and attract new ones in the process
Business schools are natural partners for many organisations, from big corporate companies to charities and non-profits. These partnerships work both ways – from the partner’s side of things, many organisations see partnering with business schools as an opportunity to give themselves an edge over the competition, as well as giving them access to some of the world’s best business talent of the future. From a business school perspective, big partnerships can bring successful internship opportunities for their students, international study trips, consulting projects as part of courses, and ultimately recruitment opportunities for their graduates. It is therefore essential that business schools highlight their successful partnerships through PR activity so they can not only showcase the fantastic work they are doing together, but to also attract further partners in the future, and potential students.
Merging an international luxury brand with education
An excellent example of how well corporate organisations and business schools can work together is when this year, the Prada group, an international leader in the luxury industry, became a partner of the International Master in Luxury Management - a double degree course dedicated to training professionals in the luxury sector, developed in partnership between NEOMA Business School (France) and POLIMI Graduate School of Management (Italy). By having the Prada group become a partner with this program, this innovative and unique course now has the benefit of new top-range support from the luxury sector, which will ultimately make its expertise available to help train the fashion managers of the future.
In their role as official partner, the Prada group will contribute to the course content via workshops, site visits and the organisation of several conferences with speakers from the world-renowned brand. This partnership gained lots of high-profile, international media interest, including features in The European and The Fashion Network. This was important for both NEOMA and POLIMI Graduate School of Management because it not only showcases the schools’ prestigious offering to potential students who may want to pursue a career in luxury, but it also highlighted the benefits of a corporate partnership to other global organisations that may be considering teaming up with business schools.
Collaboration, networking, and advanced technical skills
Another great example of how well business schools and corporate organisations can be mutually beneficial, is the partnership between NEOMA Business School and the professional association EdTech France. EdTech France is a professional network that brings together French organisations and entrepreneurs to collaborate on innovation for education and lifelong learning. Its current membership stands at over 220 and has 30 partner organisations on board, a list that includes prominent higher education institutions, SMEs and businesses, making it an excellent partner for a prestigious institution such as NEOMA Business School.
The partnership between NEOMA and EdTech France will allow the school to expand on their various innovative educational methods in order to provide better learning experiences for students, especially around the topics of digitization, artificial intelligence, and big data. This partnership was covered in some fantastic media outlets such as Global Education Times, which highlighted the brilliant opportunities students from NEOMA would have as a result of this partnership.
Partnerships with non-profits and charities are just as beneficial
As well as corporate partners, business schools are realising the value and importance of forging partnerships and collaborations with charities and non-profit organisations. Indeed, the line between the commercial and not-for-profit sectors are blurring as companies across all industries recognise the impact that individuals can have on communities in an ever more uncertain world. The third sector will need – now more than ever – the right skillsets and business insight to keep their organisations on the right course. Current leaders will be needing MBA graduates who have experience working within these sectors to ensure the right teams and the most effective strategies are in place for them to succeed.
This is true at Alliance Manchester Business School, where they enrol students on to consultancy projects in order to keep them engaged with the ‘real world’. For student Alexandra Cairns, who had previous experience working with charitable organisations, this is invaluable, as she wrote in this article for Association of MBAs. Alexandra highlights that while an MBA may not traditionally be associated with working in the third sector, people working in these industries seriously need the skills that an MBA provides, and therefore business schools should seriously consider promoting and strengthening their programs, initiatives, and collaborations with charities and organisations within these sectors to a much greater extent.
Ultimately, sharing the stories of successful partnerships can be attractive to many different readers. While business schools often think of media visibility to attract potential students, it can pull in impressive corporate partners too.