In today’s world, best practices and trends in every industry are always changing. The most successful organizations equip employees with the tools and experiences necessary to learn and adapt to these changes. Through the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary, the Center for Corporate Education (CCE) provides executive education experiences to develop the skills professionals need to be successful.
The Center for Corporate Education works closely with clients to design a program that helps address an organization’s strengths and weaknesses in order to create a uniquely customized program. This approach allows companies to focus goals and objectives unique to their organization. Programs can take many forms and are very well thought out to allow participants to grow as professionals in their field.
One type of program the CCE provides are the open-enrollment programs offered in fall and spring every year on William & Mary’s campus, as well as once a year in the DC Metro area. Open enrollment programs are open to all professional interested in gaining a deeper understanding of different functional areas of business. These programs include Certificates in Business Excellence and Business Management, as well as Business Analytics for Strategic Leaders. As professionals reach new positions in their organization, they may find themselves responsible for business decisions with little background in business theory or strategies. With no prior business skills or experience necessary, these programs teach the foundations of business by top ranked faculty dedicated to encouraging professional success.
Other experiences offered are aimed toward allowing professionals to develop leadership and communication skills. Activities such as improvisation, a cooking challenge, and a history leadership discussion are used to practice and enhance personal skills that can be very beneficial in any workplace. “These experiential components allow us to stretch participants beyond traditional thinking and get them outside their comfort zone. The exercises are not only fun and exciting, but are tied to aspects of the learning objectives designed for the program,” says Rosanna Kopplemann, Executive Director of Program Development and Operations. “Both custom and open enrollment are condensed and well thought out programs that allow participants to dive deep into the executive education experience. We find shorter programs, experiential learning modules, and case studies in combination are an excellent learning recipe for today’s aspiration working professional.”
For instance, a company can send employees to an executive education program that uses improvisation to address ambiguity and team dynamics. “Improvisation can help people feel comfortable with uncertainty,” says Koppelemann. “Activities like these can help employees better identify with ambiguity, and find ways to develop as a leader in this area.” A cooking challenge separates participants into teams, and can serve as an ice breaker or team building exercise tied to leadership competencies around delegating and communication. Another option is a historical leadership module that takes place right in the middle of Yorktown, Virginia. This module includes analyzing challenges faced by historical leaders compared to challenges faced by leaders today. William & Mary’s history professors lead a discussion around common themes such as building relationships and the ability to influence others as a leader.
Organizations across the country in a variety of industries have participated in these programs, such as defense agencies and contractors, manufacturing, and bio medical service companies. The Center for Corporate Education works closely with clients interested in growing their organization’s talent and strategic capabilities through proven leadership development strategies. Open enrollment programs are ideal for professionals interested in expanding their business skills and keeping up with the newest trends and business environmental changes.