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LUMS INTIATIVE TO HELP EDUCATE UNDERPREVILLAGED STUDENTS.

Flare: LUMS is said to be the leading university of Pakistan. In your opinion how is it contributing in revolutionising existing education in the country?

Dr. Anjum Fayyaz: The unique selling point of LUMS is that it is modelled and structured on the Harvard Business School which allows our graduates to think critically. The executive development department that has been recently formed focuses on connecting LUMS to the outside world in hopes of generating educational transactions between LUMS and other entities. The department relentlessly works towards creating opportunities for the students, the faculty and other schools and colleges, especially from remote areas. This in turn creates a network of educationalists closely working with various industry leaders nationally and internationally who are all trying to operate on a mutual platform. Moreover, studying at LUMS is altogether a different experience since the students get immersed in a rich social and cultural experience.

We at LUMS believe in an equal opportunity for all and therefore we have introduced the National Outreach Programme (NOP) so that no student is deprived of quality education because of financial limitations.

Flare: How is the MBA programme offered at LUMS different from those offered at other universities and what is the competitive advantage that the LUMS MBA graduates have over other MBA graduates?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: The LUMS MBA is different from other locally offered MBAs simply because it is inspired by international MBA programmes offered at the world's leading universities like Harvard, Stanford and INSEAD university to name a few. LUMS like all these universities has developed and designed a curriculum that strictly focuses on the case method technique and field immersion a.k.a field, which we at LUMS, refer to as the experiential learning component. The programme is broadly divided into three steps. In the initial step, students are linked to a particular industry that helps them understand the business canvas as they work on real projects. The second semester is an entrepreneurial venture which is a 'My Startup' exercise that helps them evaluate and understand the risks associated with new businesses. The third component is a 10-week condensed consulting exercise where each student is assigned to a company as a consultant and is expected to solve any prevailing crisis.

Flare: How is LUMS MBA faculty on the leading edge of teaching and research?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: The faculty for the business school comprises of 60 members, out of which 47 are PhDs. Teaching, research and service are the responsibilities allocated to the faculty. We have put in place a Rausing Executive Development Centre, social enterprise, governance and public management, Islamic finance and China-Pak centre to facilitate the faculty to conduct research, stay connected to relevant stakeholders as consultants, to write cases and learn to carry out executive teaching.

Flare: It is a common perception that the LUMS MBA is for the elite class. What sort of scholarship does LUMS offer to its MBA students and what is the process for it?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: Students are enrolled strictly on merit. If a student is selected, we ensure that he/she is not dropped out due to financial limitations. For this funds are particularly generated in one way or the other. Financial plans are put in place to facilitate all sort of support. These include student loans and sponsorships.

Flare: Recently LUMS introduced women's scholarship for MBA candidates. Can you please shed some light on that?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: Keeping in view the potential that many females in our society have, we felt that it is our social responsibility to attract more females to the MBA programme so they can reposition themselves as they make more than 50 per cent of our population. Additionally, since we were unable to achieve more than 20pc females in our MBA class; a much lower percentage of females as compared to our bachelors' class; we are trying to attract more females for our MBA.

Flare: Is there any data that explains why a lot of females aren't applying to the MBA programme?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz:No, we don't have any data for that but in my opinion and based on my experience, females need to get pass the socio-cultural barrier, which is not encouraging towards further education. I feel the need of counselling females regarding the importance of higher education so they can move up the hierarchy of the business world and are able to contribute effectively.

Flare: What types of career opportunities are available to these students graduating from the MBA programme and if possible can you please mention some noteworthy success stories of the programme?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: There are almost 2,200 LUMS MBA and more than 300 EMBAs graduates who have done commendably in their careers. Some of them have become entrepreneurs; others have gone to media, sports and other sectors like MNCS and FMCGS. For example, Shahzad Saleem is Chairman of Nishat Chuniyan, Duraid Qureshi from Hum TV, Dr Usman Bhatti is Director Marketing at Nestle, Ali Naqvi is Owner of Islamabad United cricket franchise. Our alumni constantly contribute by giving donations, coming as speakers, creating employment and internship opportunities for students and helping LUMS in the recruitment process as they feel the LUMS MBA changed their lives.

Flare: Does success come to all these notable alumni over time?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: Our MBA gives the students the leverage to move up the ladder relatively easily compared to the MBA students from other schools. In my experience, even in the MNCS and FMCGS, where the career paths are predefined, our MBAs are repositioned in one to two years' time which means that they add value to the companies they are employed at.

Flare: What are the next five year plans of LUMS MBA to adjust to the constantly changing business landscape of the world?

Dr Anjum Fayyaz: The plan is to connect the industry to the academics so it can influence policy making decisions. By doing this, our graduates can be a part of the public sector as well and can be repositioned in MNCs and FMCGs and other projects like CPEC.
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Publication:Flare
Date:Mar 31, 2018
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