Term Zero, Great Lakes’ unique online learning series, to support the current and incoming batch was conceptualized to allow students to get insights and perspectives from the world’s best faculty and CXOs leading Fortune 500 companies, globally. This series is aimed at enabling students to acquire key skills for a rewarding tenure at Great Lakes. Term Zero is designed to enhance student preparedness within the scope of academic and placement preparation.
Term Zero is Great Lakes’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With on-site learning suspended (following recommended safety protocols and regulations set forth by authorities), Term Zero aims to engage incoming and current students with the faculty and with each other, prepare for future recruitment and gain insight into the world of management from various corporate and academic leaders. Term Zero also takes advantage of Great Lakes’ online learning platform, Great Learning, to smoothly facilitate sessions and provide a top-notch online infrastructure for the students.
Term Zero kicked off in May with the Global Thought Leader Series, which saw eminent academics from universities such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg and NYU, among others, conducting lectures on a number of topics from leadership, design thinking and innovation to valuation and the business of trust. The academics also interacted with the students by taking their questions. The series ran alongside the CXO Connect, a series of webinars by globally renowned CXOs of leading companies such as Accenture, TCS and Infosys, who spoke about the issues that corporations and their employees face today and the ways in which they are working on overcoming these issues.
The final series of speaker talks will commence in the last week of July, as a celebration of the successful completion of Term Zero. This series sees sessions with leaders from varied backgrounds, including sports, real estate and construction, healthcare and entertainment.
The finale will kick off on the 28th of July with Dr Sudhakar (Sid) Balachandran, Director, MBA Program – University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr Balachandran has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a PhD from Harvard University. Prior to joining UIC, Dr Balachandran was the Assistant Dean for Teaching Excellence, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. On the professional front, he has vast business experience as a management consultant and corporate executive.
This will be followed by the final session of Great Lakes’ annual Successful Women in Management (SWIM) series on the 29th of July. Having already hosted PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi and Apollo Hospital Enterprise’s Preetha Reddy, this session will see Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the Chairman and MD of Biocon speak to the students.
The series will continue with T.T. Durai, the former CEO of the National Kidney Foundation, Singapore addressing the students on the 30th of July. There will also be two days of Sangamitra, Great Lakes’ annual cultural fest (conducted online this year) on the 29th of July, and the 31st of July for the alumni and the current students respectively.
N Srinivasan, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of India Cements Limited and former Chairman of the International Cricket Council will co-host a session with cricketing legend and former captain of the Indian National Team, Rahul Dravid on the 1st of August.
On 2nd August, R. Madhavan, renowned actor, writer and film producer, who has appeared in films across numerous languages such as Alaipayuthey, 3 Idiots and Anbe Sivam among many others, is set to interact with the students in another promising live session.
The series will also see Dr Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business, and the author of Reverse Innovation, a New York Times Bestseller interacting with the students of Great Lakes. Dr Govindarajan served as General Electric’s (GE) first Chief Innovation Consultant and Professor in Residence and worked closely with their then CEO, Jeff Immelt. He has published more than twenty articles in top academic journals and has spoken at forums such as TED and the World Economic Forum at Davos. Dr VG (as he is popularly known) will deliver his lecture on August 6th.
The current and incoming students at Great Lakes have responded very positively to Term Zero. A number of them particularly enjoyed the Thought Leaders series which gave them the opportunity to interact with top academics in business education. The professors, in return, offered a clearer understanding of the future of the MBA, how the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way humans have to conduct their lives, let alone in the workplace or at school, as well as the theoretical approaches to management and business. The CXOs offered a different point of view to the students; a more application-oriented approach to the coronavirus and its impact on the workplace. They also spoke about the importance of the MBA at the workplace and how it enables future managers to have a methodical and practical approach to issues. The SWIM leaders, in particular, offered important insights into the gender dynamics in the workplace and emphasized the importance of adaptability.
Aside from the leadership insights, Term Zero’s online classes on data science, innovation, business ethics and programming helped the students, especially those from a STEM background, gain a basic understanding of economic, statistical, operations and management concepts, which will be fully expanded upon in various modules over the academic year.
Term Zero is set to conclude in August with the students well-prepared and enthused to begin their journey at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.