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Sam Jonah School of Business redefines business graduate

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Sir Sam JonahThe Sam E. Jonah School of Business of the African University College of Communications (AUCC) in Accra seeks to create a business school that stands head and shoulders above the rest of business schools by “Redefining the business school and the business graduate.”

What the College seeks to do by redefining the concept of a business school is to institute new programmes and courses that will fully capture the new demands placed on corporate leaders. Here, it isn’t about a degree; its about developing a comprehensive educational experience that allows graduates to think, act and make decisions only after understanding the impact within the context of the whole organisation.

Redefining the business graduate means leveraging their resources, innovative culture, and Sir Samuel Jonah’s name to prepare industry-ready graduates. We mean producing students infused with leadership, team building and critical thinking abilities to find the solutions needed to drive business growth and define what’s next for the business world and societies.

How AUCC hopes to accomplish this

First, AUCC hopes to implement significant academic changes. It will be rewriting and restructuring its curriculum and introduce more options and specialisations. Some options soon to be introduced include Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Business Communication and Global Business, with a focus on Africa.

On a long-term basis, AUCC will be seeking accreditation for a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) programme as well as the introduction of other exciting majors. The College will restructure its curriculum and revamp its majors.

For example, with the overlap in offerings and objectives from courses taught in organisational behaviour and human resource management, AUCC will be joining about 190 universities worldwide offering Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management degree instead of a regular Human Resources Management. Additionally, the AUCC has began discussions on how to introduce a double major option in the near future.

Secondly, it has introduced new courses such as Business Communication for Managers and Managing Family-Owned Businesses for Generational Success. And with their campus in the heart of Accra, they are positioned to provide convenient access to a rich assortment of professional courses.

Another initiative to be instituted is the Sam E. Jonah Executive Leadership Fellows programme, which will be a capacity-building experiential institute for future leaders, that will allow us as a nation to begin a countrywide, concerted effort in identifying potential leaders and preparing them for future leadership roles.

And thirdly, AUCC will develop unique programming to:

- A Distinguished Leadership Experience Lecture Series open to students in business schools across Ghana.

- Executives-in-Residence programme, which is an honorary title and role aimed at connecting students with leading business minds and also to review successful programmes and see where we can introduce similar ventures.

AUCC will soon implement an initiative similar to one offered by the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, where third and final year students will be able to combine courses reflecting their area of concentration with working with a corporate sponsor. We will be relying on our corporate friends and Advisory Council members in identifying appropriate organisations to partner with us.

AUCC has constituted an Advisory Council made up of business executives of distinction. From shaping our curriculum to providing counsel on strategic and operational directions, these exemplary men and women will help initiate and maintain a process of continuous engagement with the business community.

There is a lot to do, a lot more they can do, and we are ready for the challenge. We can’t predict the future, but like American author Arnold H. Glascow once said, "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time."

Kwame Nkrumah had a dream of a free Ghana and Africa, and it has been realised. Martin Luther King had a dream, and it has been realised. Today, we see the dream the President of AUCC, Mr Kojo Yankah, had when he founded the College, the dream to which Sir Samuel has signed on. And that dream is to develop young minds in ways that will make them better, wiser, more clever, more humane, and more outward looking.

And that, in turn, will transform Ghana, making us a more prosperous nation, one that reflects the best of the thought and practice not just of our times, but of where we have come from — and who we have become — as Africans.

By Barbara Gyamfi/Daily Graphic/Ghana