Integrating professional development in education
At the American Business School of Paris, our academic system is based on the learner’s central role within the educational process. Everything must be adapted for the learner and their interest in accordance with an education based on encouragement and success. Professional development is an integral part of the educational program to ensure that our students acquire the knowledge and skills that will make them employable.
Integrating professional development with education
Professional development is included in our learner’s roadmap for graduation. All activities related to the business world, professional conferences, case studies, “Company Case Challenges,” internships, and part-time employment are included under professional development to build our students’ professional experience and prepare them for the job market.
In France, legislation has made the final year internship an integral part of academic prerequisites and professional development when receiving one’s diploma. In the United States, students first receive their diploma and then embark on their internship. Hence, the designation as the class of 2025 for those who start their programs in September 2021: they will be sure to get their degree in four years and be included in the class of 2025.
In France, the graduating class takes on meaning when professional development is incorporated into academics and internships are used to validate years of study in preparation for employability (see the activities that fall under professional development). Consequently, getting your degree with the same graduating class or the one after represents a minor detail in regard to the stakes of professional development and final year internships (harder and harder to find), which then lead to employment (that’s the goal anyway).
It would be ridiculous to create an academic program in Management without considering company expectations. Although education in management, marketing, finances, etc. is technical, the fact still remains that targeted skills and objectives must integrate with professional development to meet company expectations.
If the job market in the United States remains rather flexible and diverse (which explains why universities have decided to postpone internships until after graduation), learners in France have to overcome more and more challenges to land the professional opportunity that will enable them to enter the corporate world and certify their education. Without professional development, the task would be much more difficult, and perhaps even impossible.
Professional development without borders
Multicultural diversity at the American Business School of Paris undeniably represents an unparalleled asset. At the same time, it became necessary for the professional development and corporate relations teams to innovate and discover other ways to assist French-speaking learners to find employment. Hence, the team explored and set up professional development experiences, partnerships, and activities outside of France: in the European Union, India, etc.
Relevant platforms were integrated into our information system to concretize internship and job offers under the framework of professional development, such as Jobteaser, iAgora, etc.
The struggle to place students within companies is far from over. Without professional development, all of its related activities as well as the support required for learner acclimatization, we would be at a dead-end. Academics alone are not sufficient. Professional development has become incredibly advantageous.