NEOMA Business School has placed particular attention on welcoming and integrating this year’s new classes. For the Global Bachelor in Business Administration, a 4-year undergraduate programme with a heavy focus on management and international perspectives, this meeting at the start of the school year is particularly important.
As a matter of fact, with 25% of the students coming from an international background representing 24 nationalities, and the groups being divided between English-track programmes (curriculums given completely in English) and bilingual classes (in French and English), discovering new and different people in multicultural groups is crucial for facilitating certain activities, such as group work.
Learning how to Learn
The integration seminar of this undergraduate programme focused on learning.
Objective: identify and analyse the different ways to learn and especially find those that best suit each person. To do this, the Global BBA students were asked to create from top to bottom a comic strip that showcases the problems related to learning.
The first day was devoted to ice-breaking exercises with the aim of creating group dynamics. Split up into teams, the students gradually got to know one another and started to reflect on the theme of the seminar for the start of school.
“I saw genuine participation in the seminar’s theme” said Stéphanie Barrère, the Talent and Career Development Unit Director, “The students embraced the subject and really appreciated taking the time to question this catch-all verb ‘to learn’”.
From the start, the groups dove in headfirst with an exercise called: the counterfeit article. Focusing on a fake scientific article, the young students went to work. If the erroneous aspect of the article was not detected at the end of half an hour, the students were then questioned: nothing seems strange to you? You did think about verifying your sources?
“We quickly led the students towards developing their critical mindset and their agility in a multicultural universe. It is vital for our students in Global BBA to know how to detect fake news and find reliable information” explained Stéphanie Barrère.
Deploying creativity in a group
After a vote was taken involving 40 comic strips, the 10 best were presented to the entire class. In small groups, in English and in French, the stories were deconstructed: the role of the teacher, digital learning, note taking, comparison between different pedagogic methods were shown. For most of the young students, ages 18 to 19, this was their first experience with public speaking.
“The implemented pedagogy put the new students in concrete situations,” said Sarah Cooper, Director of the Global BBA programme. “In each team there existed different cultures, nationalities, mindsets, religions… Throughout this seminar we presented them with group exercises to make them communicate, cooperate and understand the differences between them. The idea is that this diversity turns into a synergy that then helps them succeed collectively in their project.”
A successful integration seminar for the start of the year, and now better equipped for learning !