Our Unforgettable Experience with CREATING SHARED VALUE

  • Aneela – IMBA Class of 2021; Calvin, Temsin and Steven- IMBA Class of 2022
  • 2021-01-20

In the Fall semester 2020, Renmin Business School has offered a new elective Creating Shared Value by Professor Majid Ghorbani. The elective was well received among the IMBA students and Aneela (as pictured below, a senior IMBA student from Pakistan) took the lead in wtiting the blog sharing their unforgettable experience and wonderful journey in this course.

As the senior year is about to end, I am starting my last semester at Renmin Business School; life seems to be revolving around online classes, studying for the thesis, a lot of homework, and then more homework. However, the year has made us realize to change our ways, be more responsible by valuing and preserving all that we have been blessed with.

At the start of my senior year, I was completely focused on my thesis; to my utter surprise, I got to know that I had to take more courses to complete the required credit hours. So, without giving much thought, I picked one course just by seeing Professor Majid’s name with it- our most favorite professor, Professor Majid Ghorbani – Academic Director IMBA as I enrolled in the course “Creating Shared Value”.

Little did I realized the challenges of distance learning and time zone difference will become the bane of my life as I was setting up alarms to wake up at 5:00 am PST (08:00 am CST) for attending my classes. I took consolation in the thought that it is just an 8-week long course and will be over soon but my anxiety increased even more when in the first session the class format with 16 presentations was revealed to me and I am sure it was quite a lot!

But to be honest, 8-weeks passed in a blink of an eye, with each class turning out to be one of the most interactive and enjoyable sessions I ever had. I used to anxiously wait for each class as every week, a very unique and a new case was discussed. The discussions widened my knowledge and understanding of innovatively, the companies were creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. The classes were always very interactive, well structured, organized, and efficiently managed. The unique teaching style of the Professor made me enthusiastic about this course. The interactive sessions with freshmen were amazing as a class of students from diverse backgrounds and 10 different nationalities were studying together. We got a chance to share our experiences. I am actively working voluntarily for the last decade to create awareness about education in my hometown and this course brought a new perspective in my life to share this message very responsibly.

Creating Shared Value – 2020 Zoom Session

The first-year students have also shared their experiences and perspectives.

To be honest, it was completely different from what I thought at first when I heard the course name “Creating Shared Value”. At first, I thought it was about a business model course focusing on creating a win-win business strategy for all parties. However, it is more comprehensive and much more valuable, it is about creating a win-win strategy not only for the business but for society. To me, who only have a “profit-centric” professional background, this course provided me a mind-blowing idea that we should always thrive to create value not only for ourselves but for others as well. The teaching method that Professor Majid used was very interactive. I would say that 90% of the course was about case discussion, which allowed us to learn not only from the professor but also from other students. Having to prepare and to be ready to present the cases and the discussions in every class were rather unique too, it was tough, but it was very effective to me since it forced me to take them seriously. Another great thing about this course was about building teamwork.  With enormous workloads under a tight schedule, I couldn’t imagine myself surviving this course without great support from my teammates. I would highly suggest taking this course even if you don’t interest in the social issue at all.

- Temsin Wattanapanich (IMBA of 2022, Thailand)

Professor Majid’s online “Creating Shared Value” class was one of the most anticipated classes among all my electives chosen, the excitement was beyond just the interest in what was to be taught but also greatly influenced by the eagerness to experience first-hand the interaction with the professor Majid beyond the IMBA interview way back before admission. Indeed, right from the get-go, the class was one filled with constant interaction between students both online and offline as Professor Majid always encouraged constant interaction during and after the class through the different case studies that we had to work on as a group. Each class came with something new and so with it came new knowledge. Waking up at 3:00 am EAT to attend professor Majid’s class was no easy feat, however knowing that I was attending a class filled with so much educational interaction, I often woke up an hour earlier just to have my mind refreshed and geared up for the class. It’s been a wonderful experience interacting with my classmates and they’ve added so much value to me and I hope I did the same. I truly must appreciate RMBS for its efforts in making the online classes lively and educatively efficient despite the numerous distance learning challenges.

- Tegu Calvin (IMBA of 2022, Uganda)

Creating Shared Value is one of my favorite courses this semester. Please believe me that my evaluations of this course are objective, as I was the TA of this course though. Below, I would like to share with you some course features which impressed me the most.

1. Case Based Study - In this eight-week course, we studied and discussed the cases of six companies. No matter before or during the class, we will analyze the enterprise case of that week with my team members. I enjoy every discussion because I can learn a lot from my classmates, which is the charm of this class.

2. Critical Thinking Ability - Each week we will have two groups giving presentations. After the speech, Professor Majid and some of the classmates will challenge you because that's an essential part of a good presentation. So, it means you should be familiar with the case as well as exercise your ability to critically thinking and quick respond.

3. Matured Mechanism - Professor Majid is extremely smart and good at setting up studying mechanisms. It not only ensures the course quality of each student in the class every week but also can objectively evaluate our overall learning results and output levels. In conclusion, as my point of view, what you will learn from this class would be,

Learn how companies can influence others using multiple values-driven approaches in both Global and Chinese contexts; develop and implement a Shared Value strategy in which you operate, also considering the cooperation with the government, investors, and customers; and determine what you can do in your career to become a purpose-driven leader. I highly suggest incoming students take this course in the future. Good luck!

– Steven ⽂锋 (IMBA of 2022, China)