Launched in 2013, the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) Ulysses program is a pedagogical testing ground where companies participate in the teaching program and help elaborate learning experiences that fit the needs of tomorrow.
"Companies have become key players in the development of pedagogy as they are the ones who will be recruiting the graduates of tomorrow." explains Pierre Yves Sanséau, a professor at GEM. In addition, this process gives companies the opportunity to learn more about the generation Y, which they are starting to recruit. The Ulysses program is a year-long program that provides students with the opportunity to take part in a company immersion for four weeks before beginning classes. Afterwards, students work on live business cases from January to April. "The goal is to minimize the differences between theory and real-life. To do so, we really count on the integration of our partner companies in the teaching process." highlights Pierre-Yves Sanséau.
Developing mutual trust
One of the key advantages of such a process is the creation of a relationship between students, companies and GEM that is built on trust. "By overcoming the prejudices that plague certain sectors, such as the retail industry, and by creating ties between students and companies right away, we help create a win-win situation that is built on trust." adds the professor. Since 2014, Ulysses students have been experimenting with problem based learning (PBL). The concept is designed to turn students into active learners for basic courses such as Marketing, Introduction to Law and Contracts, Financial Information and Analysis, and the Fundamentals of Financial Control.
By having students explore and find the answers to problems on their own, they develop autonomy and learn critical skills such as agility, creativity and the ability to react quickly.