Management Program Showcases Custom Offerings
Clients from Paris-Based Company Visiting as Part of Training Curriculum
Jan. 14, 2011
Nearly 50 students from nine countries are visiting UT Dallas this month as participants in a management development program that the School of Management has custom-designed for Safran Corporate University.
The new program represents a significant collaboration, one of two high-profile curriculums that the School of Management has created for the corporate university and its parent, Safran Group, a Paris-based aerospace, defense and security company.
Gustavo Castillo, program manager for Safran Corporate University, said that the School of Management curriculums are two of the company’s most important corporate training programs. “The dedication applied by all involved members from UT Dallas makes a great fit for us,” he said. “We know that we can rely on them to customize [the programs] based on our specific needs.”
The nine-month career-development program combines online learning with classroom sessions, and is targeted toward rising stars in Safran, which operates in 50 countries.
Because of previous work with Safran, the School of Management earned a five-year contract to deliver the Management Development Program, which began in Shanghai in October. “After launching in China, we are having a session in Dallas in January and will conclude in Paris in March,” John M. Fowler, SOM’s director of management and business development programs, said. The sessions are held in diverse locations to introduce program participants to different cultures.
The management development program is the second that the School of Management has developed for Safran.
“We won the contract to do the Global Management Pass Program (GMP) for six programs, and we have managed them since January of ’09,” Fowler said. Similar in delivery to the Management Development Program and also geared to high-potential leaders, the Global Management Pass Program takes about four months to complete. The Management Development Program is geared to junior managers, typically with five to seven years of experience, while Global Management Pass is designed for managers of managers. GMP participants visited Dallas in November and complete their program in Paris in early February
“These are not workshops in the traditional sense,” Fowler said. “Students have an e-learning component that they participate in before they sit in the classroom with us, so by the time they get to the classroom; they already understand the business concepts.”
Preparatory online sessions include such subjects as accounting, finance, strategy overview and practical applications of business theory. On a broader level, the courses cover leadership, cultural awareness, strategy, organizational development, finance, Lean Six Sigma and supply chain management, among other key topics. To teach business principles, the program uses business cases, textbooks and video.
Each class also develops a corporate improvement project delivered to Safran’s senior executives at corporate headquarters in France. Projects have included a collaboration for an avionics proposal for the Brazilian Army between members from Canada, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., as well as projects that explore how to integrate best practices from different cultures.
“Logistically, we’ve done a great job of working out the details,” Fowler said. “The biggest challenge has been finding the right faculty members to teach…because they have to be able to interact with managers and executives to teach topics such as strategy and understand how to apply research in specific applications. Our ability to find those educators is a great advantage in developing custom-designed corporate programs.”
School of Management faculty members “have proven to be very interested in learning more about our company and industry,” Castillo said, “and therefore creating a stronger link between the quality of education they provide and our local corporate culture.”
With the programs playing such an important role in the company’s leadership training, UT Dallas has been tasked with an enormous challenge, Castillo said. “We not only expect that our participants will learn a lot from the various UTD professors they work with, but that they will transform our group with an excellent sense of leadership.”
Fowler said the new program showcases the depth and breadth of educational experiences that the School of Management has to offer. It also can lead to the opportunity to create additional custom education programs for Safran and other companies.
“We’re a relatively young school, yet we are showing that we can support a company that is roughly the size of Texas Instruments,” Fowler noted. “This is a great opportunity for us to show that executive education is not just about MBAs.”