The BEST Program: Pursuing Business Excellence through Innovative Education

Baylor Business Review, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

The BEST Program: Pursuing Business Excellence through Innovative Education


Pursuing Business Excellence Through Innovative Education

In 1991, seven members of the Hankamer faculty came together to develop innovative education options that would enhance and promote business excellence in the business school. As a result of their efforts, the pilot program for the Business Excellence and Scholarship Team (BEST) was initiated in 1992. The results were deemed so successful and promising that the program went online permanently the following year.

Exactly What Is "BEST"?

Essentially, BEST is an accelerated strategic management course for academically excellent students. The unique twosemester program provides highly motivated students an opportunity to enhance their professional skills through a combination of teamwork, innovative learning methods, field cases, and international exposure. The class is structured around nine committees that are coordinated by two student CEOs. This structure is conducive to building team skills and maximizing the productive capacities of individuals.

BEST, as its name signifies, is comprised of four components: Business, Excellence, Scholarship, and Team. The program focuses on "business" by placing students in different companies where they are exposed to the actual conduct of business and are able to gain genuine work experience. While often involved in critical projects for their companies, students have access and opportunity to acquire high-level business insights. And since the course is open only to top academic students, "excellence" is the expectation at the outset. Generally speaking, these students are motivated and will push themselves as a group to reach levels perhaps not reachable individually.

Another aspect of the class, "scholarship," offers an open forum for professors from every business discipline to air the newest ideas and theories in their fields. And "team" work, another focus of BEST, incorporates numerous opportunities for students to explore group dynamics and to appreciate team concepts. …

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