For Rick Parrin, the Kellogg experience has been all about relevancy. "I chose Kellogg for executive education because two of my family members attended, and it has a solid reputation," he says.
"At the start, I was concerned that the courses would be more academic, but I found that the classes brought in folks who were in touch with the reality of business. The whole approach was less academic and more practical," Parrin says. "The peers who attend are in business across all industries, and the professors were driven to be relevant. They wanted to give us something we can take away and use, rather than just an intellectual experience.
Parrin found the classes to be exciting, as well as pragmatic. "The classes are all highly interactive," he says. "The content drove the interaction. The classes were not a one-way discussion, they were content-driven, and you had to play a role. The entire approach was relevant to the marketplace, even the course materials. The professors were teaching how critical thinking applies to jobs - they were really teaching an approach to the work environment and an approach to people, as opposed to having a textbook environment." The proof of relevance, of course, lies in whether you can actually apply the classroom experience and the knowledge gained to the workplace.
"Just to pick one course - Negotiation Strategies for Managers. I use that every day. What we learned in that class is useful in any negotiation, including one-on-one negotiations. Always have an alternative to the negotiated agreement, don't leave too much on the table. The professors gave us a useable, flexible approach to each negotiation we're involved in, and it leads to productive outcomes.
"Finance for Executives was an immediately relevant course. It helped me understand how to put financial matters in perspective. It's not a course on number-crunching, it's the interpretation of what's being fed to you by financial analysts," he says. "It's perfect."
Assistant Vice President
H & R Block