What do Wendy Luhabe, Romeo Khumalo, Noeleen Maholwana Sangqu and Vusi Thembekwayo have in common?
They are among the thousands of successful South African businesspeople who have graduated from Wits Business School’s Management Advancement Programme (MAP).
Since 1979, this flagship executive education programme has opened the door for thousands of managers to advance their careers to senior level — and it is still going strong.
“In fact, enrolments for MAP have grown exponentially because of its solid reputation and results driven orientation, and there is not a corner in the world where you will not bump into a WBS MAP graduate,” says Dr Renee Horne, director of the MAP Programme at Wits Business School (WBS).
“We live in an intensely competitive world of business, and managers need to ask themselves: what can I do to get that competitive edge? MAP has been designed specifically to accelerate the careers of those individuals who have managerial experience but perhaps lack general business knowledge,” she says.
Even though MAP has been going for nearly 40 years, the programme has kept pace with trends and WBS has continually updated and redesigned MAP to reflect a changing global environment.
An exciting new development is the introduction of an optional global study tour to give students international exposure at one of WBS’s partner schools and international business environments. Students currently have the option of being placed for two weeks in London, New York or São Paulo.
Another development is that MAP now articulates into WBS’s Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration (PDBA) for students who want to continue their studies through academic channels, as many of our students do, according to Horne.
What business skills do MAP students learn? The core modules include all the “usual suspects” of business principles: human resource (HR) management, accounting and finance, economics, marketing, operations and strategy, but are presented in such a way that they can be immediately transferred into the workplace.
“The programme targets those who have at least four to five years of functional managerial experience, but are lacking in general business knowledge,” explains Lehlohonolo Mmolotsane, MAP programme manager at WBS. “An example is a person with a BSc in engineering, but no business qualification. Graduates of MAP emerge with a wider perspective on the various functions of a business, and therefore more confident in their decision-making skills.
“The beauty of MAP is that it not only provides students with a holistic view of how a business functions, but it also offers real life exercises that managers can apply immediately in their own office situations. It’s not just about the qualification, but the critical knowledge and skills acquired.”
“MAP equips managers to navigate a business environment that is constantly evolving,” says Horne. “It has been designed to provide a holistic grounding in business which takes into account innovation, disruption, digitisation and other developments that are shaping our business world.”