Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WeSchool) – A Conducive Environment of Experiential Learning


The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the primary focus on health and wellness. Healthcare itself has been disrupted by emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation, chatbots, drones, blockchain, 5G, 3D printing etc.) and data analytics. It is well known that this sector is perfectly suited for a stable, fulfilling, and well-paying career. 

Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WeSchool) is one of the reputed B-Schools to offer PGDM in Healthcare Management in its Mumbai campus. The PGDM Healthcare curriculum at WeSchool is curated to equip students to deal with uncertain times. The curriculum has various interventions which create future leaders who can deal with the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world. 

In the PGDM healthcare program, the curriculum is curated so that students acquire both in-depth healthcare sectoral knowledge along with general management skills. There is a strong emphasis on change management, corporate governance, legal framework and ethics in healthcare.

To ensure healthcare sectoral knowledge, specific subjects are included in the curriculum for students to learn IT in Healthcare, Advanced Analytics in Healthcare, Healthcare Informatics, Hospital Operations, Legal Aspects in Healthcare, Planning and Designing of Healthcare Facilities, Medical Devices and Technology Management, Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics, Health Insurance and Managed Care, Insurance Operations and Product Design, Healthcare Services Management, Pharmaceutical Sales Management, Pharmaceutical Brand Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management in Healthcare, Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Clinical Research and Pharmacovigilance, Healthcare systems & Public Health Administration, Healthcare Entrepreneurship, and Healthcare Market Research.

To make its students future ready, WeSchool has enhanced its curriculum on data analytics as well as application of emerging technologies in healthcare. This prepares the learners to lead digital transformation and leverage technology in their organizations for achieving business outcomes.

The diversity of PGDM Healthcare curriculum prepares WeSchool students for opportunities beyond their earlier degrees or specializations. After PGDM Healthcare, it is easy to enter new healthcare segments, achieve faster career growth, and start owned ventures. At WeSchool, guidance is provided to budding entrepreneurs to kick-start their own business in healthcare. Every year, WeSchool witnesses its alumni becoming entrepreneurs and pursuing higher studies as well. 

Diversity of students with various academic backgrounds and experiences also offer tremendous opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and enhances students’ ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams. More than 25% of time in curriculum is spent outside the classroom in experiential learning including internships, dissertations, field work, assignments, case studies, in addition to plant visits, conferences, hackathons, and industry projects. All these initiatives provide diverse exposure to the students to cope up with uncertainty anywhere anytime. 

While all PGDM Healthcare students benefit from the industry relevant curriculum, there are several initiatives to cater to personal needs for individual development at WeSchool. In the first week in the program, every PGDM Healthcare student is assigned a healthcare faculty as a mentor. Unlike undergraduate programs, healthcare program faculty spend time on mentoring each student closely. Each student’s individual needs for live projects, internships and jobs are addressed by the faculty mentor. Faculty also provides guidance to students to successfully compete in various business competitions as well as start-up ventures. Further, healthcare faculty also serve as first level counsellor and address individual student’s worries and help in stress management by providing personal advice. 

WeSchool is a one of the rare institutes to carry out ACDC (Assessment Center and Development Center) processes for all students. At the end of the first year, every student is assessed for their readiness for the corporate world. A personalized assessment report is generated and shared with students to identify their areas of strengths and areas of development. Based on their individual performance, they are provided suggestions for their suitability for certain types of job roles. Students make their own development action plan to enhance their competencies. In the second year, every student is personally groomed by a faculty as per their individual needs.

Every new student is provided a senior student buddy right in the first week. This helps them to get settled in the program and institute in a smooth manner. The senior buddy is matched as per the student’s background, city of residence, and prior work experience. This helps in appropriate support to individual students. 

At Weschool, a program called Global Citizen Leader is specially designed for students to learn to apply design thinking and innovation to solve open-ended real-world problems in a systematic manner. Students are encouraged to take up live projects from industry and participate in business competitions as per their interests. Live projects provide students an opportunity to apply classroom learnings and test their feet in various functions and healthcare domains before they choose their career direction. Participation in competition builds competencies to solve complex business problems and provides additional experiences as per individual preferences. 

Every PGDM Healthcare student is encouraged to participate in a peer-to-peer learning initiative called SamaWEsh wherein students leverage each other’s strengths to learn from and to teach each other.  This provides them the opportunity to overcome stage-fear and improves communication in a safe environment. This program also encourages development of individuals in a co-operative manner. 

As WeSchool gears up for opening campus for faculty, staff and students, it has prepared itself for curriculum delivery in a hybrid model too. Even at the onset of the pandemic and start of the lockdown in March 2020, the faculty attended various webinars on better engagement of students in online sessions including delivery of case studies in online mode. All faculty were trained to use various online video lecturing tools. Extra training was provided on Microsoft Office 365 and use of MS-Teams as collaborative platforms. In the PGDM Healthcare program, the faculty were encouraged to learn new age skills in applying Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Chatbots, Robotic Process Automation, Drones etc. Faculty have also been provided training on the use of platforms like Miro and Mural for collaborative learning and teaching. 

Despite lockdown, in PGDM Healthcare, all students were offered summer internships from industry. As the summer internships took place in online mode, students missed out on the opportunity of visiting marketplace, offices, plants, etc. To compensate for that, every student was provided an additional internship project which was also mentored by an industry personnel. This extra project ensured that every PGDM Healthcare student got an opportunity to work on two projects under the mentorship of industry experts. This increased competitiveness of students for placements. 

To facilitate easy and equal learning opportunities for all, a repository of useful MOOCs from world-class institutes was created for students to choose from. This repository also includes recommendations for books, useful websites, and videos that students can access as per their own convenience. MS-Teams was leveraged for asynchronous as well as synchronous communication and collaboration among students and faculty.

WeSchool students continue to build research and innovation capabilities during summer internship program (SIP) and summer internship research projects (SIRP). Students are encouraged to become entrepreneurs in Healthcare and dedicated support is provided to students interested in pursuing their start-ups. The PGDM culminates with a master dissertation project where students choose projects of their interest for research and innovation.

WeSchool is focused towards creating future thought leaders and during PGDM Healthcare, its students transform from being consumers of content to content creators. Tremendous success of WeSchool alumni shows that its students become successful corporate citizens with a humane touch.