THE CARIBBEAN’S FINEST

Jamaica 2019 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

A bevy of smart partnerships and new programs are keeping MSBM at the forefront of regional business schools.

Dr. David McBean
BIOGRAPHY
Appointed Executive Director in 2018, Dr. David McBean holds a BS in electrical & computer engineering from the University of the West Indies and a PhD in engineering science from the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. He joined the staff of UWI Mona after over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in the airline, telecommunications, IT, and media industries in the Caribbean. Involved with UWI Mona since 1993, he moved to the Department of Management Studies and Natural Sciences in 1996. He is also a director of Mayberry Investments Limited, and Chairman of the Supreme Ventures Foundation.

What have been some highlights of the school's 30 years of existence?

The mission of the school is “to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of Caribbean enterprises through the development of world-class business professionals and research-based solutions." Our main focus is teaching and learning, which includes offering degree programs, research, and executive education. We also offer consulting services to companies in a range of functional areas, including corporate transformation, business intelligence, and strategic planning. There are four pillars on which we stand proud: our world-class faculty, the partnerships we have established, our outstanding graduates, and our cutting-edge programs, including the internationally accredited MBA program. The school was further recognized by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) in February 2018, receiving the Business School Innovation Award for its Financial Markets Lab. Moreover, MSBM is the only business school in the English-speaking Caribbean to house a finance lab with a Bloomberg terminals Markets Lab.

What is your positioning in the Caribbean and wider world?

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the best university in the Caribbean and was recently ranked in the top 3% in Latin America and in the top 5% in the world, according to the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. MSBM is also ranked among the top 1,000 business schools in the world. Our MBA program is internationally accredited by AMBA, which represents the highest standard of achievement in postgraduate business education. Several of our graduate programs are also ranked in the top 20 in Latin America by Eduniversal. Being located in Jamaica allows us to capitalize on the country's globally renowned brand and expand its reach to include scholarships and higher education.

How is the school aligned with the mission of retaining human capital in Jamaica?

Retaining human capital is a challenge given our proximity to North America, and brain drain is a real issue. We can only encourage and help provide opportunities. To do so, we have to create opportunities and hope. For example, the stock market is not based on current values, but what people think the company will do in the future. Our role, therefore, is to make sure we stay ahead of the curve to provide skilled personnel who see working at home in Jamaica as a good choice.

How do you assess the operations of the university through Barbados and Trinidad? Are there any other expansion strategies?

UWI operates as a regional university, so there are natural synergies and cooperation among the campuses, which belong to the single university. The “One UWI" concept speaks to the strength of our unity, while recognizing and celebrating our diversity. In terms of expansion, we have great opportunities. It is important for us to always emphasize the global application of what we do; we need to continuously benchmark ourselves to international standards. Most of our graduate programs are ranked in the top 10 for Latin America. We also have online courses for those outside of Montego Bay. Besides our traditional MBA programs, we have also introduced new masters programs, such as the MSC in corporate finance, marketing, and data analytics, as well as logistics and supply chain management, which respond to market needs and engage with stakeholders.

What events do you organize with global partners?

The World Economic Forum is one of our flagship partners. We have held events to launch the global competitiveness report, which includes analysis and research from our faculty and is attended by corporate partners, international institutions, academics, trade associations, and businesses. One of our top events is our CEO Roundtable breakfast at the annual MSBM Business and Management Conference, in addition to a number of other public forums we hold to facilitate dialog on topical business issues.