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Corporate MBA: from ideas to practical solutions
October 10, 2023

Another graduation of the flagship programme "Corporate MBA" took place in the Corporate University of Russian Railways.

The programme has been carried out annually since 2018. In September the fifth batch of the students, including 34 managers from all over the railway network. completed it – they were the most successful graduates of the University programmes, members of the Company talent pool.

"This is a unique programme – we select only one group a year for learning. It includes the managers who care about what is happening around, for whom the meaning of life is to develop oneself and people nearby, who is interested in learning, discovering new things and putting them into practice" – Sergey Saratov, Head of the HR Department of Russian Railways, noticed.

The learning includes the main disciplines of the international standard for Master of Business Administration, adapted to the specifics of the railway industry.

"We set the high bar at once in 2018 – we launched the programme that met the best global practices. The learning content is being improved, taking into account the achievements of science and technology progress and tendencies in the development of economy and transport, –Roman Baskin, Director of the Corporate University of Russian Railways, said. – One of the important elements of the programme is a group project work, the topics are connected with the development innovations of the "the Eastern polygon". Since the opening of the Far-Eastern branch of the Corporate University of Russian Railways in Vladivostok students have visited the Primorsky Territory and learnt the technologies of work of the Far-Eastern Railway".

The learning programme was intense. The participants studied national and international practices in the field of strategic management, project management, approaches to the development of transport and logistics business both at the national level and in the global economy. They immersed into the issues of demography, history and cultural characteristics of the Far East and the Asia-Pacific region. The on-site module in Vladivostok included visiting to the logistics clusters – the ports Vostochny, Nakhodka and Vladivostok, "Zvezda" shipbuilding complex, and the Nadezhdinskaya advanced special economic zone.

The programme ended with the presentation of final projects in the areas of development of transport processes, infrastructure, traction, passenger transportation, and logistics of bulk and high-profit cargo. Design solutions related to the Eastern polygon and were developed taking into account economic, technical, social and climatic conditions.

A technological approach was demonstrated by the team that presented the concept of a dry port on the border of Russia and China, such a facility would release the transportation capacity of the Trans-Siberian Railway for high-profit cargo. Another project focused on the use of passenger trains as a tool for the high-speed delivery of goods from online stores.

Developments to improve the working conditions of the Eastern polygon locomotive crews, to build modular infrastructure for inactive areas and to use artificial intelligence in organizing transportation were equally interesting. There were no doubts that the project on the development of intercity passenger transportation is highly relevant; today this issue is being discussed at the highest level.

The design solutions of the students were evaluated by an expert commission, which included Boris Lapidus, Professor, Doctor of Economics, Chairman of the Joint Academic Council of Russian Railways; Nikolai Stolyarov, Honored Economist of Russia, Actual State Advisor of the first class, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor; Alexander Miskaryan, General Director of the Russian Railways Technologies company; Andrey Kulinich, expert in the field of digital technologies and artificial intelligence and managers of the Corporate University of Russian Railways.

"The meaning of the project work is mental training, which is necessary for every leader for further success. Thanks to preparing for the presentation of final works and the entire learning programme, each student significantly raised the bar of their competencies and professional aspirations. The projects that we saw during the presentation were relevant and had real prospects. And I would like to recommend that graduates do not stop and continue to work on their development, as well as on promoting other creative ideas to improve the company as a whole or each specific enterprise in the structure of Russian Railways," Boris Lapidus expressed his opinion.

Alexander Miskaryan commented on the criteria for evaluating design solutions: "We considered the presentation of material, the depth of elaboration and relevance of the topic and certainly the economic justification, as any innovative and transformational project in Russian Railways is estimated in terms of economic efficiency".

Students of the programme noted that the "Corporate MBA" significantly expanded their outlook, helped them find new management ideas and exchange best practices.

"Corporate MBA" revealed our potential in the field of management – we learnt new approaches to building business processes, working with a team and introducing innovations. The reality is that we face challenges almost every day, and this programme gives us the necessary tools and technologies to fulfill the tasks set by the company and the country with maximum efficiency," Evgeniy Zakharov, Head of the Traction Directorate of the Gorky Railway, commented on the results of the learning.

Company managers who successfully completed the Corporate MBA received professional retraining diplomas with the qualification "Master of Business Administration".