Business schools around the world are currently providing distinctive curriculums by introducing a paradigm shift in the teaching and learning models. Additionally, they are also introducing holistic approaches to pivot the career of students while providing unique employment facilities. “To be able to go further, To be able to broaden horizons. A top career has no borders.”—resonates the educational approaches of Católica Porto Business School (CPBS).
Católica Porto Business School is a business school of Universidade Católica Portuguesa renowned for the development of professionals for a sustainable and global society. Over time, Católica Porto Business School has obtained the major international recognitions and accreditations. The school is part of a select group of three schools in Portugal which boast EQUIS and AMBA accreditations, and its programs are also included under Universidade Católica Portuguesa’s AACSB accreditation scope. These recognitions assert Católica Porto Business School’s excellence in all its activities, including Teaching, Research, and Societal Impact.
Innovative Pedagogical Approaches
For over 30 years, Católica Porto Business School has trained professionals in Management and Economics who pursue international careers. It boasts strong connections to practice, which enables a tight fit between skill development and market needs. Católica Porto Business School’s teaching is characterized by a close engagement with the students as well as constant innovation of programs and pedagogical methods. The school offers distinctive study and research programs that garner the academic needs of students while refining their career and development skills. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recognized Católica Porto Business School’s innovation in teaching as one of the “7 best practices” worldwide.
At Católica Porto Business School, students develop a global mindset through various approaches. These include pursuing courses in multiple countries and cultures through exchange programs or double-degree programs; participating in international weeks, engaging in teamwork with international students; or through the completion of the many courses taught in English by invited professors from Católica’s international partnership network.
Católica Porto Business School offers two Undergraduate Programmes—Economics and Management—and a Double Undergraduate Degree in Law and Management. Its undergraduate programs include the development of skills for immediate employability, as well as for pursuing postgraduate education in the best schools worldwide.
At the Masters’s level, the school offers 6 MSc degrees—Auditing & Taxation, Business Economics, Finance, Management, Human Resource Management and Marketing. It offers 2 Double Degrees, one in association with Lancaster University and the other with Aston University —developing expert professionals according to functional or industry areas.
In executive education, Católica offers general management programs, as well as courses in specialized areas for lifelong learning. These include the Executive MBA, 19 Short Executive Courses, 8 Post-Graduate programs, 3 of which sectorial (Healthcare Management, Hospitality Management and Management for Lawyers). The teaching format is normally face-to-face, but during pandemic restrictions it has been blended, supported by modern classroom technology. In the last year, the school has also launched successfully 5 fully online short programs. Presently, the school offers programs in Portugal, Angola, Brazil, and Mozambique, while continuously working on its expansion to new geographies.
The school is committed to advancing knowledge in Management and Economics through high-quality state-of-the-art research, with meaningful impact on businesses and society. Research activities are organized in different centers and labs, as follows:
CEGE– A research centre accredited by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, focusing on fundamental research;
S.Lab – A cutting-edge research centre with the objective of producing and transferring knowledge for increasing productivity, quality and innovation in service-related industries and tasks.
Lead.Lab – A knowledge centre with the objective of contributing to a more humane, virtuous and effective leadership;
CEGEA – Focusing on consultancy and development of national and sectoral policies.
Pivoted by a Comprehensive Leader
At Católica Porto Business School’s helm, Rui Soucasaux Sousa (Dean and Professor of Operations Management at Católica) leads the school with a clear mission to develop professionals for a global, sustainable and ethical society, and advance knowledge on management and economics – through connections with practice, impactful innovation and adoption of a global mindset.
With a comprehensive academic and leadership career, Rui Sousa’s research has received several international awards and has been published in leading international scientific journals.
Throughout his career, Rui Soucasaux Sousa has been a member of several high-level scientific organizations such as the European Operations Management Association, of which he is Honorary Fellow. He holds a PhD from London Business School, has taught at the London Business School and London School of Economics, and is invited lecturer of EIASM (European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Brussels). Rui has worked with a number of leading international organizations, including Rank Xerox, Siemens, Ministry of Finance of France, EDP (major Portuguese electricity utility), Sonae (largest Portuguese retailer), among others.
Balancing Academics and Extra-Curricular Activities
Acquiring a quality job has been a part of every student’s career objective. Moreover, other than academic proficiencies, there are transversal skills which are honed by employers that provide an additional competitive advantage to the students.
Reinforcing prolific employability demands, Católica Porto Business School’s educational approach is based on an integrated development program. This program considers scientific, technical, and transversal competencies, providing students with a more comprehensive education. Meanwhile, the undergraduate programs in Economics and Management groom the students to meet the market demands. These namely include—Critical thinking and analytic skills; Effective organization of their work; Making use of learned techniques; Working in multidisciplinary teams; Being self-sufficient in problem-solving; Having an ethical awareness and exercise citizenship; and having a cosmopolitan view of the world and of the organizations they may work with.
In addition to academics, Católica Porto Business School also emphasizes the personal development of students for future benefits. Its goals are to promote ethical awareness (social and environmental) and the exercise of Citizenship for the world. Academic life at Católica enables students the possibility to participate in associations and initiatives promoted by the school. These include Associação de Estudantes da Católica Porto Business School (AECPBS) (Students Association), Católica Students’ Consulting (CSC), Católica Porto Investment Club, and “Tuna” male and female (Academic Music Group).
Career Development Opportunities
Católica Porto Business School focuses on the promotion of student’s personal and professional development, and the connection to the business community and the entire business alumni network through the Career and Development Office. Bringing together students, companies, teachers, alumni, and pre-university students, its goal is to contribute to the promotion of personal and professional development of students and graduates of the Católica Porto Business School while enhancing their employability. It listens and responds to the needs and expectations of the labour market initiatives.
Moreover, the office seeks to promote closer cooperation across a national and international network of strategic partners.
Encompassing Challenges and Embracing Trends
Católica Porto Business School faced significant challenges during the global pandemic, however, the community’s collaborative response helped it overcome them. The brand remained strong and it continued attracting good candidates. In its undergraduate and MSc programs, the school recorded a significant increase in applications while demand for courses in executive levels exceeded expectations.
In addition, there were various technological investments in classrooms to support the blended teaching model to provide learning resources to those who were unable to attend classes. With pristine awareness of technological domination and changes, the School remains updated with the trends. It has numerous digital communication channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and others), while also promoting traditional supports–brochures, newsletters, in order to ensure that its legacy remains ceaseless and cherished.
Garnering Students’ Employment Skills
Católica Porto Business School provides different ways for students to be in contact with the labour market during their education and allows them to leverage several benefits of the market. Aiming to strengthen the bonds with companies and other organizations, the School cooperates with companies, inviting representatives’ future trends and needs from the business world and other organizations to participate in seminars, present case studies in classes, share experiences, and participate as members of the jury in the project courses.
It also offers short-term internships to encourage students’ participation in short-term, national, and international internships—part of the strategy to make easier the access of students to the labour market. Additionally, Católica Porto Business School’s Final Project–an internship–corresponds to the curricular recognition of these experiences as long as the established requirements are fulfilled when it comes to the nature, duration, and evaluation of the internship.
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