Remote Work and Leadership in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has swiftly and completely turned the world on its head. Businesses shuttered and those who were able, transitioned to working from home. New challenges arose and managers and executives around the world have been forced to adapt in order to lead their teams remotely. Quantic surveyed these leaders — over 450 managers, executives, and professionals who also happen to be students and alumni of our MBA and Executive MBA programs. The emphasis of this survey was on the 90 percent who went from working in an office to working and managing their teams from home. 

The move to working from home comes with a distinct set of challenges — coincidentally, these challenges are frequently cited as benefits of working in an office. For example, some of the top challenges faced by leaders as they worked from home were communication, collaboration, productivity, and creativity — all aspects that were seen as highly valuable to working in an office environment. 

There were also some hopeful results — most Quantic students felt relatively confident in their employment status and had optimism about the future, with nearly half (49 percent) saying that while they felt COVID-19 was changing their industry forever, 38 percent felt it was evolving into something new, and 33 percent feel their industry is changing for the better.  

Watch the video for a look at the top insights on career and industry outlooks, and what it’s been like to lead and manage remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the PDF version of the results here.

These acts of racism, police brutality and hatred must end

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve experienced deep anger and sadness following the murder of George Floyd. And simultaneously, we’ve been inspired and felt a surge of hopefulness at seeing the response of our nation, fed up with systemic racism and police brutality, standing together to protest for long overdue change. How do we hold on to these disparate feelings, images, realities? And what do we do with them? 

One thing is certain: this hatred, this intolerance, this complete and willful ignorance — it must end. 

While George’s name has dominated the news cycle in the US, there are countless others, here and around the world, who like George, have suffered simply because of the color of their skin. We aren’t experts in this matter, nor do we have the answers for how we keep the momentum from recent protests to enact lasting change. Regardless, we feel it’s necessary to communicate our unequivocal and unwavering solidarity with the Black community. 

As a global institution, the diversity of our students and alumni is what makes us what we are — in fact, it’s one of our greatest strengths. As an organization, we are turning a critical gaze inwards, asking ourselves how we can do better to acknowledge and address the ways in which systemic racism clouds our vision and holds us back from reaching our collective potential. 

There are many organizations with extensive experience in addressing racism, civil rights, and creating opportunities for the Black community while amplifying their voices — and they are far more deserving of the spotlight at this moment than we are. For that reason we’ve donated to Black Girls Code, Black & Brown Founders, and the National Museum of African American History & Culture. We are taking time to listen to them, to donate, to reflect, to internalize our own faults, and take action — and we implore those in our Quantic community to do the same. 

The Quantic Student Experience

Wondering what it’s like to be a Quantic student? To start, Quantic’s award-winning active-learning platform is much more than an app. As a student, you’ll engage with a global network of highly driven professionals who are leaders in their respective fields. You’ll have opportunities to discuss coursework and case studies and share perspectives with classmates virtually and in person at meetups and Executive MBA conferences held around the world. 

In addition to collaborating with classmates, Quantic students can take advantage of a variety of resources to help further their learning and prepare them with the skills needed to excel in today’s business world. The library includes membership to paid databases and you’ll have lifelong access to all courses — including those that have yet to be added to the curriculum so you’ll always be equipped with the latest in-demand skill sets. 

Quantic is committed to helping students reach their goals post graduation, too. To support you, Quantic has an in-house research advisor who can help guide your studies and make sure you’re getting the most out of your experience. And our resume and cover letter consultations ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with future career moves. Also, you’ll have access to exciting job opportunities through our built-in career network, Smartly Talent

Interested in the #ModernMBA? See what the Quantic experience is all about.

Quantic MBA Student James Lu Morrissey on Higher Education and Making Forbes 30 Under 30 List

We sat down with 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient–and Quantic School of Business and Technology MBA student–James Lu Morrissey to discuss co-founding Mentor Collective, learning with Quantic, and disrupting the world of higher education.

Quantic learners tend to reflect the platform itself: innovative, disruptive, and equipped with a global scope. Those are just a few of the qualities that have led to three Quantic learners being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 lists in the past two years.

James Lu Morrissey (MBA – August 2018) is a perfect example of this. Lu Morrissey’s personal experiences with international education inspired him to found his company Mentor Collective, an international online mentoring community. Lu Morrissey was born in the United States, but he attended elementary school for a couple years in Taiwan. Moving to a new school can be difficult for any child; moving to a new school in a new country is even more challenging.

Adjusting in school was made easier, however, by joining the school’s sports teams. There, he was mentored by his older teammates, who eased his transition and helped him find his place. At a young age, he began to understand that mentorship was critical to adjusting to and excelling in a new environment.

He also recognized the need for peer mentorship as an undergraduate student at Carleton College. He had several friends from international and diverse backgrounds, and he noticed that many of them had difficulty adjusting to college. There wasn’t always a clear structure like a track team with teammates that could mentor them.

“When adjusting to college, all students are a stranger in a strange land,” Lu Morrissey reflected. “You might be coming from Minnesota to go to NYU. That’s a very foreign experience.”

A lack of personalized support for college students is one of the factors contributing to a college completion crisis, particularly at public universities. According to Forbes, less than 60 percent of students graduate from public institutions in six years or less. Rising tuition and student loan debt coupled with the increasing necessity of a college degree for career advancement, often puts students who do not graduate at a serious disadvantage.

To solve this problem, Lu Morrissey and colleague Jackson Boyer co-founded Mentor Collective. Mentor Collective uses scaleable and transformative mentoring, through a format supported by technology and designed for large-scale application. Mentor Collective achieves this by matching students to mentors who have a similar background.

To that end, Mentor Collective has developed partnerships with more than 50 universities, including Penn State, Johns Hopkins, and Washington University in St. Louis. Through these partnerships, they’ve mentored over 35,000 students, resulting in an up to 9% increase in retention rates and 5x decreased likelihood of academic probation.

Working towards these results has certainly kept Lu Morrissey busy, but he has still found time to pursue a Quantic MBA. While residential MBA programs have a high opportunity cost, Quantic made it possible for Lu Morrissey to “continue running my company day-to-day, while having a flexible option to learn at my own pace.”

Furthermore, Lu Morrissey has found Quantic’s courses are directly applicable to running Mentor Collective. “I can complete a lesson, take what I’ve learned, and use it the very next day at Mentor Collective.”

Lu Morrissey also appreciates the flexibility and global perspective that Quantic offers. He tries to work overseas for two to three weeks every winter, and, with Quantic’s online platform, he doesn’t have to disrupt his learning schedule to travel. “I can do Quantic while traveling in Shanghai and not have any problems with time differences.”

Lu Morrissey also sees both Quantic and Mentor Collective as helping students receive the full value of higher education. Universities, with “massive endowments and very strong brands,” may not feel the urgency or need to innovate “in the same way as many other industries,” Lu Morrissey noted. “And that can come at a big cost to students. If a school is not making an impact on students’ lives, then it’s not fulfilling its promise.”

Like Quantic, Mentor Collective’s team is passionate about the students they reach. Lu Morrissey attributes Mentor Collective’s success rates in large part to his 24 Boston-based employees. Noting that his team is interested in social impact, he emphasized that “something unique happens when you collect a lot of very mission-driven, hungry learners and put them all in the same room.”