Workshop: Strategic Management in Your Career and Life

Course Description: 

Do you want to build a successful career that will allow you to make a positive change in the world? In 2017, CEU started BOOST – an experiential program that equips students with deeply practical managerial and strategic tools, helping them to transition into highly effective leaders. This year, the expanded and refined BOOST tools will be offered to a wider group of students in the form of a 2-credit course, offered over two intensive weekend sessions in the fall 2018.

In post-modern society (of social media, Game of Thrones and reality TV), the post-industrial economy (from Apple, Amazon, Google, and Starbucks) and post-End-of-History politics (from Emmanuel Macron to Victor Orban), strategic thinking, strategic leadership, and strategic management represent—for better or for worse—a new winning approach to human relations. This course will introduce you to cutting edge techniques in strategic management, tailored to the context of planning an impactful individual career and fulfilling life. These tools will be offered against a broader background of applied sociology and psychology of performance and professional success. We will also pay attention to gender, ethnic and racial biases and injustices related to the notions of professional success.

Strategic Management in Your Career and Life is not a series of lectures, but an experience. The strategic tools and techniques will be presented in an interactive fashion, using the cases of real organizations, and people, including last year’s highly successful BOOST participants. Every participant needs to be prepared to candidly discuss their career plans and strategies and be open to receive constructive, friendly but also realistic feedback.

Upon completion of the course, each participant will be eligible to apply to continue with the BOOST program:

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the Strategic Management in Your Career and Life UWC, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the contours of a unique, relevant, ambitious, realistic and time-bound professional Impact Strategy formulated by the participant;

  • Demonstrate marked improvement in key managerial competencies targeted at promoting professional and career objectives and employment, including strategically rooted leadership skills, skills in presenting and persuasion, skills in teamwork and team management;

  • Cultivate a strategic mindset and develop strategic intuitions in career, life, and organizational choices.

  • Demonstrate command of the key principles of strategic management and the ability to apply these principles in a variety of sectoral and organizational contexts;

  • Show thorough, critical understanding of the tension between authenticity and arbitrariness of professional endeavor; systematically reflecting on the injustices inherent in modern professional life;

  • Internalize good practices and attitudes that psychologists and sociologists associate with high performance and professional success;


The course’s assessment will be based on the following principles:

Transferable Skills. Grading for Strategic Management in Your Career and Life UWC is not a traditional academic one. Since the aim of the course is to develop transferable skills that contribute to the successful execution of a professional or organizational development plan, we are focusing on the inputs and products essential to achieving that objective. Our evaluation approach is based on the following principles:

1. Transparent Self-Assessment. Modern knowledge-intensive organizations increasingly rely on self-assessment as a method of evaluating more intangible aspects of performance. The idea here is that you are the best-informed party to assess your own effort and performance. It has furthermore been shown that the transparency of your self-assessment (i.e. the ability of your peers to see how you graded yourself) provides a powerful disincentive against biased and inflated self-assessments. Transparent self-assessment also contributes to creating a culture of candor and meritocracy that is highly valued by creative professionals from Generation Y.

  1. 360 degree Feedback. An even more reliable method is the 360o feedback: a concept based on the idea that your work affects a definable group of stakeholders and who are thus in a good position to give feedback on your performance. In the context of our class, these stakeholders are primarily classmates, who devote significant time and resources to their CEU education. The quality of this education is, in turn, directly tied with the general level of participants’ preparation and in-class performance.

  2. Work Smart Not Hard. Popularized by global management consultancies, the “Work Smart Not Hard” philosophy is all about prioritization. That is why, it is particularly pertinent to an executive career, where people face many conflicting priorities in professional, personal, and educational life.

In light of the above-mentioned principles, the final course grade will be based on:

Course Readings. 10 percent of the final grade will be awarded for participants thoroughly aquatinting themselves with required readings. Since the class format is interactive and often case-based, careful study of all the assigned readings is vital for our learning objectives to be achieved. This part of the grade is entirely based on transparent self-assessment. In particular, before the beginning of each session participants will be asked to self-assess their preparation for the session on Moodle, answering the following question: “On a scale of 0 to 5, how do you assess your preparation for this session, especially in terms of the thoroughness and completeness of your study of the assigned readings?” The self-evaluated grade will be visible to every participant on Moodle. Failure to submit a self-assessment by the start of the session will be treated as a submission of a self-assessment of 0. To account for possible absences, missed self-assessments, and other reasons, the “work smart not hard” cutoff of 80% will be applied, meaning that receiving 80% of the reading scores for the readings will be treated as fully satisfying the reading component of the final grade.

Class Contribution and Participation. 20 percent of will be awarded for active participation. That is why we find it particularly important to reward those participants who add a valuable contribution to the analysis of the topics. The grading of class participation will be based on the concept of 360-degree review. The review will be based on peer-evaluation. To account for possible absences and other reasons, the “work smart not hard” 80% cutoff described above will be applied to the peer-evaluated participation points. Automatic adjustments will be made to participation grade of people who are absent or late. An absent person will receive no participation points for the class missed. Being late after a break may also result in losing participation points for the weekend and for leaving the session early before its end.

Individual exercises. 40 percent of the grade will be awarded for two individual exercises (Good Time Journal / Mind Mapping and Strategic Pitch) conducted during the first and second weekend of the course.

Teamwork. 20 percent of the grade will be awarded for the quality and effectiveness of teamwork within the course. Instructors will regularly evaluate the work of the course teams. After each evaluation, team members will peer assess each team member’s contribution to the collective learning experience and give other team participant(s) feedback.