GMAT® Boot Camps Focus on Boosting Career Readiness for Students in Africa
Helping prospective students in Africa perform well on the GMAT® exam sharpens skills that are crucial for both academic and career success.
In September, 2014, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) entered into a formal agreement with Famolex Integrated Consult, a Nigerian firm with operations in Lagos and Abuja. The goal of the partnership was to devise ways of engaging Nigerian college students, graduates, and professionals to grow the pipeline of suitably qualified candidates for both global management education and management careers. Key actions would focus on test preparation, academic advisement, admission support and career counseling.
The two organizations collaboratively developed an approach to encourage GMAT® preparation while creating awareness about the developmental value of GMAT preparation beyond simply scoring well on the test itself. That is, as a way to sharpen reasoning and problem solving skills that would improve not only GMAT exam performance and MBA program access, but also career readiness for those not currently bound for grad school.
Since Nigerian employers commonly administer aptitude tests — often modeled after the GMAT exam — to prospective hires, the thinking behind the partnership was that GMAT exam preparation would serve a dual purpose. This approach formed the basis of what came to be called the GMAC Africa Career Track Program, which was first launched as a series of awareness sessions at Nigerian National Youth Service Corps camps in 2015-16.
Later, the program was refined and offered as a Famolex week-long GMAT Africa Career Readiness Program (GACRP) at Nigeria’s Fountain University in November 2016. The company, at the same time, successfully rolled out GACRP GMAT Boot Camp events in the top three locations from which prospective test takers ordered the Official Guide for GMAT Review Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan.
This effort targeted working professionals, the hardest-to-reach segment of the potential GMAT test-taker pool. The Abuja GMAT Boot Camp was held on November 19, the Lagos Boot Camp on November 26 and the one in Ibadan Boot was held on December 3. The events themselves consisted of a GMAT exam overview and a Q&A session. This was followed by a mock exam session where each participant took the full-length paper exam (quant and verbal sections only). The mock exams were then scored and each participant received their score. Then participants were debriefed and invited to share their impressions of the test and their performance. The events closed with discussions about the role and value of preparation, the use of Official Guides from the test publisher as the best source, and the opportunities a good GMAT score could produce.
“These programs will help prospective students become aware of how to perform well on the GMAT exam while sharpening skills that are crucial for both academic and career success,” said Ron Sibert, Market Development Director, Africa for the Graduate Management Admission Council. “Preparation is the key to success in any endeavor. GMAT preparation is a powerful tool for opening doors on a variety of fronts because test takers can hone skills that can be applied virtually anywhere.”
Building on the success of the GACRP-based launches, Famolex is floating similar proposals to several — primarily private — Nigerian universities, with the goal of growing Nigeria’s graduate management pipeline as well as its domestic talent pool. All of which is expected to increase GMAT testing volumes in Africa’s fastest growing market.
About the Author
Ron Sibert is Market Development director, Africa, at the Graduate Management Admission Council.