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Michele Jesse on taking the latest MOOC

Nader Tavassoli, Professor of Marketing, delivered the School’s second MOOC starting in October this year. The five week “massive open-access online course” focused on how brands are built by what people do rather than what organisations say, for example, in their advertising.

We caught up with Michele Jesse from Executive Education to hear her thoughts on completing the MOOC and what she’ll be taking away from her experience.

Firstly, thank you for letting us feature you in Life@LBS. Can you tell us what made you decide to take the MOOC?
Working in Executive Education on the sales team, I had the opportunity to see Nader teaching on our Accelerated Development Programme (ADP). Having had a snapshot of his research, I was very keen to learn more about his research and how it might apply to my role at the School.

I’d also never experienced online learning, let alone a MOOC before, so I was interested in the format and the learning experience personally but also to explore online learning in an Exec Ed context.

How did you find taking a MOOC?
I really enjoyed the MOOC and found the videos very engaging as the settings quite often changed and most weeks included interviews with strong behaviour led brands. It was also great to complete the weekly assignments and peer evaluate others on the MOOC – it really gave you an insight into different brands from across the world and replicated that classroom experience.

Did you attend any of the staff lunchtime sessions?
Yes, I really enjoyed coming together with other staff from across the School and hearing their different views. It really got me thinking about things in a new way.  

I particularly enjoyed our special live session with Nader. It was great to have the chance to apply our learning to a case study he presented to us and test ourselves on what we’d learnt from the MOOC. I could also really see it was important to Nader that we had taken something away from the MOOC.

So what are some of the things you have taken away from the MOOC?
My biggest learning was the behaviour piece. We can say what we want to do, but if our actions are different they can undermine even the best intentions. It really made me think about the brand beyond our logo or slogans. Before the MOOC I’d never really linked the two together in such a cohesive way.

It also made me see how vital a role we all play in delivering the London Business School experience for students, faculty, participants, alumni and our peers (staff). We make up that experience more so than any marketing campaign.

Is there anything you’ll be doing differently in your role at the School?
I’m a firm believer in the School’s communal value. I’ve already started working across the School in my role to develop deeper relationships internally but also with my clients. Having participated in the staff MOOC sessions it only reinforced how powerful we can be if we work more collaboratively.

It really helps you feel more empowered when you know what’s going on at the School. I’ll definitely be continuing to promote collaboration at the School and working with my peers to see the value in aligning our purpose.

It sounds like you’ve been inspired by the MOOC.
Yes, definitely. I think the timing of the MOOC was perfect for the School. I know in Exec Ed we’re seeing strong growth and we really need to think about how we sustain this and ensure we don’t lose the quality of our programmes in doing so.

I guess we know the answer already, but would you take a MOOC again?
Yes! I think it’s been great to see how the School is utilising technology and I really enjoyed the content. I’d love to see Nader and perhaps Randall Peterson doing something on personal brand too.

Hmm, that could be an interesting MOOC. Well thank you for your time and we’re glad you enjoyed the MOOC.

Keep an eye out for the next London Business School MOOC.