The Digital Business Master Class (DBMC) by Aalto University Summer School is an intensive course focusing on digital technologies as tools for building businesses. The course has attracted a wide range of different learners since its start in 2019 – university students from every continent of the world, working professionals who want to stay updated with the current digital landscape and entrepreneurs with the aim to take the next step in the development of their business.
We had a chat with Shane McMahon, DBMC alumnus and Lead Consultant in Organisational Resilience and part owner at Horizonscan, a small consultancy based in England.
“Unlike many of my colleagues on the DBMC course, I didn’t go to university when I finished school. I’m originally from Ireland and spent 10 years working in the emergency services in London. Recently I have had the opportunity to complete my MSc in Risk, Crisis and Management. I am responsible for developing our trainee and junior consultants at work, and to do this I need to maintain awareness of changes in the business landscape.” says Shane.
Why did you choose the DBMC?
In 2020 in the midst of the global pandemic, my business transitioned to an employee-owned business model and subsequently, we have been finding our feet and settling into our new roles and responsibilities. For me, this transition highlighted some personal skill gaps particularly around digital business design and the use of data. I came across the DBMC at Aalto while trying to find a course that would provide me with insight into digital business. The notion of an intensive two-week course appealed to me as I wanted to challenge myself.
What was your favorite part of the course?
It’s a difficult question as all parts of the course were interesting and different. I enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in the lectures and ask questions. There were lots of opportunities to mix with other teams during the breakout sessions and the social activities (although online) were a good laugh. The structure of the course was great with each of the lectures giving me something new to think about and then put into practice in the company project that was running alongside the lectures.
Challenge-based projects with a focus on environmental solutions
Challenge-based learning is an integral part of the DBMC where students work in international and multidisciplinary teams on real-life challenges given by partnering companies.
“In my consultancy role I have been talking a lot about how protecting the environment is the game-changer for all businesses, big and small. I pose the question to clients ‘Can your business be resilient if it has an adverse impact on the planet?’. When I found out that my company project was all about coming up with a solution to collect environmental data for a Finnish municipality I was thrilled. We had a truly international team, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates and friends. Our team meetings even spanned across three time zones: UK, Finland, and Australia!” says Shane.