Marketers target them. Employers covet them. They are the insurgents who stand at the front of the line. They are the pioneers who see the possibilities first — and aren’t afraid of their risks. Tech savvy and resourceful, early adopters are founders and influencers, always looking for an advantage to be faster, better, easier — to make their reach wider and impact deeper. They don’t follow crowds or convention, either. In business school, early adopters don’t just want to study disruption, they plan to lead it…and be around people who champion it.
That’s the whole point behind the Quantic School of Business and Technology. Dubbed the “business school of the future,” the program was launched by Tom Adams, an INSEAD MBA who took Rosetta Stone public a decade ago. With Quantic, Adams has created what he calls a ‘quantum leap’ in online MBA education. It is a breakthrough that re-imagines business education for early adopters who think mobile-first and learn on their own schedule. More than that, Quantic delivers a 13-month MBA for just $9,600, slashing the debt and opportunity cost that plague other business programs.
And Quantic does this with an 85% graduation rate and graduates enjoying 35%-40% pay increases within 18 months of graduation.
ONE OF THE MOST SELECTIVE MBA PROGRAMS GLOBALLY
The program is also very popular…and quite selective. In 2020, for example, the program received over 70,000 applications between its MBA and Executive MBA programs. At the same time, the program’s 11% acceptance rate last year made it one of the world’s most selective MBA programs. One reason: the program can be completed in up to 15 hours a week. Better still, 70% of lessons are completed on smart phone in an interactive format that keeps students engaged. This innovation was one of the biggest benefits for Lucky Aziken, a Nigerian CEO who’ll be graduating from Quantic’s MBA program in 2022.
“I took the business foundations courses and I loved the manner it was presented – simple everyday language,” he tells P&Q. “Initially, I was surprised at the way I needed to be involved in the learning process as in almost every 8-10 seconds I had to interact with the material. It seemed as if I was practically teaching myself. The active learning model suits me perfectly as it allows me to consistently reflect on the knowledge gained and develop actionable steps forward. I wanted an MBA program that allowed me to solve the daily business challenges in our social enterprise and the Quantic MBA was perfect.”
Aziken himself personifies Quantic’s early adopter spirit. A doctor of Optometry by trade, Aziken didn’t just want a stable career. He craved a compelling mission. He found it after watching a close family member become visually impaired due to lack of quality eye care around him. In response, Aziken launched Vision Care Givers International, which focused on providing “quality and affordable eye care services in underserved communities globally.” In Africa, his vision has helped over 15,000 Nigerians, not counting another 1,250 refugees in a nearby camp. Aziken has also set up four clinics that act as social enterprises, along with building out an education arm whose efforts have reached 2 million people in 187 countries.
For his innovations, Aziken earned the LEAP Africa Outstanding Fellow Award last October. The recognition kept coming last year, he adds. “I received the Eye Health Hero 2020 Award from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) for my role in helping communities access quality eye care…This is the highest award in eye care for young leaders under 35.”
MBA IS ALREADY PAYING FOR ITSELF
This year, Aziken is focusing more on his education at Quantic, a decision that has already paid dividends for his venture. “In one of our modules, Customer Discovery, I came to understand the meaning of a startup and this was life-changing,” he admits. “I initially thought of a startup as a business within the first 2-3 years of operation, but I realized that it was about the time it took to search for a scalable, repeatable, and profitable business model. This was significant in helping our social enterprise to focus on testing our models and proving them before heavily investing in them. We were no longer afraid of failing as we had the option of pivoting if things didn’t go as planned.”
Aziken isn’t the only Quantic MBA candidate making a difference. Adriana Blachowicz is a postdoctoral researcher working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this early adopter describes herself as a “space biology expert passionate about science, art, and literature.” Blachowicz’s long-term goal is to move into translational science, using her Quantic MBA to hone a bigger picture perspective that balances her prowess in research and hard sciences. Already, her influence literally extends into the stars.
“[My biggest achievement] was sending experiments to the International Space Station and having astronauts perform them, with the goal being to understand how microbes adapt to the space environment,” she writes. “Although I expect that my future professional steps will naturally lead me to more managerial positions, less in direct contact with science, fungal biology holds a special place in my heart.”
The ability to integrate two distinct mindsets is one quality of an early adopter. That description would fit Kenny Ooi to a tee. At an undergrad, he studied music — trumpet, specifically — at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. Two years ago, he was selected to travel across 11 venues in the Asian Youth Orchestra Summer Camp and Asia Tour. In the process, he developed a passion for social entrepreneurship. This led him to launch The Rondo Production, a venture designed to turn Malaysia into a center for music education and performance. For his efforts, Ooi was listed among the top 20 social entrepreneurs of 2020 in Southeast Asia and Australia by the Australian Government.
“After years of performing and traveling to other countries in the world, I realized how insufficient the support of music education is in Malaysia,” Ooi observes. “I decided that I wanted to contribute my knowledge to the community. Hence, through establishing my social enterprise — The Rondo Production — my team and I hope to make music accessible and affordable to everyone. Receiving these prestigious awards has motivated me and my team to grow.”
BUILDING MICROSOFT, AMAZON, AND GOOGLE
Last year, Quantic disclosed that it had over 350 students who were working at Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. That number is set to expand with the Class of 2022, certainly with Google. Keisuke Kawase, a product support manager for Google Maps, and Ljiljana Rajacic, a software engineer at Google, are both tracking to graduate from Quantic next year. In fact, Rajacic can pull out an intriguing factoid about her impact on her employers.
“In 2013, I joined Microsoft and Bill Gates became the richest man on Earth. In 2017, I joined Amazon and Jeff Bezos became the richest man on Earth. In 2020, I joined Google and now Google generates an all-time record revenue. Coincidence? I don’t think so.”
Just don’t bet on Rajacic staying in tech long enough to add a fourth company to her list. She may be an early adopter, but her success is also rooted in being a quick adapter. “When I was a kid, my parents owned various small businesses so I grew up in a very entrepreneurial household,” Rajacic reminisces. “Considering that those were times of historical-record inflation in war-torn Yugoslavia, many of those businesses would fail and my parents had to work a lot, iterate fast, and be extremely business-creative without having a formal education for it. I hope I learned something from their hands-on experience, but I’d also love to fill in the gaps (or rather, build a more stable base) through an MBA. Ultimately, I want to try out entrepreneurship too.”
Next Page: Q&A with Quantic’s Chairman
Page 3: Profiles of 11 Quantic MBA Students.